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Finns making up Ducks' new Big Three

Sunday, 10.02.2011 / 10:38 AM

By Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer / Ducks fly to Scandinavia

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Ducks fly to Scandinavia
Finns making up Ducks' new Big Three
HELSINKI -- The Anaheim Ducks will have a new "Big Three" this week, because Finnish natives Teemu Selanne, Saku Koivu and Tony Lydman are clearly the players everyone wants to see and meet this week.

A few members of one of the team’s in Jokerit’s youth hockey system were about to get on a bus this morning, but many of them wandered over to the entrance of "The Cave," which is what Hartwall Areena’s practice rink is affectionately called, and waited to see if the Ducks would come out that way after their practice was complete.

The team flew from California to Newark, N.J., for refueling yesterday and onto Helsinki where they arrived this morning. They were scheduled to practice at Hartwall at noon, but decided to go straight to the rink and were practicing by 11 a.m. or so.

Everyone was on the ice inside "The Cave" -- and trust me, it really feels like you’re in a bunker or a cave down there -- for the Ducks in a spirited practice despite the travel. All eight defensemen and three goalies who made the trip went through practice. There were no surprises with the forward lines:

Ryan-Getzlaf-Perry (white)

Blake-Koivu-Selanne (red)

(Smith-Pelley)-Cogliano-Gordon (orange)

Parros-McMillan-McGrattan-Beleskey-Macenauer (grey)

The three Finns shared the media spotlight today, while coach Randy Carlyle also spent about 15 minutes answering questions from about a dozen members of the local media. Anaheim will be back at Hartwall Areena for practice Monday, which is scheduled for an early afternoon start.
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When we started our journey we made a commitment to our fans to be relevant and to see the Chicago Blackhawks become the best professional hockey organization. There are not two finer symbols of that than Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. The commitment we have made to these incredible young men is equal to the commitment they have made to our team, our fans, our entire organization and the city of Chicago.

— Chicago Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz on signing Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane to contract extensions