I got this email over the weekend, a nice reminder of what guys like Teemu and Saku, and the Ducks organization, mean to people:
I wanted to write and say thanks for the work you do on your blog -- we don't hear much from the media out here in terms of what's happening with the Ducks, so being able to check out the message board, news links, and your blog have been really great!
My brother and I were in Anaheim from March 23rd to the 30th. He was a part of the teacher's convention that had been happening that week at the Convention Centre, and we wanted to do as many things as possible while we were there, including Disneyland & going to the Bruins and Sharks games at the Honda Center. It was spring break week for us (I work with kids who have disabilities and special needs as a teacher's assistant), and what a week it was! We had an amazing time there! Watching the sun rise over the Anaheim Hills in the morning, a California tan, hockey games, Disneyland, and fireworks every night....it doesn't get any better than that!!!
Honda Center staff, when they realized we were from Winnipeg, were terrific to us, and the fans sitting around us at the games were so welcoming and fun. We may be known as "Friendly Manitoba" out here, but Ducks fans are great, too! The last time we were in attendance at a game at "The Pond" was in 2001. It was an incredible feeling to be a part of the atmosphere again.
My family and I have known Teemu and Sirpa Selanne since Teemu started playing in Winnipeg. They lived on the same street as my aunt and uncle, and they were so much fun to get to know. We've been to Anaheim a few times since he and Sirpa have lived in California, and have connected with them. We weren't able to see Teemu play in Winnipeg when he came with the Ducks in December -- it's not easy to get tickets for games here -- most go to season tix holders, the rest are sold for higher than normal prices....so we figured that coming back to Anaheim was the way to go, and were happy it all worked out. It's much easier (and cheaper) to get tickets for games in places like Anaheim, Calgary, even Edmonton. It sounds crazy, but it's true. For us, spending the money to come to a place like Anaheim was totally worth it, and we would absolutely do it again.
We surprised Teemu after the practice at the Honda Center on the 24th...we made it just in time seeing as we had gone to Anaheim Ice first. He said he had been looking for us when he was in Winnipeg, and we were all disappointed that it hadn't worked out. I'm happy for him, and for his family, that coming back to Winnipeg was a good time for them. Seeing Teemu again & getting a chance to see him play live & score some great goals, together with having the opportunity to meet Saku Koivu, was terrific. Our dad passed away from kidney and liver cancer in 2008 after a long and hard fight -- Dad always thought of Saku as an inspiration with how he fought cancer and won -- so it was a real honor to be able to meet him.
I'm glad, too, for all of the hard work & visits the players & others in the organization do for all those who are sick in hospital and beyond. From someone who's been through it -- helping someone who is terminally ill -- it means an awful lot to see and hear about what goes on to put smiles on people's faces. I've seen the various videos from the website, and have read the stories together with my family. All of it puts some smiles on our faces, knowing that there are people out there who care.
Looking forward to reading more on your blog. All the best to you and the rest of the organization as you prepare for next season!