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Ducks Season-Opening Notes

by Staff Writer / Anaheim Ducks
NHL PREMIERE: The Ducks open their 18th NHL season tomorrow (Friday, Oct. 7) against the Buffalo Sabres at Hartwall Areena as part of the 2011 Compuware NHL Premiere in Helsinki, Finland (10 a.m. PDT, PRIME TICKET/AM 830)...this is the Ducks’ third trip overseas overall…the then-Mighty Ducks opened the 1997-98 season in Toyko, Japan on Oct. 3-4, 1997 against the Vancouver Canucks, marking the first-ever regular season NHL contests outside of North America…the club also took on the Los Angeles Kings as part of the 2007 NHL Premiere in London, England on Sept. 29-30…the Ducks are 2-2-0 in overseas competition: Oct. 3, 1997 at VAN (3-2 loss), Oct. 4, 1997 vs. VAN (3-2 win), Sept. 29, 2007 at LA (4-1 loss), Sept. 30, 2007 vs. LA (4-1 win)…right winger and Helsinki native Teemu Selanne is the only current player with the Ducks who competed in Japan, while Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Bobby Ryan, Francois Beauchemin, George Parros and Jonas Hiller each played for Anaheim in the London contests...the Ducks are 4-13-0 all-time in season openers, 13 of which have taken place on the road...on Saturday, Oct. 8, the Ducks will travel to Stockholm, Sweden to take on the NY Rangers ("home" game for Ducks) at Ericsson Globe Arena (10 a.m. PDT, VERSUS/AM 830) before returning home to California.

FINNS RETURN HOME: Tomorrow marks the first time both Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu will compete in a regular season NHL contest on their home turf…a native of Helsinki, Selanne competed in 117 contests for Jokerit of the Finnish Elite League...his stint with the “big club” from 1989-92 & 1994-95 (played 40 Div-1 contests from 1987-89) produced 83-68=151 points…with 637-703=1,340 points in 1,259 career NHL games, Selanne enters the 2011-12 NHL season ranking 14th in all-time goals and 27th in all-time points…among European-born NHL players, Selanne ranks second in all-time goals (Jagr) and fifth in all-time points (Jagr, Mikita, Kurri, Sundin)…Koivu, a native of Turku, Finland, competed for TPS Turku of the Finnish Elite League in four different seasons (1992-95 & 2004-05)…in 158 career Finnish Elite League games, he scored 61-92=153 points…Koivu enters the 2011-12 season having scored 225-513=738 points in 938 career NHL games…defenseman Toni Lydman, who had offseason shoulder surgery and is currently on IR, made the trip overseas but will not compete in tomorrow’s contest…Lydman, a native of Lahti, competed for both Tappara (1996-98) and HIFK Finland (1998-00 & 2004-05) during his time in the Finnish Elite League, notching 14-39=53 points…Lydman has earned 36-187=223 points in 738 NHL games…all three Finns have competed for their native country in the Winter Olympic Games: Selanne on five occasions (three medals: bronze in 2002 & 2010, silver in 2006); Koivu on four occasions (bronze in 1994, 1998 & 2010, silver in 2006) and Lydman twice (silver in 2006, bronze in 2010).

ALL-TIME: The Ducks enter the 2011-12 season with a 604-569-189 record for 1,397 standings points and  a .513 win percentage in 1,362 all-time games...this is Anaheim's 19th season overall (counting one lockout year in 2004-05)...the club will play its 1,400th game on Jan. 4, 2012 vs. San Jose at Honda Center...over the last six seasons, the Ducks have posted a regular season record of 266-169-57 (.599 win percentage), including a 151-67-28 mark at Honda Center (.671 win percentage)...Anaheim has also qualified for postseason play in five of the last six seasons, one of only seven teams to accomplish the feat (also MTL, NYR, PHI, DET, SJ and NSH).

DUCKS-SABRES: The Ducks and Sabres meet tomorrow for the first of two match-ups this season…Anaheim will also host Buffalo at Honda Center on Wednesday, Feb. 29 (7:05 p.m.)…tomorrow marks the first time the two clubs have faced each other for a season opener...further, it marks only the fourth season opener in which Anaheim has faced a current Eastern Conference club (Toronto in 1996-97, Washington in 1998-99 and Boston in 2001-02)...the Ducks enter tomorrow’s contest having won four of the last five meetings with Buffalo, dating back to a 4-1 win on Dec. 5, 2007 at Honda Center…in their most recent contest, Buffalo jumped out to a 4-0 lead, going on to beat the Ducks by a score of 5-2 on Dec. 21, 2010 at HSBC Arena…all-time, Anaheim is 8-12-4 vs. Saku Koivu paces the Ducks in career points vs. the Sabres, earning 14-20-34 points in 60 games.

ROOKIES: The Ducks carry two true rookies on their 2011-12 season-opening roster...right wing Devante Smith-Pelly, a second-round draft pick (42nd overall) for the Ducks in 2010, appeared in 67 contests with his junior club (Mississauga-OHL) in 2010-11, scoring 36-30=66 points with 50 PIM and a +49 rating en route to a Memorial Cup appearance...should Smith-Pelly appear in tomorrow's contest at 19 years, three months and 23 days (6/14/92), he will be the third-youngest Duck to appear in an NHL contest (Oleg Tverdovsky was the youngest at 18 yrs, 8 mos, 13 days on Jan. 21, 1995 and Cam Fowler was the second-youngest at 18 yrs, 10 mos, 3 days on Oct. 8, Maxime Macenauer (22 yrs, 1/4/89) has also yet to make his NHL 79 contests with Syracuse (AHL) last year, he collected 13-19=32 points with 65 PIM.

2011 PRESEASON: The Ducks wrapped up the 2011 preseason with a 4-4-0 their last preseason contest vs. Jokerit at Hartwall Areena in Helsinki, Finland on Tuesday (Oct. 4), reigning MVP Corey Perry scored two goals, second-year defenseman Cam Fowler scored the Ducks' third marker and team captain Ryan Getzlaf scored the OT-winner to make the final score, 4-3.

MVP: Right wing Corey Perry won the 2010-11 Hart Memorial Trophy as “the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team”…Perry was the first player from a Southern California team to win the Hart Trophy since Hall-of-Famer Wayne Gretzky earned the honor with Los Angeles in 1989…Perry was also just the third player from a California team to win the Hart, joining Gretzky and San Jose’s Joe Thornton (2006)… his 50 goals (50-48=98) also won him the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy as the league’s top goal scorer and became the second Duck to win the trophy (also Selanne in 1998-99, the inaugural year of the Rocket Richard Trophy)…Perry, who is entering his seventh NHL season, has collected 168-201=369 points with 369 PIM and a +44 rating in 450 career contests.

ONE MORE YEAR?: 41-year-old right winger Teemu Selanne returns for his 20th NHL season and 13th with the at 41 years, three months and four days, Selanne becomes the oldest player to appear in a Ducks contest (also held the record at the conclusion of the 2011 postseason at 40 years, nine months and 19 days in Game 6 of the CQF, Apr. 24 @ NSH) 2010-11, Selanne scored 31-49=80 points in 73 contests...only two players in NHL history age 40+ have recorded more points: (Gordie Howe (DET), 1968-98, 103 pts., 40 yrs, 276 days; Johnny Bucyk (BOS), 1975-76, 83 pts., 40 yrs, 234 days) 774 career contests with Anaheim, Selanne has scored 410-461=871 points with 381 PIM and a +123 rating...he is the club's all-time leader in goals, points, assists, games played, plus/minus, PPG (163), PPP (367), GWG (69), shots (2547) and OT goals (6) 1,259 career NHL games with Winnipeg, Anaheim, San Jose and Colorado, Selanne has earned 637-703=1,340 points

HOW THE DUCKS WERE BUILT: The Ducks' opening day 2011-12 roster includes 14 forwards, nine defensemen (two injured) and three goaltenders...a look at how the roster for the season opener vs. Buffalo was built:
Returning players from 2010-11 (17)
Francois Beauchemin - D
Matt Beleskey - LW
Jason Blake - LW
Sheldon Brookbank - D
Dan Ellis - G
Cam Fowler - D
Ryan Getzlaf - C
Jonas Hiller - G
Saku Koivu - C
Toni Lydman - D
Brandon McMillan - LW
George Parros-RW
Corey Perry - RW
Bobby Ryan - LW
Luca Sbisa - D
Teemu Selanne - RW
Lubomir Visnovsky - D

Arrived in the offseason via free agency/trade (5)
Andrew Cogliano - C, Acquired from Edmonton in exchange for a second-round selection in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, July 12, 2011
Jeff Deslauriers - G, Signed as a free agent, July 12, 2011
Andrew Gordon - RW, Signed as a free agent, July 2, 2011
Kurtis Foster - D, Acquired from Edmonton in exchange for Andy Sutton, July 1, 2011
Matt Smaby - D, Signed as a free agent, July 14, 2011

Competed for Syracuse (Anaheim's AHL affiliate) or junior club (Ducks draftee) in 2010-11 (4)
Nate Guenin - D
Maxime Macenauer - C
Brian McGrattan - RW
Devante Smith-Pelly - RW

THE 2010-11 REGULAR SEASON: The Ducks finished the regular season with a record of 47-30-5 for 99 points, ranking second in the Pacific Division and fourth in the Western Conference...the club's 47 wins were tied for the second-most in franchise history (48 in 2006-07 and 47 in 2007-08)…with 20 games left, the Ducks were 32-25-5 with 69 points and ranked 11th in the Western Conference...the Ducks went 15-5-0 over the last 20 games, climbing to fourth in the West...the club was eliminated by Nashville in six contests (4-2) in the CQF.

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