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Giguere Meets with Fans, Reflects on His Ducks Memories

by Staff Writer / Anaheim Ducks
By Adam Brady

AnaheimDucks.com

As part of tonight’s Ducks Heroes Collectors Coin giveaway, J.S. Giguere was invited by the team out to Anaheim to take part in the festivities prior to, and during, the game vs. Calgary at Honda Center.

Among Giguere’s tasks was a meet-and-greet this morning with fans who won a contest held by the Ducks over the weekend. Fans were asked to submit on AnaheimDucks.com their favorite “Jiggy Memories,” and the team selected the best among the almost 400 entries to spend time with Giguere during the Ducks’ skate this morning at Honda Center.

Click here to read those entries, including one by a man who met his future wife while they both cheered for Giguere as kids.

Those fans were also given tickets to tonight’s game, where they and everyone else in attendance will receive a Giguere commemorative coin, part of a Ducks Heroes set that has already included Teemu Selanne and Scott Niedermayer.

It goes without saying Giguere is the greatest goalie in Ducks history, the owner of virtually every franchise goaltending record, a Conn Smythe winner in 2003 (when he led Anaheim to Game 7 of the Cup Final) and a Stanley Cup champion in 2007. The Ducks traded him to Toronto in 2010, where he spent two seasons and then three more in Colorado before retiring in 2014.
"It’s always fun to come back here and get to meet some fans. Sometimes you don’t feel like you’re worthy of that reaction, but it was nice. When you play, you’re really just coming to the rink to do your job, and you’re loving it and doing it with pride. But you don’t know that you’re affecting people in a certain way, and it’s really great to see that."

Giguere, who lives with wife Kristen and their three children in his hometown of Montreal, talked this afternoon at Honda Center about meeting the fans and reflected on his time in Anaheim.

What was it like with those contest winners this morning?
I felt like a rock star or something. [Laughs.] It’s always fun to come back here and get to meet some fans. Sometimes you don’t feel like you’re worthy of that reaction, but it was nice. People wrote about their favorite moments and favorite memories about myself and what it meant to them. I read them [online] and it was quite something. It was a trip down Memory Lane. When you play, you’re really just coming to the rink to do your job, and you’re loving it and doing it with pride. But you don’t know that you’re affecting people in a certain way, and it’s really great to see that.

How does it feel being back in Orange County?
The last time I was back here was for Teemu’s ceremony, and it always feels like coming home. It’s fun to see some friends and people you don’t get to see very often. You know what I love the most about this organization is that everybody is still here. It’s mostly the same people from when I played here, and it tells you that this organization is a great one because people want to stay here. That’s important.

What has retirement been like for you?
It’s nice. I really don’t miss the game all that much. I don’t miss the planning, I don’t miss being nervous before games, not knowing how the game was gonna go. Especially because my last few years I was a backup, and even though I didn’t mind doing that, the games were even more stressful becuase I just didn’t know how things were gonna go. It’s nice to now be able to take time with my family. Are there times I wish I could be on the road and have a nice dinner with the boys? Yes, I miss that. But it’s still nice to be away from it now.
"Everything that you do is towards trying to win that Cup, and so many players don’t get to do it, even though they’ve had great careers. You’re just happy when you’re actually able to do it. It was great to be able to win in this building and share that with the fans. It’s something I’ll never forget."

What takes up your time these days?
The weekends are very busy, but the weekdays are great for me because that’s when I have free time. I go to the gym, I play hockey twice a week. I play as a forward, so if the Ducks need me, I’m ready to go. [Laughs.] I also do a little bit of TV part-time back home, which still keeps me in the loop and in the game, so it’s nice.

There are so many memorable moments for you during your time here, but is there a particular one that stands out? It’s obvious, right?
Yeah, anybody that has played here during that time will tell you it’s the Stanley Cup victory. Everything that you do is towards trying to win that Cup, and so many players don’t get to do it, even though they’ve had great careers. You’re just happy when you’re actually able to do it. It was great to be able to win in this building and share that with the fans. It’s something I’ll never forget.

Did it mean a little more to you because you came so close in ’03?
It meant that much more, yeah, obviously to be that close and not to be able to win it. It’s nice that I won the Conn Smythe, and I’m super proud of that, but you want to be able to share it with your teammates. You go through a whole season with them, and you battle through a lot of good and bad times, so to be able to lift the Cup with them in ’07 and share it, drink some champagne from it, it’s what you want. But I don’t think I would have been able to win the Cup in ’07 if it wasn’t for that loss in ’03. I think you have to go through losing before you can go through winning.

How nice was it to be reminded of those memories one more time?
I’m grateful for what people wrote, because it gave me a chance to remember some of the stuff I did when I was here. Those were good memories to me and my family, and hopefully the fans. That really meant a lot to me.
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