Among the dozen or so brothers and sisters accompanying the professional hockey players on the Ducks' first-ever Siblings Trip is a pretty tremendous athlete in their own right.
No, not Chris Getzlaf, Ryan's little brother who has put together an impressive career in the Canadian Football League (and wasn't able to make this trip). It's Meagan Manson, younger sister of Ducks defenseman Josh, who just completed her senior season as center back and captain on the University of Saskatchewan soccer team.
In a prolific four-year college career, Meagan was named a Canada West First Team All-Star, CIS Second Team All-Canadian and has won two USA Cups and three Provincial championships.
"I'm extremely proud," Josh says of Meagan. "I've been watching her the entire time at U of S. She's worked so hard to get to where she is now."
Meagan is also a business student who found time out of her schedule to join her brother and the rest of the travel party on this trip to Arizona and Colorado.
"It's a cool opportunity to come out here and see what he does day to day and what his ritual is like, and how it differs from mine," says the 5-foot-11 Meagan. "I wish I could share it with Ben and Emma too, but it's cool that I get to experience it."
Ben and Emma are the younger brother and sister of Josh and Meagan, who form part of an incredibly athletic family. Aside from Josh and Meagan's accomplishments, Emma is on her way to the University of Saskatchewan to follow in her sister's soccer footsteps ("the amount of time they put into soccer is insane," Josh says.) Ben is an up-and-coming hockey player who also snowboards and wakeboards near the family's home in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.
Meanwhile, mom Lana is a former college volleyball player, and oh yeah, dad Dave played 16 seasons in the NHL with seven different teams.
"All six of us, it's such a good support system," Meagan says. "If we have an issue, we can all talk about it. It's cool to see everyone's experiences in different sports, but somehow it all comes together."
Meagan is in her early 20s and Dave retired from the NHL in 2002, so she says, "When I was younger, I got to see my dad play, but I don't really remember it that much. We went to games with Mom and some practices, but with this trip, it's cool to see what [Josh] actually does."
As for the influence Dave has on Josh's hockey career, "I think it's nice for them because they get to talk about it together and Josh gets advice from him and Dad gets to share his experience with him," Meagan says. "It's good for both of them."
Dave established a reputation as a rough-and-tumble player who amassed 2,792 penalty minutes in his career. "I know the kind of player that he was," Josh told the LA Times in a story written last season. "It's a different game now, for sure. The way he played was a little bit different just because of the time and the era. But I think there's a little bit of his game in me. "
Indeed, Manson has been known to throw fists a bit in his 2 1/2 seasons in the NHL, engaging in more than a dozen fights in the regular season and preseason. But Meagan says that side of Josh doesn't come from Dad alone.
"I think a little bit of Dad's temper, and a little of Mom's too," she says with a laugh. "It's kind of in all of us, and you can see it when we all play. You don't see it in Josh that much, but when you get him going, he can snap."
But what Meagan thinks about when it comes to Josh isn't the fighting. It's the laughing.
"With four siblings, we always would get on each other's nerves," she says. "But Josh would always try to make us laugh. He's kind of a jokester. I have a really funny laugh when I get going, so he always tries to make me laugh."
With their busy schedules during their respective seasons, "you don't get to see each other as much, but we've gotten a lot closer and it's more personal," Meagan says. So she treasures this time on the road with her big brother.
"It's cool to see Josh accomplish his dreams. That's what every hockey player strives for," she says, "and he's doing it."