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Ducks honor 2007 Stanley Cup team

Hold ceremony prior to game against Capitals to remember championship

by Lisa Dillman @RealLisa / NHL.com Staff Writer

ANAHEIM -- Chris Pronger cut right to it, naturally.

He looked around at his former Anaheim Ducks teammates, some of whom he had not seen since the Ducks won the Stanley Cup in 2007. On Sunday, the Ducks honored that championship team with a ceremony a couple of hours before they played the Washington Capitals at Honda Center.

Pronger, a Hall of Fame defenseman, appeared like he could fit right in with the current Ducks. He noted the general fitness level of the 2007 team has stayed high.

"To be honest with you, all of them look pretty good," he said later. "We don't have too many guys that put on the freshman 100.

"Everybody looks fit. A testament to [coach] Randy [Carlyle] and his professionalism and riding us about our weight and our training and all that stuff."

 

[RELATED: 2007 Cup still special to Jean-Sebastien Giguere]

 

A few days ago, goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere, of that winning team, predicted that it wouldn't take long for the Ducks to pick up from where they left off. Old habits never really fade away.

That's precisely what unfolded.

There was Pronger, the sarcastic cut up, joking about Carlyle's "tough love." The engagingly earnest Scott Niedermayer, who looked like he could be teaching history on a leafy college campus. The infectious good humor of Teemu Selanne.

Video: WSH@ANA: 2007 Ducks captains drop ceremonial puck

And of course, larger-than-life Brian Burke, the president of hockey operations for the Calgary Flames who was general manager when the Ducks won the Stanley Cup. He bantered with Selanne and when he had the chance with the microphone, took note of Selanne's garish-looking shirt in the 2007 video shown on the video board.

"Where did you get that shirt?" Burke asked.

 Selanne: "My shirt was free!"

Then Selanne teased Burke about his tie.

The tribute weekend was the time to catch up, trade old stories and new ones, and tease each other.

In other words, your basic 10-year class reunion with a pretty decent turnout. Only with guys wearing Stanley Cup rings.

Even Ducks owner Henry Samueli got into the spirit of things near the end of the ceremony, making one request of the 2007 team, asking if they could rub shoulders with the current team so some of "that fairy dust" would rub off on them.

Five members of the 2007 team are still playing in the NHL: defenseman Francois Beauchemin with the Colorado Avalanche, forward Shawn Thornton of the Florida Panthers, forward Chris Kunitz with the Pittsburgh Penguins, and Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf with the Ducks. Beauchemin, Thornton and Kunitz sent video messages shown on the video board at Honda Center.

One of the better stories during the ceremony came from Travis Moen, who owned up to oversleeping on game day and missed the team bus. His teammates creatively covered for him until he arrived.

All of the old stories had that present-day-type feel.

"You get a best friend from grade school or high school," Pronger said. "Every time you get together with him, you just pick up from where you left off. It's like you haven't missed a beat.

"It certainly doesn't feel like 10 [years]."

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