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2007 Cup still special to Jean-Sebastien Giguere

Ducks goalie will be part of 10th anniversary celebration of championship

by Lisa Dillman @reallisa / Staff Writer

Dad was a doctor. Son wants to become a doctor.


Dad was a goaltender. Son wants to be a goaltender.

OK … hold that thought.

Jean-Sebastien Giguere, veteran of 597 NHL regular-season games, was talking about his three young sons and the seemingly inevitable family footprint. Not only is his oldest, 9-year-old Maxime, playing goal, but the two younger ones want to play follow the leader.

"I think I had the influence on my oldest," Giguere said in a phone interview from Montreal. "I'm not surprised. The oldest is influencing the other two.

"I don't know if I want my kids to be goalies. Even at 9 years old, you hear people blaming the goalie. What are you guys talking about? It's a good learning experience for him."

Giguere certainly would know, having played 16 NHL seasons, including a Stanley Cup championship with the Anaheim Ducks in 2007. He finished his career with the Colorado Avalanche in 2013-14 and took a memorable lap at Honda Center with a former teammate, Ducks forward Teemu Selanne, on April 13, 2014, in what was the final regular-season game for each.

Giguere, who will turn 40 on May 16, may have retired from the NHL but hardly is retired from the workforce. He is a studio analyst with TVA Sports in Montreal and is a youth hockey coach, getting to work with his children.

"This is the one thing I can really give to my kids," he said. "The one thing I was good at, the one thing I can teach them. It's been a blast."

This weekend, the best of his NHL past will come to the forefront again. The band is getting back together at Honda Center.

Giguere is scheduled to be part of the ceremony to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Ducks' Stanley Cup championship before their game against the Washington Capitals on Sunday (9:30 p.m. ET; NHLN, PRIME, CSN-DC, NHL.TV). They were the first team from California to win the Cup, and the gathering is the first time the players have reunited as a group, according to the Ducks.

"When you win something like that with a bunch of guys, everybody says when you see them again it's like you've never left each other," Giguere said.

The Ducks were coming off a 98-point season in 2005-06, so expectations were high for 2006-07. They went 48-20-14 (110 points) during the regular season, and defensemen Scott Niedermayer and Chris Pronger were Norris Trophy finalists. Giguere was 36-10-8, and his 2.26 goals-against average, fifth-best in the League, was his lowest since the 2001-02 season.

He remembers they had a feeling in training camp that it might be a special season.

 "You can feel that and still not win," Giguere said. "It can still be a special year and you don't go all the way. You can have a really good season. We had one goal and it was the Stanley Cup. From the beginning, that's all we talked about."

They eliminated the Minnesota Wild, Vancouver Canucks and Detroit Red Wings to reach the Final, then defeated the Ottawa Senators in five games. The Ducks clinched the Cup in front of their own fans, winning 6-2 in Game 5.

"Honestly, it was the hardest game I ever played in my life," Giguere said. "It was very stressful. You didn't want to have to go back to Ottawa and play there and try to win that game. At the same time, the guys in front of me played so well. It was just amazing.

"The last 10 minutes, being up 6-2, it gave you the chance to really enjoy the moment, breathe in the crowd, knowing you were going to win. … It was relief for me because I was dead tired."

There was so much more going on behind the scenes. Giguere's son Maxime was born in April 2007, shortly before the playoffs, and required eye surgery. Giguere returned to action near the end of the first-round series against Minnesota, and among the most endearing photos after the Cup-clinching game was of Giguere cradling his infant son in his arms and another of Maxime in the Stanley Cup.

"My oldest wants to watch it [the DVD] every time he has a friend over," Giguere said. "He likes to show off. He's in the video too. Time flies though. I can't believe he is almost 10."

Maxime is blind in his right eye but Giguere said he is managing to be "a pretty good little goalie."

"[Blindness] doesn't stop him," Giguere said. "He won't let that get in the way. He's got big dreams."

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