The Starting Six series comes to you to dive into the best player at each position all-time for every organization. The biggest and best at each position, with the most memorable moments in franchise history. Here is the Anaheim Ducks all-time lineup.
Starting Six: Anaheim Ducks All-Time Lineup
In the 24-year history of the Anaheim Ducks, the franchise has seen a considerable degree of success. Having made the postseason on 12 different occasions in that time frame, Anaheim has made it to the Stanley Cup Finals twice – bringing Lord Stanley’s Cup to Southern California once, in 2007. When it comes to deciding the six players who assemble the Anaheim Ducks all-time lineup, the core players of the championship team must be considered.
Centre: Ryan Getzlaf (2003-present)
Since breaking into the league in 2005-06, Getzlaf has been an absolute force for the Ducks as a physically imposing, and dangerous offensive producer. Getzlaf ranks ninth in league scoring since his rookie season with 814 points, establishing himself as a premier player in the league.
In addition to his regular season heroics, Getzlaf checks in at just under a point-per-game in the postseason with 118 points in 121 games. Getzlaf was a vital part of his teams sole Stanley Cup victory in his sophomore season, tallying 17 points to lead the Ducks.
Known as a match-up darling due to his size and physical attributes, Getzlaf has long been recognized as a player that has had a reputation as an onerous opponent. This makes him a lock as a member of the Anaheim Ducks all-time lineup.
Left Wing: Paul Kariya (1993-2003)
One of two Ducks on this list to have been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2017, Paul Kariya was one of the most explosive players in the NHL in the last quarter-century.
Kariya was the teams very first selection in their inaugural draft in 1993. He broke into the league in the following season, and reached the 50-goal plateau in just his second season in the league.
During his ten seasons in Anaheim, Kariya received three nods for NHL First Team All-Star, and accumulated 669 points in just 606 games. The speedster was a part of the Ducks first Stanley Cup appearance, when they lost in seven games to the New Jersey Devils.
Right Wing: Teemu Selänne (1995-2001, 2005-2014)
The undisputed ‘Greatest Duck of All-Time’ is the Finnish Flash, Teemu Selänne. Also a freshly inducted member of the Hockey Hall of Fame – Selänne is the all-time points leader for Anaheim due to two separate, and remarkable, stints with the team.
Selänne would enjoy his first tenure with the Ducks alongside Paul Kariya, putting together three seasons of 47-or-more goals. Selänne left the Ducks in 2001 for San Jose, shortly before Anaheim reached the Cup Final for the first time.
With Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry having developed into stars, Selänne returned to Anaheim in hopes of winning his first Cup. He did exactly that, raising the Cup in his 14th season in the league. When thinking of who might be on the Anaheim Ducks all-time lineup, it begins with Teemu.
Defenseman: Scott Niedermayer (2005-2010)
After being an integral piece of the New Jersey Devils and their three Cups, Scott Niedermayer joined the Ducks in 2005. He had the hopes of leading them to the franchises first Stanley Cup – just two years removed from the 2003 Cup Finals, which saw Niedermayer and New Jersey oust Anaheim in seven games.
Niedermayer was named captain immediately upon signing with the Ducks, given the leadership role to mentor players such as Getzlaf and Perry. He compiled 132 points in 161 games in his first two years with the team, reaching the Stanley Cup Final in the latter season.
Niedermayer would win his fourth Cup in 2007, guiding the Ducks to their first in team history. With 11 points in 21 games, and a sterling display of defensive ability – Niedermayer was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy in the 2007 Cup Finals. His play still stands as one of the most memorable performances in franchise history.
Defenseman: Chris Pronger (2006-2009)
Despite Pronger’s relatively short tenure with the Ducks, he was bound for the Hockey Hall of Fame even before he donned the bronze, orange, and black. After reaching the Cup Finals with Edmonton, Pronger was brought in to complement fellow Canadian Olympian Scott Niedermayer on the Ducks blueline.
Niedermayer was more of the stoic, systematic defenseman while Pronger was the physical specimen that possessed a laser-esque slap shot. The two combined to create one of the more formidable defense pairs in NHL history.
Pronger played a vital role in the Ducks Cup-winning season, averaging over 30 minutes a game alongside Niedermayer. Pronger also added 15 points, which was good for second among all defensemen in post-season scoring.
Goaltender: Jean-Sébastien Giguère (2000-2010)
Jean-Sebastien Giguère was largely responsible for Anaheim’s cinderella run to the 2003 Stanley Cup Finals. Giguère posted otherworldly numbers for the Ducks, with a 1.62 goals-against-average and .945 save percentage through 21 games.
Giguère was rewarded with the Conn Smythe Trophy despite the losing effort, becoming just the fifth player on a Finals runner-up to receive the honour. Giguère would seize redemption when he hoisted the Cup in 2007, surrounded by a much stronger supporting cast.
Giguère holds many franchise records for Anaheim; including games played, wins, and shutouts. He was the man in net for the biggest moment in team history, and rightfully so – especially after coming so close with a considerably weaker roster against the quasi-dynasty New Jersey Devils.
Five of these six players were all members of the only Stanley Cup-winning season in team history, which could not be more fitting when deciding the Anaheim Ducks all-time lineup.