Saturday, April 5, 2014

Anaheim Ducks Clinch Playoffs


On April 4, 1997, the Anaheim Ducks clinch their first-ever playoff berth.
The Anaheim Ducks are a professional ice hockey team based in Anaheim, California, United States. They are members of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). Since their inception, the Ducks have played their home games at the Honda Center.
Teemu Selanne of the Anaheim Ducks.
The club was founded in 1993 by The Walt Disney Company as the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, a name based on the 1992 film The Mighty Ducks. Disney sold the franchise in 2005 to Henry and Susan Samueli, who along with GM Brian Burke changed the name of the team to the Anaheim Ducks before the 2006–07 season. In their 20-year existence, the Ducks have made the playoffs eight times, winning one Pacific Division title (2007), two Western Conference Championships (2003 and 2007), and one Stanley Cup Championship (2007).
The official mascot for the Anaheim Ducks is an anthropomorphized duck by the name of Wild Wing. He has been the team's mascot since its inaugural season, and his name was chosen through fan voting. He wears a Ducks jersey with the number 93 on the back; referring to the year the Ducks became an NHL team.

He regularly descends from the rafters of the arena when making his in-game entrances. In one such descent the rigging that lowered Wild Wing from the rafters malfunctioned leaving the mascot trapped fifty feet above the ice for several minutes. Another well-known blunder occurred in October 1995 when Wild Wing, attempting to jump through a "wall of fire", accidentally tripped causing the mascot to land on the fire and set his costume ablaze.

His physical appearance is similar to the duck mask in the original Mighty Ducks logo. A bronze statue of Wild Wing is also located outside the team's arena (located at the West side of the South Doors), Honda Center.

The mascot's name was also used for the leader of the Ducks, Wildwing Flashblade; in Disney's Mighty Ducks cartoon series.

During the same time in which the team announced a name change as well as change in jersey designs, there was an attempt by the team's owners to change or replace the mascot, Wild Wing, but was halted after a highly successful petition by fans.

The Mighty Ducks also used a secondary "mascot," a person (with no particular costume) called "The Iceman," during the team's first game in 1993. "The Iceman" appeared occasionally in the stands, played an electric guitar, and attempted to liven up the crowd. However, "The Iceman" was poorly received by fans and was quickly eliminated.