Can an NHL franchise named after a Disney movie pose as a rival for the Seattle Kraken? Yes, the Anaheim Ducks were originally tied to the movie, but they dropped the ‘Mighty,’ won a Stanley Cup, and in October will become a Pacific Division rival of the Seattle Kraken.
How big of a rival can they become?
As we discussed when we got to know the Sharks last week, the heat index of a rivalry usually rises after an intense playoff series, but the Ducks and Kraken will get to know each other well playing in the same division.
While there has been some Seattle-Los Angeles heat in sports before, Anaheim has not been much of a thought to Seattle other than a spring break vacation locale for families with kids. The Ducks have some youth in their system and will be up-and-comers in the Pacific sooner rather than later.
That alone will be annoying, which could a rivalry make.
Let’s get to know the Anaheim Ducks
Nickname history: Original team name was The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, based on the 1992 film The Mighty Ducks. The team’s original owners were the Walt Disney Company, who were also the producers of the film. In 2006, and with new ownership, the nickname was shortened to ‘Ducks.’
First season in NHL: 1993-1994 (33-46-5 record)
AHL affiliate: San Diego Gulls
ECHL affiliate: Tulsa Oilers
Stanley Cup Final appearances: 2003 (Lost to New Jersey Devils 4 games to 3), 2007 (Beat the Ottawa Senators 4 games to 1)
Presidents’ Trophies: none
Division titles: Six
All-time leading scorer: Teemu Selanne (988 points)
All-time leader in goals: Teemu Selanne (457)
All-time leader in assists: Ryan Getzlaf (703)
2020-2021 record: 17-30-9 (8th in West Division)
2020-2021 leading scorer: Maxime Comtois (16 goals, 17 assists, 33 points in 55 games)
Cap Space: Zero
Highest-paid player: Cam Fowler, D, $6.5 million through 2025-2026
Players with no-move clauses: None
Top Prospect: Trevor Zegras
Potential Expansion Draft exposures: Kevin Shattenkirk, Josh Manson, Josh Mahura
Chance of becoming heated Kraken rival: Fair