13 Anaheim Mighty Ducks

October 03, 1999

When Teemu Selanne arrived at training camp in early September,
he looked around and saw something he hadn't seen in four
seasons with the Mighty Ducks: help. Over the past two years
Selanne and fellow wing Paul Kariya had been the most successful
one-two scoring punch in the NHL, but their good work had been
negated by a sputtering defense and lack of a second scoring
line, and Anaheim hadn't advanced past the second round of the
playoffs. As Selanne looked around the dressing room, his eyes
widened when he saw some of the new Ducks: offensive-minded
defenseman Oleg Tverdovsky, who ran the Coyotes' power play last
season; veteran forward Ted Donato from the Senators; and a cast
of young players who appear ready to help right away. "That
first practice, it was like a new team out there," says Selanne,
who led the NHL with 47 goals last season. "You could almost
feel things were starting to come together. We've been trying to
raise our level of play for a couple years, but now we have the
guys to do it."

Anaheim management, which had drawn criticism for not providing
Selanne and Kariya with a solid supporting cast, has been
working to turn things around since Pierre Gauthier became
general manager a year ago. Last season the Ducks picked up
defensemen Fredrik Olausson and Pascal Trepanier and acquired
center Marty McInnis for a fourth-round draft pick. Anaheim
continued to upgrade in the off-season by trading its
first-round pick for Tverdovsky and acquiring Donato for goalie
Patrick Lalime and the rights to defenseman Anti-Jussi Niemi.
Their presence, along with that of goalie Guy Hebert, who is
coming off a career-best year in which he won 31 games, had six
shutouts and gave up 2.42 goals per game, should help the Ducks
improve on last season's sixth-place finish in the Western
Conference.

Selanne and Kariya, who signed a three-year, $30 million deal in
June, talked on the phone several times this summer, discussing
Anaheim's prospects for becoming more than a two-man team. After
the Ducks completed what Selanne calls their best training camp
since he came to Anaheim in 1996, he thinks this could be the
year. "We lost to Detroit in the first round of the playoffs
last year, and it was so frustrating because we had no tools,"
he says. "I think that's going to be different this year. We
have a lot of new guys who are hungry and capable of taking us
to a higher level."

--B.J. Schecter

FAST FACT
Over the last three seasons only Pittsburgh's Jaromir Jagr has
averaged more points per game (1.47) than Anaheim's Teemu
Selanne (1.336) and Paul Kariya (1.335). Those three were the
only NHL players to reach the 100-point mark last season.

INSIDER

CATEGORY SI RANKING SKINNY

OFFENSE 10 Speedsters Kariya and Selanne joined by
Tverdovsky
DEFENSE 10 Newcomers Havelid, Vishnevski should help
unit
GOALTENDING 16 Hebert coming off best season statistically
(2.42 GAA)
SPECIAL TEAMS 6 Top power play in NHL; penalty killing a
strength, too
COACHING 16 Hartsburg has solid system and will turn
stars loose

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)