Anaheim's Ducks decide to drop 'Mighty' from name
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Come next fall, the Ducks won't be Mighty anymore.
The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim announced they will officially change their name to the Anaheim Ducks at the start of the 2006-07 season. The NHL team also said it is evaluating possible changes to its logo and uniforms.
"The process is still very much underway, and we do not expect to be ready to make any further announcements until the end of the season," owner Henry Samueli said in a statement issued by the team Friday.
Samueli and his wife, Susan, purchased the team from the Walt Disney Company last year and said at that time they would consider making changes, including the team name. Input from season ticket-holders was involved in the decision.
"In selecting the name the Anaheim Ducks, we are respecting the heritage of a tremendous organization that has been a very important and visible part of the community, not to mention Western Conference champions and a Stanley Cup finalist," he said.
The Ducks reached the Stanley Cup finals in 2003 before losing to the New Jersey Devils in seven games. Anaheim was considered a long shot in those playoffs, beginning every series on the road. It was only the third time the team qualified for the postseason.
The Mighty Ducks were formed as an expansion franchise in 1993, and named by then-Disney chairman Michael Eisner after the company's movie of the same name.
"The Mighty Ducks' organization very carefully considered the question of whether to change the team name, and spent many months evaluating various options," said David Paine, the CEO of PainePR, a public relations firm that coordinated the research effort for the Samuelis.
"The process included both qualitative research and a formal quantitative telephone survey of Mighty Ducks season ticket holders," Paine said. "While there was support for keeping the current name, the majority of those surveyed, nearly two-thirds, supported some sort of name change."
Ducks right wing Teemu Selanne said he's glad the team's name wasn't changed completely.
"I'm very happy they kept the 'Ducks' because it's the original name," he said. "Taking the 'Mighty' away makes it more of a business. I think it's fine. With the new owners, I think they wanted a new identity.
"I think everybody's talking about it. I think the guys are happy about it."
Selanne ranks second in franchise history in points, goals and assists. He has a team-leading 22 goals and 45 points this season, helping the Ducks to a 22-17-10 record and 54 points.
The name change was first reported in Friday's editions of the Los Angeles Times and Orange County Register.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
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