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Rickard Rakell is one Duck who knows how to paddle

Rickard Rakell is one Duck who knows how to paddle

Ask Rickard Rakell about one of his favorite players growing up and his eyes will get wide, the admiration evident in his voice.

Rakell remembers seeing the player's skill and intense desire as a kid in Sweden and how it influenced his hockey career, now in full bloom with the Ducks. But he's not referring to Peter Forsberg or Nicklas Lidstrom or any other famous Swedish hockey player.

It's his late grandfather, Ake, whose table tennis career was highlighted by a bronze medal in men's doubles in the 1959 world championships. Some of Rakell's best boyhood memories are playing against his grandfather, who could still bring it late in life.

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