Left wing Troy Loney, who won two Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins, has been named the first captain of the Mighty Ducks.
“I think it’s a great honor--but it kind of came out of the blue on me,” said Loney, whom Coach Ron Wilson chose to wear the captain’s “C.”
Wilson named defenseman Randy Ladouceur, left wing Stu Grimson and right wing Todd Ewen as assistant captains.
“That’s probably been our most difficult decision as a management team, with all the veteran leaders we have on the ice and off the ice,” Wilson said. “I could easily have named any of the other three.”
It will be Loney’s job to lead the Ducks on the ice and off, to argue their cases with referees, and to help them get over the humps of an expansion season.
He laughs that on the ice he is not in the class of such team captains as Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky: Who is? But he should be a classic model for an expansion team--a thoughtful player off the ice, and a workmanlike one on it who isn’t rash but doesn’t back down.
“I’m just going to go out on the ice and do what I’m supposed to do. We’re going to try our hardest,” he said.
Loney already is a respected player in the dressing room, and will probably be his teammates’ choice as their representative to the NHL Players’ Assn.
The E-word (expansion) has been banned by the Ducks in a lighthearted attempt to keep the team positive during its first season.
Violations can be costly, as radio play-by-play announcer Matt McConnell found after using the E-word while emceeing an Anaheim Chamber of Commerce luncheon for the team Wednesday.
“Matt was fined,” General Manager Jack Ferreira said. “He’ll be fined $25 for using the E-word.”
Ladouceur made the verbal-dexterity play of the day, though, while being interviewed on stage about Duck right wing Terry Yake, his former teammate in Hartford.
“Terry called me after we got picked in the . . . new draft,” Ladouceur said, eliciting a big laugh from the crowd of more than 400.
“We’ve got the E-word police here,” Ladouceur said.
The Ducks caught a break days before their NHL debut against the Red Wings Friday at Anaheim Arena. Detroit goaltender Tim Chevaldae sustained a knee injury in Tuesday’s loss to the Dallas Stars, and is expected to miss two to four weeks. Either Vince Riendeau or Peter Ing will start. . . . The Duck injury list for the opener includes defenseman Bobby Dollas, who has a sprained left thumb and is not expected to play Friday. . . . The Ducks continue to count down toward their debut with a Disneyland appearance in the Main Street parade at 2:30 today.