Everyone knows the New Jersey Devils proved they were the NHL's best last season by winning the Stanley Cup. And the Ottawa Senators proved they were the worst by hardly ever winning. But there's a lot more than that to the NHL. Here's how the Mighty Ducks see the league:
Easiest city to get frostbite waiting for a cab to go to dinner on an off-night: Edmonton; Runner-up: Winnipeg
Best ice: 1. Edmonton, 2. Winnipeg, 3. Toronto
Worst ice: 1. Anaheim, 2. The Forum (Inglewood, not Montreal). 3. The late Boston Garden in April, May or June.
Best visiting dressing room: Spacious and new United Center, Chicago
Most feared players on breakaways (by Guy Hebert): 1. Pavel Bure. 2. Sergei Fedorov 3. (Mandatory American) Jeremy Roenick.
Best amateur goalie-mask designer: Hebert
Players whose shots you think twice about going down to block (by Randy Ladouceur): 1. Al MacInnis. 2. Brett Hull. 3. Doug Wilson ("He's retired, but he used to fire the puck. He cut me through the shin pad once.")
Prime-time TV show with best Duck references: "Chicago Hope," produced by David Kelley, hockey fan and friend of General Manager Jack Ferreira.
Most important qualities in a road hotel (by Todd Ewen): 1. HBO and Spectravision, 2. Quality bed, 3. Air conditioning, "I like it about -5 [degrees]."
Best Russians on breakaways (by Mikhail Shtalenkov): 1. Pavel Bure, 2. Sergei Fedorov, 3. Alexander Mogilny
Best potential rule change: Eliminating the red line
Worst backup goalie seat (Shtalenkov): Edmonton. "The backup goalie sits where the Zamboni is. You're not just not playing, you're out of the game. You're sitting alone and fans are trying to get autographs-- during the game."
Favorite city to visit for last of a five-game trip when you're 4-0: Hartford; Runner-up: Winnipeg
Least favorite city for last of a five-game trip when you're 0-4: Detroit; Runner-up: Pittsburgh
Best of the pests (by David Karpa): Tony Granato; (by Shaun Van Allen): Esa Tikkanen
Ferreira's most admired sports executives: 1. Bobby Beathard, 2. Glen Sather, 3. Andy MacPhail
Coaches, past and present, Ron Wilson admires: 1. My dad and uncle, 2. Bob Johnson, 3. Roger Neilson
How to say, "He shoots, he scores!" in Russian (by Oleg Tverdovsky): "On brosayet, on zabevayet!"
In Swedish (by Patrik Carnback): "Han skjuter, han gor mal!"
In Czech (by Milos Holan): "On strili a dava gol."
Best portrait of the queen: Winnipeg Arena. Huge portrait of Elizabeth II over goal won't go with the team when it moves.
Best pure passers (by Paul Kariya): 1. Adam Oates, 2. Wayne Gretzky, 3. Paul Coffey
Best playmakers (by Kariya): 1. Wayne Gretzky, 2. Doug Gilmour, 3. Sergei Fedorov
Ewen ranks the NHL's best fighters: "I can't do that. It might start a fight."
Wilson, noted pacifist, ranks the NHL's best fighters: "I'd put Todd Ewen and Stu Grimson right up there. You have to say Bob Probert, if he's healthy. Marty McSorley, because he never goes down and he continues to fight year in and year out. He doesn't rest on his laurels. And you'd have to say Tie Domi."
Worst visiting dressing room: The late great Chicago Stadium. Dark, damp, crowded and roach-infested. "The first thing guys used to do when they got down there was shake out all their equipment," Ladouceur said.
Potential rule change whose momentum has fizzled: Settling ties with a shootout
Hardest-hitting forwards (by Bob Corkum): 1. Cam Neely, 2. Todd Ewen, 3. Shane Churla
Best hockey movie of all time: "Slapshot"
Best hockey book of all time: "The Game," by Ken Dryden
Best Duck golfer: Mike Sillinger; handicap: six. "Strange swing, but he gets the job done," Wilson said.
Luckiest Duck golfer: Garry Valk; won a $35,000 boat with a hole-in-one at a charity tournament in Vancouver this summer.
Best golfer, management division: Wilson; handicap: three
Worst duck golfer: Valeri Karpov; handicap: Born in Chelyabinsk
Best fans (excluding Anaheim): Chicago
Most knowledgeable fans: Montreal
Best referees: 1. Paul Stewart. 2. Don Koharski 3. Andy Van Hellemond.
Worst referee: "I take the fifth," Ewen said. "We like them all ," Ladouceur insisted.
Biggest irritant on Duck charters: Bobby Dollas; "He talks too much."
Best dressing room speeches: Ladouceur.
My Dad's role in Canadian politics simplified (by Chad Kilger): "He's like the referee of the House of Commons, keeping peace on both sides." Kilger's father, Bob, is deputy speaker of the House of Commons.
Best shopping (by Garry Valk): 1. Toronto. 2. Montreal. 3. Vancouver.
Favorite cities: 1. Chicago. 2. Boston. 3. Montreal.
Least favorite cities: 1. Hartford. 2. Winnipeg. 3. Edmonton.
Favorite road arena: Chicago Stadium (demolished, 1995). Runner-up: Boston Garden (scheduled for demolition).
Best restaurants: 1. Chez Guido's, Quebec City (no longer in NHL). 2. Joe Forte's, Vancouver. 3. Chicago Chop House, Chicago.
Toughest call for radio play-by-play man Matt McConnell: "When you get Kariya, Kilger and Krygier throwing the puck around to each other, it gets really hard."
Researched by ROBYN NORWOOD / Los Angeles Times