An idea that’s floated around Lowdown HQ for the last couple of years is which NHL players are most like players from the Mighty Ducks movie franchise. In my opinion, the original movie, The Mighty Ducks, is the greatest hockey movie ever made so this comparison has to do the franchise justice. That’s why this post has taken us an obscenely long near two years of debate over this one to get the perfect roster of NHL players who are most like players on The Mighty Ducks.
Adam Banks = Sidney Crosby
Without a doubt, Banks is the star of the Mighty Ducks. He may not be the best defensive player on the squad but no one can match his skills or offensive firepower. Similarly, Sidney Crosby, occasionally referred to as “The Next One,” has near unmatchable offensive fire power. Only Malkin and Ovechkin can match him point for point. Where Sidney sets himself apart from his Russian comrades is that he, like Banks, has as much charisma as a paper bag. The most charisma Sid has ever shown is saying “No” in an NHL on Versus commercial. Banks… I’ll get back to you on that. Maybe falling onto the stage at Eden Hall. Also, they can be whiners at times.
Charlie Conway = Jonathan Toews
Jackie helped me with this one so if you don’t like it you can blame him. I can see the comparison, though. Conway is the leader of his team. He’s not the flashiest player on the team but he provides steady scoring and is clutch with penalty shots. He can even backcheck which is a seldom used skill in the movies. Toews is the captain of the Chicago Blackhawks and regularly outshined by his offensively gifted teammate Patrick “20 Cent” Kane. Toews is also guaranteed to make the highlight reels regularly with some of the moves he busts out to get around defenders and goalies.
Fulton Reed = Zdeno Chara
These two guys are easily the biggest and scariest guys on their respective teams. Both have ridiculously fast slap shots that nobody wants to get in front of. Unlike Fulton, Chara can hit the net more than one out of five. Though, I could be wrong, I don’t see enough Bruins games to really know. Why do they each have the fastest shots on their teams? Because they’re each the biggest players on their teams. While we’re not sure how big Fulton is, we do know that Chara is about 6’9″ and towers over every other player in the league. Because of their size, they’re not the fastest or most graceful skaters you’ll ever see. Like a lot of poorer skaters, they make up for it with physical play. They’ll hit you hard with their shoulders and then they’ll hit you hard with their fists. Despite their big hits and big shots, they’re not big talkers. However, both guys are leaders of their teams.
Greg Goldberg = Vesa Toskala
I’m not sure who I feel worse for in this. It’s not a flattering comparison which ever way you look at it. But, really, how often do we ever see these guys make saves. In the whole series, we might have seen Goldberg make five saves. If you watch a Leafs game, you would know that’s about as many as Toskala will make over 60 minutes. If you recall some of the situations that Goldberg has ended up in and that 197-foot shorthanded goal that Toskala gave up, you know that both are out there mostly for comic relief. Both are starters that have been shown up by the new guy and found themselves riding the pine. In D3, we saw Goldberg out of the pads and playing defense which turned out to be a good career move for him. I can’t help but think it would be a good one for Toskala too.
Les (Dave) Averman = Max Talbot
Somehow his name got changed after the first movie. Actually, in the credits Averman’s name is Les but Bombay calls him Dave. Slightly similarly, some folks call Talbot “Max” and others call him “Maxime.” Okay, it’s not the same thing but both are better known for their comic relief rather than their on ice play. Averman and Talbot do score the occasional goal and play centre. However, Averman is better known for his comedy shtick than his stick work. Talbot might be better known for his unintentionally funny commercials for A&L Motors (superstar treatment) than playing on a Stanley Cup champion.
Connie Moreau = Martin St. Louis
It would have been easy to compare Connie to someone like Hayley Wickenheiser as a woman who is good enough to play with the men. But this is a comparison to NHL players. The best comparison for Connie would be another small player. Both her and Marty St. Louis are on the small side compared to other players on the ice but they’re a hell of a lot tougher than they look. That’s where the comparison ends really. I’d like to say Connie is as skilled offensively as St. Louis but she sure hasn’t shown it.
Guy Germaine = Sean Avery
Neither Germaine nor Avery will ever be mistaken for all-stars. That being said, they are occasionally cogs in their team’s offence. I believe the term that most talking heads would use to describe them is “secondary scoring.” However, their scoring prowess on the ice is overshadowed by their scoring prowess off the ice. Germaine hooked up (or at least tried to hook up) with fellow Duck Connie Moreau. I can’t say that Avery keeps it in the locker room but he does have a list of “sloppy seconds” a mile long.
Jesse Hall = Mikhail Grabovski
Another Jackie choice. I can see this one too. If there’s a fight to be started among teammates, Hall and Grabovski are usually going to be involved at the heart of the matter. Whether it’s fighting teammates or other players or coaches, they’re your go to guys. Hall was part of the revolt against Coach Bombay in the first movie and was anti-Banks and anti-Tyler in the first two movies. Grabovski has managed to fight two of his own teammates (Jason Blake and Francois Beauchemin) over the last two seasons and start a feud with Montreal’s Sergei Kostitsyn.
Dean Portman = Derek Boogaard
There isn’t much to either guy’s game. Portman and Boogaard are enforcers, plain and simple. Neither has a discernible skill set outside of hitting someone hard and then punching them harder. Actually, have either of them ever scored a goal?
Julie “The Cat” Gaffney = Marc-André Fleury
The most obvious comparison is that both are starters for championship-calibre teams. But when you dig down, you realise that they’re really the new kids on the block. Both are young goalies looking for some respect. Gaffney had to outwork Goldberg to get any consideration from Coaches Bombay and O’Ryan for the starting job and even then needed Goldberg to struggle for her to get the job. Fleury was handed the starting job in Pittsburgh but is getting no love from the Canadian media for the Olympic starting job. Only thanks to Cam Ward’s struggles has he gotten any consideration for the third goalie spot on Team Canada. Despite being so talented, both are overshadowed by the offensive stars on their respective teams. However, when push comes to shove, they pick up their games and carry their teams to victory.
Dwayne Robertson = Rick Nash
Robertson is the best puck handler on the Ducks. Anytime that he gets his stick on the puck, there’s a very good chance that there will be a highlight reel play upcoming. Rick Nash isn’t just the best puck handler on his team but the best in the whole league. It’s almost a given that he will make a play that features prominently on any highlight reel. Unlike Robertson, however, Nash isn’t just secondary scoring. He’s a former Rocket Richard Trophy winner as the NHL’s top goal scorer and he’s the captain of his team to boot.
Russ Tyler = Rob Davison
The knuckle puck isn’t actually physically possible but players have had some tricky shots go in the take. Take Davison whose claim to fame is a 197 foot shorthanded goal that bounced down the ice and past Vesa Toskala. That’s about as close as we’ll get to a real knuckle puck in NHL play. Also, both guys aren’t even close to first line players. Davison spends his time either in the AHL or in an NHL press box while Tyler is riding the pine when the game is on the line (unless the knuckle puck is required).
Luis Mendoza = Andrew Cogliano
Mendoza is the fastest player every time he touches the ice. He has occasional stopping problems though they are increasingly intermittent. Cogliano is considered among the fastest, if not the fastest player in the NHL. He doesn’t have stopping issues but like Mendoza, he suffers from bouts of inconsistency. If they find some consistency, they could be stars. For now, they’re generally after-thoughts on their teams.
Ken Wu = Paul Kariya
Another Jackie selection. Paul Kariya is his favourite player which might say what he thinks about Wu. He may have hinted that it had something to do with the “Asianness” (as Jackie would put it). Kariya and Wu are the only Asian players in the leagues they’re in. They’re also finesse players that rely more on skill than brute force to be effective. They’re also fairly brittle players. Wu can barely move after any hit and Kariya is very injury prone though that is largely thanks to that Scott Stevens related injury.
Peter Mark = Ray Emery
Mark was only in the first Mighty Ducks movie. He might be best known for leading the locker room revolt and being flipped upside-down by Lewis the limo driver. It’s easiest to describe him as a little shit disturber. Ray Emery has a reputation for being a bit of a locker room cancer and a shit disturber. If a character in any movie had a real-life counterpart, it’s Mark and Emery.
Dave Karp = Todd Fedoruk
Karp was only in the first movie so I don’t have a lot to base this comparison on. Even in that movie, we didn’t see a lot of Karp. He’s probably best remembered for getting hit in the head with a slap shot and getting the first ever Disney movie concussion. I don’t know remember how good Fedoruk is at getting hit by pucks, but he does have a history of getting hit in the head. He had his orbital bone shattered in a fight by Derek Boogaard and was knocked out by Colton Orr. Also, both Karp and Fedoruk can best be described as warm bodies just there to fill out a lineup.
Terry Hall = Rob Niedermayer
Hall was one of the original D-5 players but I’m pretty sure he didn’t even have a line in the first movie. The star Hall brother was Jesse. Terry was sort of a warm body on the last line that was well overshadowed by his brother. Rob Niedermayer is a decent player. He’s more of a defensive forward than offensive star. His brother Scott is a near Hall of Fame defenseman. Rob might play better defense but Scott is the faster and more offensively gifted player and will always outshine Rob. Speaking of Rob, did he retire? Anyone know where he is?
Tammy Duncan = Claude Lemieux
The Duncan siblings were bit players in the first movies. Hell, if I didn’t tell you that they were the figure skaters, you might not remember them. Fortunately, the CBC started a new reality show last season called Battle of the Blades (though I prefer to call it Skating with the Stars). The surprise sensation of the series was noted thug and the dirtiest player in the game Claude Lemieux, who finished second in the competition. Like Lemieux, Tammy also had a bit of a temper and came up with a big play in the big game. That and as a Red Wings fan, I like having the opportunity to compare Claude to a figure skater.
Tommy Duncan = Tie Domi
Tommy was the smaller of the two Duncan siblings. Tie is smaller of the two recast Duncan siblings. They’re also both more successful as figure skaters than hockey players. Like Lemieux, Domi was also a participant on CBC’s Battle of the Blades but went out long before the finish. So Tie’s time in figure skating was like his hockey seasons – shorter than most everyone else’s. That and as someone who has never cared for Tie Domi, I like having the opportunity to compate him to a figure skater.