POLL: The Devine Number Nine

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

By Phil Wunderlich

Paul Kariya is one of the most recognizable Duck players ever along with Teemu Selanne. Kariya and Selanne were the original “Dynamic Duo” and together played extremely well on the Mighty Ducks.

Kariya was drafted by Anaheim in 1993 after the expansion draft. Kariya set many records on the team, some which were broken by Selanne. Kariya recorded 669 total points (300 goals + 369 assists) in nine total seasons with the Ducks. Kariya served as the captain of the team for a total of 7 years. He also received many awards such as the Lady Byng in 1996 and 97. He was also chosen for the NHL All-Star Team five times as a member of the Ducks. He also won a gold medal with Team Canada in the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Kariya, however, was riddled with concussions and it ultimately shortened his career. He also left the Ducks to the surprise of many after helping the team come within one game of winning the Stanley Cup in 2003. Kariya went on to play with Colorado, Nashville, and St. Louis before retiring from the NHL after the 2009-10 season.

When Selanne’s number got raised last season Paul Kariya was featured on the video montage that was created for that spectacular night and received an uproar of praise and appreciation. Kariya had one heck of a career and his name has been brought up many times for the Hall of Fame and his number to be raised into the rafters next to the “Unbelievable” Teemu Selanne.

But we want to know how you feel. Do you feel his number should be raised?

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3 thoughts on “POLL: The Devine Number Nine

  1. Paul Kariya was an overachiever on many fronts. His small size was never a handicap for him. His shifty moves and laser shot did not deter him from using his presence to fool goalies and then dish off to the open man…Often Teemu.

    However, as I see the results of the poll, it only make me think that fans have a short memory. Or they never met, nor got that close to Kariya in his heyday when stories circulated, and rumours spread like wildfire about his his disrespect for MD fans on many an off ice/in person experience

    IMHO, because Paul did not get to see how all encompassing the Canadien fans, Chicago fans or many of the East coast Hockey Hotbed towns are like, he took the mild mannered O.C. fans as his proletariat. Consequently, to many an adoring fan, Kariya came off as standoffish. So much so, that several fans I have spoken with recall times that Paul was so downright offensive in the way that he treated them, that no matter how good he was, they tagged him with being a disrespectful/ungrateful spoiled child.

    In addition, because he was getting paid top dollar back then, his off ice attitude was showcased in the media which created a reputation hindered him from becoming an instant long term fan favorite.

    Personally, I never met, him nor saw him off the ice. So for me, because of his hard work ethic, stand up team play and performance under pressure, rank among the elite NHLers of that time, and very deserving of historical significance in Mighty/Mighty Ducks lore and should be immortalized with a number 9 in the rafters.

    Unfortunately, any permanent tribute to Kariya at Honda Center will act as a conversation piece for many people to recant those ugly stories of his poor PR skills.

    If I may, I can relate to similar stories of Rock Stars I have met who completely obliterated my idolistic vision of them once I met them and they practically laughed at me for being so bemused by their presence.

    Lastly, I would like to say that I decided to take these “celebrity put offs” as a lesson…See the glass half full and say to myself…”These celebrities put their pants on one leg at a time, just like me. Reach for the stars. Make your own dreams come true, just like they did. And then do it your way”

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  2. In my opinion, he was always overrated and over paid. He was standoffish, rude, and in no way fan friendly. But what REALLY showed his true character, was his decision to sign with the Colorado Avalanche, after the 2003 Stanley Cup run, for $1.2 million, instead of staying with the Ducks, who had paid him $10 million for the 02-03 season. I was not unhappy to see him go, but what a slap in the face to the organization, and to those fans that supported you for the previous seven years.

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  3. It breaks my heart to hear that people had bad experiences meeting him. I met him when I was little at an event and he was leaving to go to practice but I saw him and yelled his name and he stopped to talk to me for awhile took pics with me and autographed my hat, even with security trying to get him to leave he wouldn’t, I am sorry to hear that others didn’t have the same but I can only go off of mine. He will always be my favorite player.

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