It has been a long time since hockey has been played at the Honda Center, but on Friday night, the Ducks will finally be seen again on the local ice. After winning two games on the road to open the season, Anaheim comes home to face Vancouver for the seond time.
The game is already sold out, disproving the theory that disgruntled fans won't show up. Then again, there are plenty of temptations to draw them in.
Everyone in attendance will receive a commemorative Teemu Selanne t-shirt. There will be other giveaways throughout the evening, including a motorcycle and a "Jersey off the Back" presentation to lucky fans to conclude the evening. Usually this is reserved for Fan Appreciation Night on the last game of the year, but Anaheim has wisely chosen to appreciate fans coming back to the arena after the lockout.
As in prior years, there will be a red carpet event to introduce the players. Fans are able to arrive at 3:00 pm with players arriving at 4:00 pm. There will be a photo booth and the Miller Lite lounge open until 6:45.
Even though the game does not begin until 7:00 pm, fans are encouraged to be in their seats by 6:45 pm for all the pre-game introductions and brouhaha.
The Ducks will also be selling the first of four surprise pucks this season. They are available outside section 212 once the doors open at 5:30pm. Pucks costs $30 each and proceeds benefit the Anaheim Ducks Foundation. If you receive an autographed orange puck, you get to meet the player who autographed your puck at an upcoming practice.
Due to the compressed season, this "Meet the Duck" session will be combined with the winners of last year's surprise pucks who won on Fan Appreciation Night.
“It’s great to be back," said Corey Perry. "We have passionate fans here in Anaheim. Hopefully we can put on a good show. Any time you can play in front of your home fans – passionate and cheering fans – it’s definitely a big emotional boost for the team and we just feed off of that energy.”
What the Ducks have to remember is that it isn't about the pre-game ceremonies that matter, it is what they do on the ice that counts.