CAPTION 1ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) – Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and more than 15,000 fans celebrated the Anaheim Ducks’ Stanley Cup title Saturday night.
Some fans who jammed the south parking lot of the Honda Center brought homemade replicas of the cup, and some bought souvenir game pucks in Stanley Cup-shaped cases.
The Ducks won the NHL title with a 6-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night, ending the series in five games in front of their home fans.
Schwarzenegger told the crowd that he had spoken with Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Ottawa after the Ducks lost Game 3 and warned him that, “We’ll be back.”
“Then, when it came to the last game, it was, ‘Hasta la vista, baby!”‘ Schwarzenegger said.
Ducks players arrived in a black double-decker bus, escorted by an honour guard of motorcycle police and fire engines.
The cup was flown in by helicopter to the strains of Richard Wagner’s “Flight of the Valkyries.”
Once the helicopter landed, Ducks captain Scott Niedermayer took the cup and gave it to his teammates, who passed it around as they walked to a red-carpeted stage while being showered with confetti.
“Anybody who has won individual honours would trade them for the Stanley Cup,” said defenceman Chris Pronger, who won the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player and the Norris Trophy as its best defenceman in 2000.
Teemu Selanne received the loudest cheers. Selanne, in his second stint with the Ducks, played on his first Stanley Cup champion after 13 seasons – and, at 36, he’s not sure if he’ll play last season.
Amid chants of “One more year!” Selanne declined to state whether he would retire.
“If I were Arnold, I would say ‘I’ll be back,”‘ Selanne said. “I’ve always dreamed about retiring on top, but the last two years here have been the best of my life.”