The Anaheim Ducks entered the offseason with much speculation regarding the possible retirement of two mainstays in Anaheim: Scott Niedermayer and Teemu Selanne. On Tuesday, June 22, 2010, captain Scott Niedermayer announced his retirement from professional hockey while it was reported that Selanne will stay as long as the Ducks don't go into a "rebuilding" season.
On July 1, the Ducks re-signed center Saku Koivu to a 2-year deal and signed defenseman Toni Lydman to a 3-year deal. The Ducks later signed Andy Sutton to a 2-year deal, and on August 9, Teemu Selanne signed a 1-year deal to continue his playing career.
During training camp, the Ducks signed defenseman Paul Mara to a 1-year deal, and after a few games into the season, the Ducks signed another defenseman, veteran Andreas Lilja to a 1-year deal.
Forward Ryan Getzlaf is named team captain, following Scott Niedermayer's retirement.
See the game log below for detailed game-by-game regular season information.
The season for the Ducks began Friday, October 8 with a road game against Detroit. Their first home game was Wednesday, October 13 against Vancouver. Their longest homestand was from February 23-March 9 (7 home games), and their longest road trip was December 15–28 (7 road games). Their final game of the regular season was on Saturday, April 9 against Los Angeles.
After much talk about having a good start, the Ducks had one of their worst starts in franchise history losing their first three games and going 4–7–1 in the month of October. Their first three games were one the road in Detroit, Nashville, and St. Louis, were outscored 13–2 and were shut out by Detroit in the first game of the season. Returning home, the Ducks rebounded a little bit after the horrendous first three games by beating the eventual President's Trophy winner Vancouver Canucks 4–3. They proceeded to lose the next game in a shootout to the Minnesota Wild and beat division rival Phoenix to close out the three game home stand. The Ducks would then go 1–1 in the first two games of a four game road trip and they were able to seize a playoff spot despite the 0–3 start to the season. They did, however, lose the next game to Detroit 5–4 to knock them out of the top eight and even though they won the final game of the road trip, they wouldn't return to the top eight until November 9. On the road trip, the Ducks went 2–2. When the Ducks returned to Honda Center on the 29th, they faced the team that beat them in the Stanley Cup Final in 2003: the New Jersey Devils. The Devils edged the Ducks 2–1 and to round out what was a disappointing month, Anaheim lost to arch-rival San Jose on the 30th.
The beginning of the month of November couldn't have been any more different from the beginning of the month of October for the Ducks. They went 6–0 in their first 6 games with five of those six games being played in Anaheim at Honda Center. Interestingly enough, five of those six games were one goal games with two going to overtime. On November 9, the Ducks took hold of a playoff berth with an overtime win over arch-rival San Jose at HP Pavilion and rounded out the six-game winning streak with a 4–2 victory over division rival Dallas at Honda Center. While the month started out very well for Anaheim, inconsistency struck the Ducks and they lost six games in a row, only collecting two points from November 14 through November 26 thanks to two overtime losses at Chicago and at Minnesota. This slide cost the Ducks a playoff spot for the time being. Anaheim finished off the month with a win over Phoenix at Jobing.com Arena and a win over cross-town rival Los Angeles in front of a sold-out crowd at Honda Center. While the Ducks' 8–4–2 record was markedly better than their record in the month of October, inconsistency still plagued the team.
December proved to be an incredibly challenging month for Anaheim thanks to the longest road trip of the season (7 games). They started out by beating the Florida Panthers, but promptly losing the next two games to Detroit and Phoenix on December 3 and December 5 respectively. After those three games, the Ducks only had two games at Honda Center from December 7 through December 28 and they started this stretch of time well by beating the Edmonton Oilers in a shootout at Rexall Place and taking a point from the Vancouver Canucks by virtue of a shootout loss at Rogers Arena. With the victory over the Oilers, the Ducks moved above the .500 mark and would not fall below that mark for the rest of the 2010–11 season. The Ducks returned home to beat the Calgary Flames 3–2 in a shootout and after three straight games being decided in the shootout, the Ducks beat the Minnesota Wild decisively 6–2. After the game against the Wild on the 12th, the Anaheim Ducks would not return to the friendly confines of Honda Center until December 31. Anaheim started out the road trip well by beating the reeling Washington Capitals (the Washington loss marked their seventh in a row of an eventual eight game skid), however, in front of the smallest crowd of the season (7,659) the Ducks fell to the lowly New York Islanders at the Nassau Coliseum. The Ducks would then lose 2 of the next 3 games only beating the Boston Bruins before heading into the small Christmas break. Back home in Southern California, the Ducks dropped the first game after Christmas to cross-town rival Los Angeles at Staples Center, but they did win the final two games of the month at Phoenix and finally back home at Honda Center over the Philadelphia Flyers. The game on December 31 against the Flyers, was originally intended to be Chris Pronger's first game at Honda Center since his trade, however, due to injuries, he was unable to play. Despite an 8–6–1 record, the Ducks were in a playoff position for most of the month of December partially thanks to the fact that they had played more games than any other Western Conference team. They were also the first in the Western Conference to reach the 41 game mark (halfway point in the season) and they got there with 44 points. This marked the team's third best first half since the lockout only behind their 62 point showing in 2006–07 and their 47 points in 2008–09.
The Ducks went on a roll in the month of January winning 8 of 11 games. Throughout the month, however, all of Anaheim's wins were very close games with the Ducks winning by only one goal with the exception of the 6–0 victory over Columbus on January 7. Anaheim was on a long homestand during the first half of the month and started with a 1–1 record in the new year by defeating the defending champion Blackhawks and falling to the Nashville Predators in front of the smallest home crowd of the season (a mere 12,216). After that loss, they took advantage of home ice by taking down the Blue Jackets, rival Sharks, and Blues. Anaheim then fell to the Phoenix Coyotes in a short one game road trip to the desert but then came home to defeat the Edmonton Oilers on January 16 in their final home game until after the All-Star Game. Heading out on the road, the Ducks were to face the Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, and Columbus Blue Jackets. Overall, Anaheim had a very good road trip only falling to Toronto. The game against the Leafs was significant because if was the first time former Ducks netminder (and Ducks starter in the 2003 and 2007 finals) J.S. Giguere would face his old team. Giguere got the best of Anaheim by posting a 5–2 victory. The game at Montreal was also significant because it was Ducks centerman Saku Koivu's first time playing at the Bell Centre since he signed with Anaheim prior to the 2009–10 season. The Canadien faithful gave Koivu an incredibly warm welcome, but in the end, the patrons at the Bell Centre were not pleased with the final result as Anaheim skated away with a 4–3 shootout victory. Going into the All-Star Game, the Ducks had 60 points, enough to be in the top 8 and were honored to send 3 players to the festivities in Raleigh, NC. Ducks winger Corey Perry was selected alongside goaltender Jonas Hiller (the only goaltender from the Western Conference) to participate in the game. Rookie defenseman Cam Fowler also attended, but he (along with many other rookies) were only there to compete in the skills tournament.
The Ducks clinched a playoff spot on Friday, April 8 after a 2-1 defeat of the Los Angeles Kings in a Freeway Face-Off matchup. 2011 marked the first year the Kings and Ducks have been in the playoffs simultaneously.
The Ducks were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by fifth-seeded Nashville, losing the series 4 games to 2.
Note: GP = Games Played; GS = Games Started; TOI = Time On Ice (minutes); W = Wins; L = Losses; OT = Overtime Losses; GA = Goals Against; GAA= Goals Against Average; SA= Shots Against; SV= Saves; Sv% = Save Percentage; SO= Shutouts
The 2010 NHL Entry Draft in Los Angeles, California, took place from June 25–26, 2010. The Ducks had the 12th pick in the first round by virtue of finishing 11th in 2009–10 and not making any gains in the lottery that took place on Tuesday April 13, 2010. With their two picks in the first round, the Ducks took Cam Fowler, a defenseman from the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL and Long Beach-native Emerson Etem, a right winger from the Medicine Hat Tigers of the WHL. Both were ranked quite high by many analysts (Fowler as high as No. 3 and Etem as high as #8), however, things seemed to be working in the Ducks' favor picking them up at No. 12 and No. 29 respectively. Many analysts believe that because the Ducks' picks were ranked so high and they got them relatively low in the draft that the Ducks were one of the big winners at the 2010 draft.
The Bakersfield Condors, based in Bakersfield, CA were the Ducks ECHL affiliate for the 2009–10 season. The Condors were the Ducks affiliate in the ECHL since 2008, however, following the Ducks deal with the AHL's Syracuse Crunch, Anaheim found a new affiliate on the east coast: the Elmira Jackals.