Ryan Getzlaf retires after 17 seasons with Anaheim Ducks

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf will retire at the end of the regular season, ending his 17-year NHL career spent entirely with one club.

Getzlaf, 36, made his announcement on Tuesday. The Ducks (28-31-12) have 11 games left in what will almost certainly be their fourth straight non-playoff season.

Getzlaf has been one of the best playing centers in hockey for most of his career, scoring 1,013 points in 1,150 games since making his NHL debut in October 2005 with the then Mighty Ducks. A sublime passer with remarkable vision on the ice, he became the Anaheim franchise’s career leading scorer on October 31, and became the 92nd player in league history to score 1,000 points. November 16.

Getzlaf also leads the Ducks in career games played and assists (731). He served as Anaheim’s captain for the past 12 seasons, presiding over a long stretch of the team’s continued success before their current struggles.

He is a Stanley Cup champion, two-time Olympic gold medalist for Canada, three-time NHL All-Star and a Hart Trophy finalist as the league’s most valuable player in 2014.

Despite missing 22 games due to various injuries this season, Getzlaf is tied for fourth in Ducks scoring with three goals and 28 assists. He has at least 25 assists for the 16th time in 17 seasons, despite being out most of the past month with a lower-body injury.

Getzlaf’s decision is the second milestone of a new era for the Ducks, one of the most successful teams in the Western Conference of the 21st century for the past four seasons. Bob Murray, Anaheim’s general manager since 2008, resigned last November after being accused of repeated verbal abuse of team employees.

Getzlaf has remained a beloved figure among Orange County fans who adore his playmaking abilities and revere his loyalty to their often overlooked club. He expressed that loyalty again last season when he refused to be traded to a contender to chase a career-ending championship.

Getzlaf is the 45th player in NHL history to score 1,000 points with one team, and the 39th to do so with his first club. He spent his first 14 seasons playing alongside fellow 2003 draftee Corey Perry, forming one of the most dynamic scoring partnerships in recent NHL history.

Only 14 players in NHL history have retired after playing more seasons than Getzlaf while spending their entire career with one club. He is the first player on a team in Anaheim history to play at least 10 seasons.

Along with his rare one-team status in the modern game, Getzlaf also dazzled fans as a returning player who complemented his top-flight skills with a pugnacious attitude. He racked up 954 career penalty minutes and he regularly dropped the gloves in his early days before becoming a more mature team leader. He is also one of the dwindling number of NHL players allowed to play without a face shield on his helmet.

Getzlaf, a native of Saskatchewan, also won Olympic gold in 2010 and 2014 alongside Perry. Getzlaf scored the winning goal in a win over Slovakia in the semi-finals in Vancouver, and he played superbly in the Canadians’ second title run in Sochi.

Getzlaf was the 19th overall pick in the 2003 draft. The Ducks picked Perry nine picks later, and they quickly became one of hockey’s best offensive duos with Getzlaf’s passing and Perry’s acumen to score. goals.

Getzlaf and Perry won the Stanley Cup together in their second NHL season in 2007, teaming up with Teemu Selanne, Scott Niedermayer, Chris Pronger and Jean-Sébastien Giguère as the Ducks became the first Californian club to win the ultimate prize hockey.

Getzlaf became Anaheim’s captain in 2010 after Niedermayer retired, and his tenure with the “C” is by far the longest in franchise history. The Ducks remained a regular playoff contender for the next decade, winning five consecutive Pacific Division titles and reaching two conference finals from 2013 to 2017.

Anaheim has faded from contention for the past four years as Getzlaf’s injury problems grew and Perry was released in 2019. The Ducks have staged a big rebuild around young talent this season under the new manager general Pat Verbeek, trading key veterans Hampus Lindholm, Rickard Rakell and Josh Manson nears the deadline.

Getzlaf will join Vancouver’s Daniel and Henrik Sedin as the only players to have a team career of at least 17 seasons entirely in the 21st century. Dustin Brown of Los Angeles, Patrice Bergeron of Boston, Sidney Crosby of Pittsburgh and Alex Ovechkin of Washington also qualify, but they are still active.

Anaheim’s home final is April 24 against St. Louis. The Ducks end the regular season on April 29 in Dallas.

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