Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf will retire after the 17th NHL season

Anaheim, California – Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf will retire at the end of the regular season, ending his 17-year NHL career entirely with a club.

Getzlaf, 36, made the announcement on Tuesday. The Ducks (28-31-12) have 11 games left which is almost certain to be their fourth consecutive non-playoff season.

Getzlaf has been one of the top playmaking centers in hockey for most of his career, scoring 1,013 points in 1,150 games since his NHL debut with the then Mighty Ducks in October 2005. A great walker with a great vision on the ice, he became the franchise scoring leader of Anaheim’s career on 31 October and became the 92nd player in league history to score 1,000 points on 16 November.

Getzlaf led and assisted the ducks in his career game (731). He has captained Anaheim for the past 12 seasons, leading the team to success long before their current struggles.

He is a Stanley Cup champion, a two-time Olympic gold medalist for Canada, a three-time NHL All-Star and a 2014 Heart Trophy runner-up as the league’s MVP.

Despite missing 22 games this season due to various injuries, Getzlaf is fourth on the duck list with three goals and 28 assists. He has at least 25 assists for the 16th time in 17 seasons, although he sat out most of last month with a lower body injury.

Getzlaf’s decision is the second landmark of a new era for ducks, one of the most consistently successful teams at the 21st Century Western Conference before the last four seasons. Bob Murray, Anaheim’s general manager since 2008, resigned last November after being accused of repeatedly verbally abusing team members.

Getzlaf remains a favorite figure among Orange County fans who love his game-making ability and respect his loyalty to their often overlooked club. He reaffirmed that allegiance last season when he refused to make a deal with a competitor to chase the late-career championship ring.

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

Only 14 players in NHL history have retired after more seasons than Getzlaf to spend their entire careers with a club. He is the first team player in Anaheim history to play at least 10 seasons.

In addition to his rare reputation as a team player in modern sports, Getzlaf stunned fans as a throwback player who complemented his high-level skills with a hardcore attitude. He racked up 954 penalty minutes of his career and dropped regular gloves in his early days before becoming a more mature team leader. He is one of the growing number of NHL players allowed to play without a defensive visa in his helmet.

Getzlaf, a Saskatchewan native, won Olympic gold in 2010 and 2014 along with Perry. Getzlaf scored the game-winning goal in Vancouver’s semi-final win over Slovakia, and he played great during the Canadian title race in Sochi.

Getzalaf was the 19th overall pick in the 2003 draft. Duck Perry later picked up nine picks, and they quickly became Hockey’s top offensive pair with Getzlaf’s passing and Perry’s goal-scoring prowess.

Getzlaf and Perry won the Stanley Cup together in their second NHL season in 2007, becoming the first California club to claim the final hockey title with Timu Ceylan, Scott Niedermeyer, Chris Pinger and Jean-Sebastian Gigue.

After Niedermeyer’s retirement, Getzlaf became captain of Anaheim in 2010, and his tenure with “C” is easily the longest in the franchise’s history. The Ducks were a regular play-off contestant over the next decade, winning five consecutive Pacific Division titles and reaching two conference finals from 2013-17.

Anaheim has faded from controversy over the past four years when Getzlaf’s injury problem escalated, and Perry was released in 2019. Under new general manager Pat Verbeck, The Docs has made a wholesale rebuild this season around young talent, including original veterans Hampas Lindhome, Ricard Raquel and near-term Josh Manson.

Getzlaf will join Vancouver’s Daniel and Henrik Sedin as the only players to have at least 17 seasons-long one-team careers in the 21st century. Dustin Brown of Los Angeles, Patrice Bergeren of Boston, Sidney Crosby of Pittsburgh and Alex Ovechkin of Washington have also qualified, 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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