(Anaheim) Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf will retire at the end of the regular season, ending his 17-year NHL career spent entirely with the same club.
Posted at 1:52 p.m.
Getzlaf, 36, made the announcement on Tuesday. The Ducks (28-31-12) have 11 games left in what will almost certainly be their fourth straight season away from the playoffs.
Getzlaf has been one of the best centers in hockey for most of his career, totaling 1,013 points in 1,150 games since making his NHL debut in October 2005 with the then Mighty Ducks. An excellent passer with remarkable vision on the ice, he became the Anaheim club’s career leading scorer on October 31 and became the 92and player in league history to score 1,000 points on November 16.
Getzlaf also leads the Ducks in career games played and assists (731). He captained the Ducks for the past 12 seasons, central to a long stretch of the team’s success before their current struggles.
He is a Stanley Cup champion, two-time Olympic gold medalist with Canada, a three-time NHL All-Star and a 2014 Hart Trophy finalist for the league’s most valuable player.
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 completed at least 25 assists for the 16and times in 17 seasons, even though he’s been 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 Western Conference teams in the 21and century before the last four seasons. Bob Murray, general manager of the Ducks 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 his loyalty to their oft-neglected club. He expressed that loyalty again last season when he refused to be traded to a championship contender to end his career.
Getzlaf is 45and player in NHL history to total 1,000 points with one team, and the 39and to do so with his first club. He spent his first 14 seasons alongside 2003 drafted teammate Corey Perry, forming one of the most dynamic duos 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.
Getzlaf was also popular with fans for his pugnacious style. He racked up 954 career penalty minutes and he regularly dropped the gloves on his debut. He is also one of the fewer and fewer players in the NHL allowed to play without a protective visor on his helmet.
Getzlaf, a native of Saskatchewan, also won Olympic gold in 2010 and 2014 alongside Perry. Getzlaf scored the game-winning goal in a semi-final victory over Slovakia in Vancouver, and he played very well as the Canadians retained their title in Sochi.
Getzlaf was selected in the 19and overall in the 2003 draft. The Ducks claimed Perry nine spots later, and they quickly became one of the best offensive duos in hockey.
Getzlaf and Perry won the Stanley Cup together in their second NHL season in 2007, teaming with Teemu Selanne, Scott Niedermayer, Chris Pronger and Jean-Sébastien Giguère as the Ducks became the first California club to win the hockey championship .
Getzlaf became captain in 2010 after Niedermayer retired, and his tenure with the “C” is by far the longest in franchise history.
Getzlaf’s last game in Anaheim is April 24 against the St. Louis Blues. The Ducks end the regular season on April 29 in Dallas.