Ryan Getzlaf is the captain of the Ducks, one of five players to have won a Stanley Cup in Anaheim. The player has spent his whole career with the club and helped them win two championships before signing an 8-year deal with their arch rival Chicago Blackhawks this offseason. What was it like playing for such a storied team?
Anaheim Mighty Ducks is a professional ice hockey team that plays at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. The Ducks have won two championships since their inception in 1993-94. They were also the first American team to win the Stanley Cup, which they did in 2007.
Jill Painter Lopez of KCBS/KCAL Sports Reporter wrote this piece.
Ryan Getzlaf will hang up his skates and retire after 17 seasons with the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday, marking the end of an era.
It’s unusual in sports to spend your whole career with the same team, but Getzlaf’s bond with the Ducks and the Southern California community was so deep that the finish couldn’t have come any other way.
TAMPA, FL – APRIL 14: Corey Perry #10 of the Tampa Bay Lightning warms up against Ryan Getzlaf #15 of the Anaheim Ducks at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida on April 14, 2022. Getty Images/Mark LoMoglio/NHLI
It’s only right that he’ll play his last game with the same club that picked him. He helped win the Stanley Cup in 2007, prospered alongside linemate and buddy Corey Perry, and coached Troy Terry and Trevor Zegras, the next generation of budding players.
He’s a wonderful hockey ambassador who will be sorely missed. Someone who went about things in the proper manner. He wowed with his playmaking abilities (735 assists and 1,017 points), all while maintaining a modest demeanor, which is unsurprising for someone from Saskatchewan, Canada. With 1,155 games under his belt, he was reliable and dependable. He was captain for 12 years because of his leadership. As he progressed, his colleagues did as well.
For four years, I had the honor of covering Getzlaf for Fox Sports West (now Bally Sports West) as a Ducks reporter. To conduct interviews with the 6-foot-4 center, I required an apple box, which always made me chuckle.
With Getzlaf, you get exactly what you see. He gives freely of his time to the media, teammates, and the Orange County community.
My favorite part was seeing him interact with other individuals. Whether it was on his way from the hotel to the stadium in Glendale, Ariz., or on his way to the team bus in Calgary on a chilly January day, he always made time for autographs. Every time I see the footage of him getting down on one knee on the ice with 21st Duck Michael Lu, a young guy suffering from Parkinson’s Disease, I cry. When Getzlaf surprised Lu on the ice, he informed him, “I got you,” and helped him put on his Ducks jersey.
ANAHEIM, CA – SEPTEMBER 16: Ryan Getzlaf of the Ducks poses with fan Ana Nunez at the Ducks’ Team Store before the Ducks’ preseason game against the Phoenix Coyotes at Honda Center in Anaheim, CA. Before the game, some players who weren’t participating worked in the concessions and greeted spectators. Getty Images/Paul Bersebach/Digital First Media/Orange County Register
Getzlaf avoids the limelight, which is one of the reasons he didn’t do a last season retirement tour around the NHL, despite the fact that it was well-deserved.
The Ducks will go to great lengths to send off Getzlaf, a future Hall of Famer, on Sunday. The Ducks’ schedule indicated two more away games, but Getzlaf understood his farewell game was required by the fans in Anaheim, so Sunday will be it. Family, friends, and admirers will appreciate him. He may be a little uncomfortable with all the attention, but he should like it.
He devotes so much of his time to everyone, particularly youngsters, as well as his yearly golf event to raise funds for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy research. He’ll continue to have an influence on the lives of youngsters.
Getzlaf like fast automobiles and has shown interest in purchasing a minivan. It’s a realistic mode of transportation for him and his children. Paige, his wife, met him in Orange County. Ryder, Gavin, Willa, and Mac are their four children, and they will continue to live in Southern California. He just missed one of Willow’s recitals, but now he’ll be able to attend hockey games, recitals, and even prepare supper for her.
Getzlaf plans to play more golf, most likely with his buddy and former Ducks teammate Teemu Selanne, and he’s invested in a new pizza oven to develop his culinary talents.
It’ll be interesting to see what Getzlaf’s future adventures hold for the 36-year-old.
He has one more game before removing his jersey for the last time, and it will be a memorable one, capping off an incredible tenure.
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