Ducks Fans Say Goodbye to Dynamic Duo: Getzlaf & Perry

For the final time in their long careers, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry were on the ice together. Once seemingly inseparable, the two legends within the Anaheim Ducks organization have forged separate paths since Perry’s contract was bought out during the 2019 offseason. While Getzlaf continued to captain the Ducks, now in his 12th season in that role, Perry has spent one year each in Dallas and Montreal. Now with the Tampa Bay Lightning, he’s looking to return to the Stanley Cup Final for the third straight year.

With Getzlaf announcing this retirement at the end of this season, Thursday night’s game was the last time “the twins,” as they were often referred to, would share the ice together. The moment wasn’t lost on Lighting head coach Jon Cooper, who allowed Perry, a winger, to take the game’s opening face-off against Getzlaf, his longtime center.

Getzlaf and Perry Were Inseparable From the Beginning

Getzlaf and Perry were a part of a loaded 2003 Draft class that saw Getzlaf drafted 19th overall and Perry at 28th overall. Following the 2004 lockout, the duo became locked at the hip. After a brief stint in the American Hockey League, Getzlaf and Perry took on full-time NHL duty during the 2005-06 season. Along with Dustin Pennner, they formed the “Kid Line,” a young and productive line that helped the Ducks secure their first Stanley Cup in 2007.

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Penner’s departure broke up the Kid Line, but Getzlaf and Perry continued to be two-thirds of a dominant line, regardless of who the third forward was.

Getzlaf and Perry Developed From Kids to Leaders

The 2010-11 season was a banner year for the tandem. With Scott Niedermayer’s retirement in the offseason, Getzlaf was named captain of the Ducks. On the ice, Perry led the league with 50 goals and would go on to win the Hart Trophy as the league’s most valuable player. By the 2013-14 season, Perry was named as an alternate captain.

Ryan Getzlaf Ducks
Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

While the Ducks have never made it back to the Stanley Cup Final, it wasn’t due to a lack of opportunities. With Getzlaf and Perry operating on the top line, Anaheim was in the playoffs in nine out of the next 11 seasons following their Stanley Cup run. This era of Ducks hockey was defined by countless playoff heartbreaks, but little of that had to do with the duo’s shortcomings. During the 2015 playoffs, Getzlaf’s 20 points broke his own franchise record for a single postseason. Two years later, Getzlaf found Perry for a double-overtime winner to cap off The Comeback on Katella, one of the franchise’s biggest goals following one of their most unlikely comebacks.

Perry’s Buyout Won’t Ruin the Duo’s Legacy

With the cracks in the Ducks’ roster becoming harder to ignore, former general manager Bob Murray bought out the final two years of Perry’s contract. In recent seasons, his production began to plummet as injuries took over, forcing him to miss 62 games over his final two seasons with the club. At the time, Perry was the franchise’s all-time leader in games played but has since been surpassed by Getzlaf. Despite the cold, businesslike nature of his buyout, fans still hold Perry in high regard. With Getzlaf announcing his retirement at the end of the season, he and Perry have been vocal about how much the other has meant to their career. During Getzlaf’s press conference, Perry was the only player that Getzlaf mentioned by name. Perry was emotional when asked about Getzlaf, echoing the sentiment that the two grew up in the league together, and that Getzlaf “made a lot of passes and I put them in an open net.”

Related: Anaheim Ducks’ Ryan Getzlaf is Greatest Player in Franchise History

Time heals the wounds of a bad break-up, and no better example comes from Anaheim’s first great dynamic duo. Ducks fans had to spend a few seasons watching franchise icons Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne bounce around the league, including a loathsome reuniting in Colorado. Selanne eventually returned to Anaheim and was welcomed with open arms. Kariya’s return took until well after his playing days ended, but ultimately culminated with an emotional jersey retirement ceremony in 2018. There will be a time when both Getzlaf’s No. 15 and Perry’s No. 10 will hang in the Honda Center rafters together, like Kariya and Selanne before them. In this case, it shouldn’t be long before “the twins” are together once again.

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