Ryan Getzlaf has been a part of the Anaheim Ducks since 2005, and at the age of 25 became the Ducks captain in 2010. Now at 35, the captain’s contract coming to an end, and currently facing an upper-body injury, it is time to rethink the future of the franchise’s leadership.
With the NHL trade deadline here, the Ducks need to make some power moves in hopes to get this team flying together again. This past season has shown that this young team has a lot of potential to be great, but now they have to look to turn losing streaks into winning seasons.
Letting Getzlaf go will be a wise move, I do not see him wanting to be traded anywhere else and with his current injury and age, teams are not going to want to pay top dollar for him. Freeing up the top salary for Anaheim will hopefully make a lot of room for a few familiar faces. Another option is re-signing him for a one-year deal but reducing his pay for next season in hopes that he can stay healthy.
Anaheim recently faced off against the San Jose Sharks who were on a four-game winning streak. But with the Ducks recently facing injuries to major players, like Getzlaf, another center, Sam Steel, and right wing Rickard Rakell, the Ducks adjusted and the young team stepped up and flew together.
The Ducks had a different flow to their game and had different lines connecting to the back of the net. Players like Nicolas Deslauriers and David Backes each coming up with a goal and an assist that night. You could see the smiles on the Ducks’ faces as they could also see the potential this team brings when they collaborate and connect on the ice. With the help of star goalie John Gibson, the Ducks defeated the Sharks 5-1.
Frustration Surrounding Captain Rumors
With Getzlaf becoming a free agent after this season, the Ducks need to part ways with the long-time Captain. With no word on him ending his career with Anaheim, this could be the perfect opportunity for him to get out and if he wanted to potentially look for another team to play for a couple more seasons. But him signing with another team isn’t an option in general manager Bob Murray’s eyes. Murray is frustrated with the rumors surrounding this topic of his beloved captain and went on to say,
“I talked to the agent last week, I’ve talked to ‘Getzy’ a little bit. I’m tired of hearing this from Toronto, how his name is out there. The only way Ryan Getzlaf would go anywhere is if he came to me and said, ‘Bob, can you try and trade me to a contender?”Bob Murray
Getzlaf is and will forever be a Ducks legacy, he has played with this team and this team only for 16 years and is on his way to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. He is so close to hitting the 1,000-point mark and the all-time leading scorer for Anaheim. But with the 35-year-old facing recent upper-body injuries late this season, and his young team working well together without him, is it time to walk away from the Honda Center?
Future Ducks Leadership
If Getzlaf does exit the Ducks it frees up $8.2 million, which could really be of use in the hopes of rebuilding this team even more so. Anaheim should look to free agents that can help bind these Ducks, such as 26-year-old center Scott Laughton, currently on the Philadelphia Flyers. Laughton is big on making assists just as well as targeting the net. With his salary capped at 2.3 million last year, this would be a great player to seek out after for a potential trade deal.
There are rumors surrounding defenseman Josh Manson to be sent to the Edmonton Oilers, but with the Flyers taking calls for Laughton this could be a great move for both teams. Only a couple of players such as Sonny Milano and Rakell, who have great potential for future seasons, are on injury reserve currently. This still leaves the Ducks with the leadership they will need moving forward without Getzlaf.
The more seasoned players like Manson, Adam Henrique and Jakob Silfverberg show great promise in pushing the team towards a winning season. Max Comtois and Max Jones have also shown they are ready to build upon the foundation they have made this past season and prove that a younger team can go far without a legacy captain.
Caitlin Roche is a freelance writer covering the Anaheim Ducks and trades across the league here at The Hockey Writers.
You can also catch her in front of the camera for California Prospect League, covering collegiate baseball.
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