The Anaheim Ducks won’t lose their captain after all. Ryan Getzlaf is expected to be back on a one-year deal according to Kevin Weekes of NHL Network. Getzlaf had recently spoken about how watching former teammate Corey Perry find success elsewhere gave him a bit of an “itch” to test free agency, but he’ll stay with the organization he’s been with all along. Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic confirms that the deal will be worth $4.5MM when officially filed.
Now 36, Getzlaf doesn’t really need to go Cup chasing like other veteran free agents. He already has his championship, winning with the Ducks back in 2007 before becoming the team’s captain a few years later. He already sits as the franchise leader in games played and assists, but will also pass Teemu Selanne for the franchise scoring lead this season (he sits six points behind). Getting that record and playing his entire career in Anaheim could very well mean more to Getzlaf at this point, but it’s also the $4.5MM price tag that looks like a win from the player’s perspective.
It’s hard to see how any other team in the league would be able to commit that much to a 36-year-old forward that scored just five goals and 17 points in the 2020-21 season. That was a sharp decline for Getzlaf, who hadn’t finished a season with fewer than 39 points previously. This is a legacy contract more than anything, giving him a reason to stay and continue to mentor the next wave of talent in the Ducks system.