The Ducks have signed captain Ryan Getzlaf to an eight-year contract extension.
“Getzlaf, 27, has appeared in 534 career NHL games with the Ducks, scoring 499 points and 504 penalty minutes. Named the eighth captain in Ducks history on Oct. 3, 2010, Getzlaf ranks third among all-time franchise leaders in points and assists, fifth in goals and power-play goals (55), fourth in game-winning goals (25), second in plus/minus and sixth in appearances. Getzlaf has also scored 18-35=53 points with 85 PIM in 62 career postseason games. He leads the club in all-time playoff assists, ranks second in scoring and tied for second in goals. Getzlaf led the 2007 champions in postseason scoring with 7-10=17 points, setting a Ducks record for most points in a single playoff season.” – hockeyfights.com
There have been many rumors about a possible trade that could send the send Getzlaf (who was scheduled to be a UFA in July) to another team if the deal could not be reached, but the Ducks have locked up their captain. His very strong play this season was certainly a motivating factor, and encouraged Anaheim to spend the money necessary to keep Getzlaf. In contrast to last season, where Getzlaf scored only 57 points in 82 games, the big center has responded this year, his contract year, with spectacular play and has 27 points in 22 games so far. Offseason rumblings that Getzlaf was thought to be a bit slow and aging rather quickly have been put to rest with his performance, and Getzlaf is once again one of the top centres in the NHL.
Getzlaf’s stellar play has also helped Ducks get back to the top of the Pacific division. The team is 7-1-2 in the last 10 and shows no signs of slowing down. The decision to sign the team’s number 1 centre long term, was made much easier with how they have been playing of late.
The Ducks must now focus on Getzlaf’s linemate Corey Perry, who is also scheduled to be a UFA in July. The duo has had amazing chemistry since first being put together in the Stanley Cup season of 2006-07, and have been the amongst faces of the Ducks franchise. With Selanne aging this will soon be Getzlaf’s team, but the question that must be answered is whether he will share the mantle with Perry.
Getzlaf’s contract is for 8 years and $66 million. The contract will expire following the 2020-21 season and will have an annual cap hit of $8.25 million dollars. This will make Getzlaf the highest paid Duck and probably sets a bar for what Corey Perry and his agent will be looking for.
Looking into the future, the Ducks will have about 19 million in Cap space this summer to sign Perry, Teemu Selanne, Saku Koivu, Kyle Palmieri, Brandon McMillan, Matt Beleskey, Toni Lydman, Ben Lovejoy, and Matt Clark, or find replacements for these free agents to be. The Ducks have 15 players under contract for 2013-14.
Basically, what this means if that if Corey Perry gets a similar contract to Ryan Getzlaf. The Ducks will have just over 11 million left to sign 7 players, and must re-sign or replace two top 6 forwards (Selanne, Palmieri), a two way centre who plays against the other team’s top lines (Koivu), and a top 4 defencemen in Lydman. Plus some depth pieces. The Salary Cap situation may be awful tight and so we should be watching to see if Perry is allowed to walk as a Free Agent or if another big contract such as Bobby Ryan or Jonas Hiller is traded.
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