Getzlaf key to Ducks' success

Ducks re-sign captain Ryan Getzlaf to an eight-year, $66-million contract extension.

Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf has signed an eight-year, $66-million contract extension, the Ducks announced Friday.

Getzlaf, 27, is enjoying a strong comeback season and leads the team in scoring. He would have been a prime free agent after this season.

"We are very happy to have Ryan committed to this franchise long-term,” Ducks Executive Vice President/General Manager Bob Murray said in a statement. “He has often expressed his interest to stay in Anaheim for his entire career, a goal we share. He is a leader, a proven winner, and possesses a skill set that’s hard to find. This is a great day for the Ducks.”

As L.A. Times columnist Helene Elliott wrote, "Where Getzlaf was sloppy defensively last season, he's diligent and has earned his plus-10 defensive rating. Where he was emotionally detached — except when he took bad penalties — he's fiery but controlled. Where he couldn't buy a goal, he's producing. He has six goals and 18 points in his last 11 games and stands among the NHL leaders with nine goals and a team-high 27 points. He had 11 goals and 57 points in 82 games last season and was minus-11."

Here are a couple of points about Getzlaf’s contract extension.

The contract — whose eight-year term is the maximum permitted under the new collective bargaining agreement for teams that re-sign their own players — contains a no-move clause that kicks in immediately. So Getzlaf is serious about staying with the Ducks. The agreement was reached in essence Thursday night and finalized Friday morning.

Here are reactions from Getzlaf and some of his teammates:

Getzlaf: “It’s nice to get it out of the way and we can worry about the important things in this season right now and pushing forward.”

On whether he always intended to stay or considered free agency: “It’s always been my goal to be here. I’ve always envisioned myself playing for one team. Especially this organization. It’s been great to me. It’s nice to be settled in and know that I’m going to be here for a long time.”

On whether he has been recruiting Perry to stay: “Nothing’s going to change on my part. I’ve wanted to be here and I’ve wanted Corey to be here. We’ve had lots of conversations and me and Pears will talk along the way, I’m sure. And hopefully they can get it done. I just want to worry about our game now and going forward.”

Perry on how it affects his thinking about his own future: “Getzy and I have talked a bunch of times. I’m not going to sit here and say yes or no. It’s one of those things where I’ll wait and see what happens. I’m not going to change my answer just because he signed.”

On whether Getzlaf is recruiting him to re-sign: “Obviously it helps when you know he’s going to be here for a long time. It could definitely have an effect on my issues.”

Saku Koivu: “It’s great news. Obviously there is always possible free agency. There’s no guarantees on who’s going to stay, who’s going to sign and what’s going to happen. In his case and Corey’s case they’re both a huge part of this team and for the future. So it’s a really relief for management, I’m sure. And for us as players it’s great news for whoever’s going to be around here to have him for a long time. Those are the type of guys you can build your future around them and so it’s really good news.”

Teemu Selanne: “It’s a long deal. The way he has played this year is unbelievable. That’s going to give him security …. Good for him, and it’s great news for the Ducks to have him long-term.”

More Selanne on what signal this sends: “I think the best players, they have to set the tone on the ice and off the ice and the move they made just showed that the team is really committed to win and build a team around Getzy. That’s always great news and give a lot of trust and confidence to the other players, too.”

Selanne on whether Getzlaf’s signing might influence Perry to re-sign: “I hope so. When you find somebody to play with who has so much chemistry as Getzy and Perry, for me it would be just crazy to go somewhere else when you have almost everything that you really need. You have a franchise who really wants to win, who looks [after] players so well. You have an unbelievable hockey player to play with.

“I can’t see why this place couldn’t be a happy place for both of them for a long, long time. But that’s not me. It’s up to them. I’d like to see Corey Perry do the same thing, but that’s only my opinion.”

General Manager Bob Murray was not available at the morning skate to answer questions about the extension and about what it might mean for Corey Perry, the team’s other key free agent-to-be. Murray was expected to speak during Friday’s game against Calgary.

The Ducks are 16-3-3 and have 35 points. They rank No. 2 in the NHL and have equaled their franchise-best point total through 22 games.

-Helene Elliott

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