Ryan Getzlaf is a longtime member of the Anaheim Ducks and we very well could be seeing a legend heading towards the end of his NHL career.
Ryan Getzlaf has been with the Anaheim Ducks ever since he was drafted by them in the 2003 NHL Draft. He made his debut with them in the 2004-2005 season and was named Captain before the 2010 season began.
However, because of his age, the question becomes if Getzlaf should continue to play after his current contract ends.
Why he shouldn’t
Getzlaf has been a tremendous player throughout his career for the Anaheim Ducks. However, it seems that his offensive production has taken steps back in recent years ever since the Ducks lost in the playoffs in the 2017-2018 season. His point total has slowed from 61 in 2017-2018 season, to 48 in 2018-2019 and finally to 42 in the unfinished 2019-2020 season.
Part of the reason for this is Getzlaf has gotten older as he is now in his 15th season at age 34. His offensive production has taken a hit because his team does not have the offensive finishers they used to have in prior seasons like Ryan Kesler and Corey Perry, to name a few.
Without strong finishers in front of the net and shooters who can snipe the puck, it is hard to get points in the NHL. Getzlaf had enjoyed strong offensive production in his youth and his prime years as a Duck until it recently dried up.
During his career, Ryan met his wife Paige and has had four children. Somewhere might be an itching for him to spend more time with his family as he will be 36 when his current contract ends. In the sport of hockey, there is a lot of time away from family with numerous road trips and games to different states around the world.
A lot of sacrifices have to be made in order for him to continue his current career as a hockey player. The question is will he continue to make the sacrifice to play the game he loves at the expense of family time?
Why he shouldn’t
It is hard to mention the Anaheim Ducks and not mention Ryan Getzlaf. He has been the captain for the Ducks for about 10 years and is the face of the franchise. Ryan has brought stability to the organization and team throughout his tenure.
One of the trademarks of his career has been his playmaking ability. Over his career, Getzlaf has accumulated 691 assists. His vision and crisp passing ability have been synonymous with his ability to set up teammates for quick goals on any part of the offensive ice.
Getzlaf’s leadership has also been one of his trademarks. In a career filled with many playoff appearances and a Stanley Cup in 2007, the last two years have been somewhat different for him. The Ducks did not make the playoff last year and are again on track not to make it this year. However, even through the tough times, Getlzaf’s confidence has not wavered.
He continues to play every game and shift like it was his first. Ryan understands that his team is young and will need a bit of time to gel and produce so they can get back to the playoffs. His mentoring of the Ducks young offensive players: Max Jones, Sam Steel, and Troy Terry will be huge factors in making a playoff return feasible.
Ryan Getzlaf should continue to play after his current contract ends. He may soon be in the twilight of his career, but he still has a lot to give to the Ducks as a player and as a leader. Let’s hope he decides to do just that.