The Anaheim Ducks have found their man to replace Scott Niedermayer as captain.
After he helped the club earn a 3-2 overtime win against the Los Angeles Kings at the Honda Center on Sunday night, Ryan Getzlaf was named the eighth captain in franchise history. The position became vacant when Niedermayer retired at the conclusion of last season. Getzlaf, who won the job in a team vote, had been an alternate captain under Niedermayer the previous two campaigns.
"This is another step in the maturity process of Ryan Getzlaf," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "We felt that with it being his sixth season in the League, now is the time for the transition and the veteran players agreed with us."
Getzlaf, 25, is entering his sixth season with the Ducks after being drafted in the first round (No. 19) by the club in 2003. Having led the team in scoring in two of the last three seasons, Getzlaf also led the club in assists and ranked second in points in 2009-10 (19 goals, 50 assists) in 66 contests, and his career plus-64 rating leads all active NHL players under age 25 heading into this season.
The 6-foot-4, 221-pound center also appeared in his first Olympics in 2010, winning a gold medal with Team Canada in Vancouver. He finished the Olympic tournament tied for second on the club with 7 points in as many games. He also helped the Ducks win the Stanley Cup in 2007.
"It's an honor and a responsibility that I accept with it," Getzlaf said. "I've thought of myself as a leader and I will try to be the same way throughout this year. I'm up for the challenge and am looking forward to it. You don't become the captain and then change what you're doing. It's like becoming the president and changing everything that you campaigned about. It's a thing that you grow into and I was lucky enough to be honored with it today."
Saku Koivu and Teemu Selanne will be alternate captains. In addition, Corey Perry and Todd Marchant will serve as additional alternate captains when necessary.
"He's been In the League for a number of years now and has established himself as one of the top players in the League," Koivu said. "He's very mature for his age. Sometimes you have to put a player in a position like that and give him another challenge. I have no doubt that he's going to do a great job as a captain. He's going to be here for a long time and I think it was the right choice."
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