The Ducks announced on Friday that they have named four-time Stanley Cup champion Scott Niedermayer team captain. Saku Koivu and Ryan Getzlaf have been named alternate captains for the 2009-10 season. In addition, Corey Perry will serve as an additional alternate captain when necessary.
“This was a difficult decision as we feel there are many leaders in our locker room,” said Head Coach Randy Carlyle. “We expect leadership to come from many players beyond just these four.”
Niedermayer, 36 (8/31/73), will captain the Ducks for the fourth season. He was originally named team captain on Oct. 3, 2005 and has held the post every season since with the exception of 2007-08, when he missed the first 34 games while contemplating retirement (Chris Pronger served as captain that year).
In 1,183 career NHL games with New Jersey and Anaheim, Niedermayer has collected 162-530=692 points. He was one of only two Ducks to appear in all 82 games in 2008-09 (also Pronger), while also becoming the all-time franchise leader in scoring, goals and assists among defensemen. He won three Stanley Cups with New Jersey (1995, 2000 and 2003) and helped Anaheim win its first Stanley Cup in 2007 (he also won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player that postseason). He is the only player in hockey history to have won a Stanley Cup, an Olympic gold medal, a World Championship, a World Cup, a Memorial Cup and a World Junior title during his career. The 18-year NHL veteran has also appeared in five NHL All-Star Games (1998, 2001, 2004, 2008 and 2009) and won the Norris Trophy as the top NHL defenseman in 2004. Niedermayer signed a one-year contract to remain with the Ducks on July 1, 2009.
"I'm not the loudest guy in the room," said Niedermayer of his leadership qualities. "Hopefully, I'm going out there, playing the right way, working hard whether it's a game or practice and being a good example."
Getzlaf, 24 (5/10/85), begins his second season as alternate captain. Entering his fifth NHL season, the 6-4, 220-pound center has earned 88-182=270 points in 297 career games. Getzlaf finished sixth in the NHL in scoring (25-66=91) in 2008-09 as part of a career year, leading the club in assists and points. The Regina, Saskatchewan native also broke the club’s single-season assists record last year (previously Paul Kariya, 62). Getzlaf ranked third in the NHL in assists and sixth in scoring (4-14=18) during the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs, despite appearing in only two rounds. Drafted by Anaheim in the first round (19th overall) of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, Getzlaf signed a five-year contract extension with the Ducks on Nov. 20, 2007.
"My mentality as a player and as a person is to be a leader and to accept those kind of roles," Getzlaf said. "At the end of the day, I'm still the same guy I was going to be and that I've always been since I've been here."
Koivu, 34 (11/23/74), brings 10 years of leadership experience with him in his first season with the Ducks after serving as captain of the Montreal Canadiens from 1999-2009. His tenure tied for the longest-serving captain in Montreal’s 100-year history (also Jean Beliveau). The 5-10, 178-pound center has eclipsed the 50-point plateau in the last six seasons. In 792 career NHL games over 13 seasons (all with Montreal), Koivu has collected 191-450=641 points. He scored 16-34=50 points in 65 contests with Montreal in 2008-09 and reached the 600-point milestone with a goal in a 3-1 Canadiens victory on Oct. 20, 2008 vs. Florida.
"It's always an honor when you get a responsibility like that and I feel privileged," said Koivu less than an hour before appearing on "Jim Rome is Burning" on Friday. "It was a nice way of showing their confidence in me. I was a little surprised because I've only been here for a short period of time. I can tell that there is a lot of leadership in this room. There could have been a lot of guys that could have wore the "A" and that is a good thing."