By Kyle Shohara@kyleshoharaAnaheimDucks.com
|"This is a great organization. I've been a part of it for a long time now, and I wanted to be for a long time. It was never an option to do anything else." -- Ryan Getzlaf
It was all business on the ice during today’s morning skate at Honda Center, as the Ducks prepared for tonight’s contest against the visiting Calgary Flames.
But the big news of the day happened a few hours before, as it was announced Anaheim had signed captain Ryan Getzlaf to an eight-year contract extension.
“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.
“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 I’m going to be here for a long time.
“We have an organization here that’s strived on winning and proven that we can win, and that’s what we want to do in the future. I talked with Bob [Murray] and Henry [Samueli] made it clear that that’s what he wants to do, too. And that’s the vision we all had.
“I love it here. The fans, everybody’s been great to me. This is where we call home right now and for a long time. My wife is from here, her whole family, and we really enjoy the area and fan support that we have and that they have given me."
On the contract process: “I’ve kind of stayed out of it for the most part. I talked to Bob [Murray] a lot before the season started and the direction that we wanted to go. After that, I kind of left it up to my agent and Bob to work it out, and luckily they came to an agreement.”
On influencing the team to sign Corey Perry to an extension: “Nothing is 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 here, I’m sure. And hopefully they’ll get it done. I just want to worry about our game now and going forward. What they can do with Pears is up to them.”
On the eight-year contract term: “That’s all I was really looking for the entire time. This is a great organization. I’ve been part of it for a long time now, and I wanted to be for a long time. It was never an option to do anything else.
On Getzlaf’s contract extension: “It’s an exciting time for him. I’m pretty happy for him. I think everybody is pretty happy in this dressing room for him. For him, it’s definitely great. I don’t think it’s going to create any more distractions or eliminate any more distractions.
On Getzlaf’s attributes: “He’s an elite centerman. He’s big, he’s powerful, and can score goals and make plays. There are a very limited few of those guys in the league. He definitely deserves what he got. It just shows that he can be the superstar everybody knows he could be.”
On if Getzlaf’s contract has an influence on him: “Getzy and I have talked a bunch of times. I’m not going to sit there and say yes or no. It’s one of those things where I’ll just wait and see what happens. I’m not going to change my answer just because he signs. It’s just one of those things. It helps when you know he’s going to be here for a long time. It could definitely have a factor on my decision.”
“For us, as players, it’s great to have him for a long time. He’s the type of guy you can build your future around. It’s really good news.
“Getting him signed early like this, now, is a great message to our fans and sponsors. For the players, too. We can focus just on our games.”
“The way he’s played this year has been unbelievable. That’s what’s going to give him security and he doesn’t have to worry about the contract stuff anymore. I’m very happy for him. Obviously, he’s an unbelievable hockey player and a big part of this team. It’s good for him and great news for the Ducks to have him long-term.
“The best players have to set the tone on the ice and off the ice. The move they made showed the team is really committed to win and build a team around Getzy. That’s always great news. It gives a lot of trust and confidence for other players, too.”
On if Getzlaf’s contract will have any effect on Corey Perry: “I hope so. A lot of times, when you find somebody to play with who has so much chemistry like Getzy and Perry, for me, it would be crazy to go somewhere else when you have almost everything you really need. You have a franchise who really wants to win, who treats players so well. You have an unbelievable hockey player to play with. I can see why this place could be a happy place for both of them for a long, long time. That’s not me. It’s up to them. But I’d like to see Corey Perry to do the same thing, but that’s only my opinion.”
“I think it couldn’t be better. Here you’ve got one of the premier centers in the National Hockey League and now he’s committed to our team for eight years. He’s just starting to get into the prime of his hockey career at 28 years old. I thought it was a great job by Bob and the organization and grateful to Ryan to want to stay here.”
On Getzlaf handling the responsibilities of being a captain: "I think he likes the pressure. He wants the ball and he wants to run with it. He wants to be put in those situations that are important. I think that’s one of the great things about being a really good leader, is you don’t shy away from that. He takes on those challenges. For him, he fills the bill pretty good."
On Getzlaf’s impact on the team: “If you’re just basing it on points, he’s up there now. He’s 12 behind [Sidney] Crosby. There’s much more to it. Our record is 16-3-3 and he’s one of the main cogs. In the last three years, he’s in the top five in ice time as forwards go. He’s on the ice all the time. He’s a point-a-game guy. He didn’t have a great statistical year last year for whatever reason, but there are an awful lot of guys over a long period of time who don’t have a great one year. But he’s back where he is. He’s very comfortable playing hard all the time. There’s a reason our record is what it is and he’s a big part of it.”
"As we said at the beginning of the season, it was a priority for the organization," Ducks general manager Bob Murray said. "Obviously it's a big day for us. Owners Henry and Susan Samueli have made a major commitment to this organization going forward. Getzy's obviously made a major commitment to us.
"He wanted to stay if we were going to try to compete and win and we promised him we would. It's a really good step in the right direction for this organization."