Ducks shower Getzlaf with gifts, honor captain ahead of final NHL game
ANAHEIM — Anaheim Duck Center Ryan Getzlaf was honored in a pre-game ceremony Sunday at the Honda Center before appearing in his final NHL game against the St. Louis Blues.
Getzlaf is retiring after 17 seasons with the Ducks, including the last 13 as captain. He won’t play Anaheim’s final two games next week, both on the road.
“It means the world to me to be home and to be able to do it here in this building,” Getzlaf told Bally Sports West during warm-ups. “I’ll try to take advantage of it.”
After the national anthem, the Ducks released a video montage of Getzlaf’s career highlights, along with comments from his parents, Steve and Susan Getzlaf, his wife, Paige, former teammates, including Corey Perry and Scott Niedermayer and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.
Getzlaf then went to center ice with his wife and four children, Ducks owners Henry and Susan Samueli, and team president Aaron Teats.
Defender cam fowler gave Getzlaf a luxury golf trip on behalf of Ducks players and the Samuelis gifted him a custom painted Honda Talon ATV that was driven on the ice by Hockey Hall of Fame forward Teemu Selanne, who played 15 seasons for the Ducks.
Getzlaf entered Sunday with 1,018 points (282 goals, 736 assists) in 1,156 NHL games, and another 120 points (37 goals, 83 assists) in 125 Stanley Cup Playoff games. He is the only Anaheim player to score at least 1,000 points and play at least 1,000 games in the NHL.
Getzlaf picked up his 989th NHL point on Oct. 31 in a 4-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens, passing Selanne as Anaheim’s all-time leading scorer.
He scored his 1,000th point Nov. 16 in a 3-2 overtime win over the Washington Capitals, becoming the seventh active NHL player to reach the milestone. Joe Thorton, Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby, Yevgeny Malkin, Patrick Kane and Anze Kopitar are the others.
Getzlaf was greeted upon his arrival at the Honda Center on Sunday by a hallway lined with fans, employees and Eakins.
Before the sold-out crowd filled the arena, the empty seats spelled out “Thank You Getz” on the side facing the benches. Towels printed with his No. 15 jersey were draped over the backs of the seats
“It was a pretty special walk around the rink today,” said Getzlaf. “I got to see some of the people I know that I’ve helped and some people that I had no idea about, so it was a very special walk around the rink today.”