Ducks begin life after Getzlaf with 4-year playoff drought

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Ryan Getzlaf’s retirement from the Anaheim Ducks signals the commence of a new era, both of those for the star middle and for the business he is leaving guiding.

When Getzlaf works on his golf game and improves his family time, the Ducks hope future 12 months is when they’ll eventually be contenders all over again.

“I sense like we are creating the progress, even if it’s not always coming by way of in the success,” Getzlaf said. “There’s greater times in advance for this franchise, and I am heading to be happy to see it.”

The Ducks have missed the Stanley Cup playoffs in 4 consecutive seasons for the initial time in franchise historical past, but their growing prosperity of younger talent implies they will quickly have the gamers who can finish the drought. They showed that functionality intermittently this time, but finally fell perfectly short of just about every preseason goal although ending 31-37-14 and in seventh spot in the Pacific Division.

The Ducks were in playoff contention until eventually the All-Star split, and then they flopped mightily. Anaheim dropped 27 of its closing 35 game titles all round, and an 11-game getting rid of streak in March erased the Ducks from playoff rivalry right before the skid finished one limited of the franchise history.

The season was not all disappointment, on the other hand.

Trevor Zegras cemented his standing as just one of the most thrilling young players in hockey with his franchise-file 61 details as a rookie. The playmaking heart and grasp of the lacrosse target is a Calder Trophy applicant and one particular of the NHL’s top rated must-observe gamers.

Most Ducks followers hope Zegras will be lining up extra frequently subsequent year together with Troy Terry, who capped his breakthrough All-Star year with 37 objectives — the most by an Anaheim crew leader given that Corey Perry scored 43 in the 2013-14 season.

Anaheim has a respectable mix of youth and knowledge throughout its roster. New general supervisor Pat Verbeek has the belongings to increase a great deal a lot more of both to the blend this summer season, placing the Ducks in situation for additional sustained good results.

Big Parts

Verbeek acknowledged the Ducks are still in rebuilding mode when he got the job in February, and he hopes he accelerated it at the trade deadline when he dealt defensemen Hampus Lindholm and Josh Manson and forwards Rickard Rakell and Nic Deslauriers immediately after identifying he couldn’t indicator any of the pending cost-free agents to new contracts. All 4 ended up veteran contributors to Anaheim, but all 4 introduced in picks and players that could be handy in the Ducks’ upcoming era. How Verbeek deploys his property will ascertain Anaheim’s destiny.

He is Back

Verbeek now solved a important offseason problem last month when he introduced coach Dallas Eakins would return for a fourth year guiding the bench. Eakins has under no circumstances experienced a successful report in sections of six seasons as an NHL mentor, and he has very little achievement to display for his get the job done with the Ducks. But Verbeek observed plenty of to pick up Eakins’ agreement option for 2022-23, holding continuity for a franchise earning significant modifications in other spots. Eakins’ a few assistant coaches — Mike Stothers, Geoff Ward and Newell Brown — are also returning.

IN Web

John Gibson’s potential continues to be a tantalizing query. The longtime Ducks goalie is less than a prolonged-phrase agreement paying out him $6.4 million in just about every of the subsequent 5 seasons. His benefit on the trade sector is unclear, and he has a no-trade clause. He is amongst the NHL’s very best when healthy and in variety, but backup Anthony Stolarz posted outstanding studies this year. Gibson, who turns 29 this summer, has however to convey any considerable disappointment about expending the primary of his job on a losing group.


Verbeek must bolster an unimpressive defense that struggled just after Lindholm and Manson were traded. Cam Fowler and inconsistent Kevin Shattenkirk are underneath agreement for up coming yr, and youngster Jamie Drysdale proceeds to create. Almost every location on the blue line could stand an improve, and Verbeek will have numerous paths to do it.


The Ducks have to select a team captain for the to start with time given that 2010, when Getzlaf took the “C” adhering to Scott Niedermayer’s retirement. Fowler is the clear preference with his 12-year job expended solely in Anaheim, but the crew could go management to a new technology by picking out Zegras or Terry.


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