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Top 5 Moments from Ryan Getzlaf's Career

Ryan Getzlaf has officially hung up his skates after a remarkable 17-year NHL career spent entirely with the Anaheim Ducks. And as the famed captain steps away from the game he loves, let's take a look back at the most memorable moments from his storied career.
Ryan Getzlaf

Ryan Getzlaf has officially hung up his skates after a remarkable 17-year NHL career spent entirely with the Anaheim Ducks. 

And as the famed captain steps away from the game he loves, let's take a look back at the most memorable moments from his storied career. 

5. Named Team Captain - Oct. 3, 2010

Not only would Ryan Getzlaf being named the eighth captain in Ducks history usher in an entirely new era for the organization, it served as a true passing of the torch from one franchise pillar to another. 

Getzlaf would take over as Ducks captain in 2010 following the retirement of Scott Neidermeyer, a Norris-winning future Hall of Famer who had previously captained the club to its first-ever Stanley Cup only two years prior. 

Getzlaf played a big part on that championship team (we'll get to that, don't worry) and by taking the reigns from Neidermeyer, the then-25-year-old firmly stamped his claim as the face of the Ducks franchise moving forward. 

Frankly, you could argue that that stamp didn't fade until Getzlaf's own retirement on Sunday, with the veteran spending the next decade in the Ducks organization as its entrenched driving force while other long-tenured stars like Corey Perry and Teemu Selanne would depart. 

It's fitting, then, that as Getzlaf's appointment to the captaincy back in 2010 marked the dawn of a new era of Ducks hockey, his retirement and subsequent relinquishing of the title will do the same. 

4. Game 4 of the 2017 Western Conference Semifinals

This one comes courtesy of JFresh, who pointed this gem of a performance out on Twitter. 

The Ducks entered game four of their second-round series with the Edmonton Oilers in 2017 on the road and down two games to one. It's moments like these that define a player's legacy with their team. Do they shrink when the stakes are at their highest and the spotlight shines its brightest? Or do they rise to the occasion and pull their club back from the brink. 

Getzlaf went with Option B. 

Logging an absurd 25:56 of ice time that night, Getzlaf would rattle off two goals and two primary assists for four total points in order to propel the Ducks to a 4-3 overtime victory, winning 61.5 percent of his draws in the process and putting up a ludicrous 66 percent expected-goals share, too. 

Without Getzlaf going supernova on that chilly night in Edmonton, the Ducks would head back home on the brink of elimination -- their only hope of survival being to successfully contain Connor McDavid for three straight games. 

Instead, they waltzed back into their own building on an even playing field and proceeded to bounce the Oilers in game seven, the last postseason game McDavid would play for the next four years. 

Not too shabby. 

3. Winning Gold on Home Soil

Anyone involved in Team Canada's dramatic march to gold on home soil at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver will always hold a special place in hockey history. 

Getzlaf just so happened to be part of that iconic club, centering a dominant second-line alongside Ducks teammate Perry and then-Hurricanes captain Eric Staal that truly gave Canada a level of depth that no opponent could contend with. 

Getzlaf would end the tournament as a point-per-game player, racking up four goals and three assists for seven points in seven games, playing a key role in one of his nation's most galvanizing sporting moments. 

A true patriot. 

2. Passing Selanne as the Ducks' All-Time Points Leader

Much like his appointment to the captaincy in 2010, this moment was yet another passing of the torch for Getzlaf during his tenure with the Ducks. 

When Getzlaf fired a slick pass to Troy Terry to help the Ducks dispatch the Montreal Canadiens on Halloween night this season, he officially took over the distinction as the highest-scoring player in franchise history from former teammate and mentor Teemu Selanne. 

It was a fitting milestone, really. Not just because it cemented Getzlaf as the franchise legend he was always bound to be. And not because the decisive point came in the form of an assist, fully on-brand for Getzlaf as one of the league's better playmakers. No, it was fitting because Getzlaf, all those years ago, was once the young buck skating in awe alongside Selanne, and had now taken over that role for the Ducks' stable of exciting young stars. 

Getzlaf is now the standard to strive for in the Ducks organization. Just as Selanne was for so many years. 

And who knows? Maybe the kid destined to break the record now held by Getzlaf was skating alongside him in that game all along.  

1. Winning the Stanley Cup

I mean, what else could it possibly be? 

The 2008 playoffs not only gave the Ducks their first-ever Stanley Cup in franchise history, but it sent a message to the entire NHL that Ryan Getzlaf was destined for stardom. 

A 21-year-old Getzlaf coming off a strong sophomore year burst into the postseason and proceeded to help guide a team filled with veterans and Hall of Famers on one of the more exhilarating Cup runs of the salary cap era. Getzlaf would finish that momentous spring with seven goals and 10 assists for 17 points in 21 playoff games, averaging nearly 22 minutes per night in ice time as a truly vital cog in Anaheim's championship machine.  

Without Getzlaf, the Ducks don't win the Cup. And with that win, the Ducks continued to establish themselves as a viable hockey franchise in the Southern California market, where they remain to this day.  

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