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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Ducks icons Ryan Getzlaf and Teemu Selanne have left their mark on the region

ANAHEIM – Ahead of their third encounter with the Winnipeg Jets in 13 days, the Ducks were looking for a potential milestone from the striker and continued production from their defense.

Ryan Getzlaf entered the evening two points less than Teemu Selanne’s 988 points as a duck, the highest in franchise history. Selanne, who began his career with the original Winnipeg Jets that later moved to Arizona, first graced Anaheim with his presence in the mid-90s. After working in Colorado and San Jose, he returned to Anaheim for good.

Ten seasons later, Getzlaf arrived at the Ducks’ locker room, a year before the two hitters took the Stanley Cup together. Much has changed in the Southern California hockey scene in the decade and a half since then.

“I think being part of all this progress is great. Obviously when we won the Stanley Cup how big news that was. There were only a few skating rinks at that time. Now, if you want to start playing hockey as a boy or girl, you have so many options, ”Selanne told Winnipeg Free Press.

Selanne, whose children grew up spending time in both Orange County and his native Finland, said he saw the opportunities for them to grow and that Ducks’ efforts to strengthen the region’s hockey infrastructure made a strong impression on him.

Getzlaf, now in his 12th season as captain of the Ducks, has spent his entire career with the organization. Since he and longtime teammate Corey Perry, now with the Tampa Bay Lightning, won the Cup as fresh entrants, he has led the Ducks to the conference finals twice.

He could have left Anaheim last season by the trade deadline or in the summer when he was an unrestricted free agent, but Getzlaf returned on a one-year contract. This gave him the opportunity to mentor young centers like Trevor Zegras, as well as cement his status as the most prolific player in the franchise’s history.

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FOWLER LAUDS DRYSDALE

The Duck’s defense has been an important part of their increased offensive and power play this season, with veteran Kevin Shattenkirk and rookie Jamie Drysdale contributing the most.

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