Anaheim Ducks Expert Panel: The Question of Captaincy

Ryan Getzlaf #15 of the Anaheim Ducks (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Ryan Getzlaf #15 of the Anaheim Ducks (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Ryan Getzlaf‘s contract has come to an end. The 36-year-old veteran forward and Anaheim Ducks long-time Captain has a big decision ahead of him. He can either sign a short contract with the Ducks, retire, or dip his toes in the Free Agency pool. He has expressed his desire to return to his current team but isn’t making a final decision until later in the summer.

With his contract ending, the Anaheim Ducks also have a lot to consider as they prepare for the new season. Should Getzlaf not return, this means the organization loses its incredible leader and they are without a Captain.

Even if Getzlaf does return, some are of the opinion that it is time for him to pass the baton and let someone else take over the reins as the Ducks gear up for the treacherous rebuild ahead of them. Others believe that it is unfair to strip Getzy of the “C”, as he has served as their captain since 2010.

Nevertheless, the topic will come up within the organization sooner rather than later, and it’s time for the front office and coaching staff to consider who will take over once Ryan Getzlaf is no longer with the organization.

Today we asked our staff to contemplate that very question: With the expiration of Ryan Getzlaf’s current contract, do you think now is a good time for him to pass the baton to a new Captain? Who would you like to see step into that role?

Should the Anaheim Ducks Name a New Captain?

Ben Thomasian: Yeah, it’s as good a time as any. I don’t really have any feelings on the topic if I’m completely honest, though I feel like the organization has already flagged who the next captain candidates are by the way they’ve thrown the ‘A’ around this season.

Given that, I fully expect Josh Manson to take the captaincy from Getzlaf. He’s worn an ‘A’ and the team seems to love him. He does play on the edge and that was for a long time the Ducks identity.

The Anaheim Ducks don’t really have an identity these days, but I can imagine them attempting to go back to Manson’s style of physical play in some bid to try and become relevant again. Who better than to lead the team?

Adam Tenenbaum: It is pretty widely assumed Ryan Getzlaf will return to the Ducks this offseason. If for some reason, he chooses to move on from the club, either via retirement or signing with another team, then I would be in favor of leaving the captaincy open for a season.

The uncertain nature of the roster during a rebuild makes it hard to choose a future captain, as the ones most likely to be our next captain could be traded or are not ready yet. So, I would wait and see like other teams have done, and name another captain following the 2021-22 season.

Brad Senecal: If Ryan Getzlaf decides to return to the Anaheim Ducks there is no reason that he should not be captain. Looking at the way the team has done it in the past this makes the most sense for the team.

When Scott Niedermayer debated retirement after the team won the Stanley Cup the captaincy was given to Chris Pronger, however the next year when Scotty knew he would be returning the captaincy was immediately returned.

This shows the Ducks’ loyalty, especially with their captains so if Getzy returns I do not see them going with another captain and I don’t think he would either. While his play is declining there is no question who the leader of this team continues to be.

Also looking at the direction this team is going in I do not believe there is a stand-out substitute. The only real veterans signed past the 2023 season are Adam Henrique, Cam Fowler, and Jakob Silfverberg, and if they are still part of the team, I do not see them as prominent pieces that would warrant captaincy.

TJ Watson: I would say that Cam Fowler is in line to be the next Captain. I think he’s the most qualified to take the torch because of his experience. His even demeanor can calm the guys and guide the young players in the years to come.

I think in a few years guys like Trevor Zegras and Max Comtois will take the role of Captain if they stay with the team. I think Zegras will become the star player on the team. It’s quite possible between Zegras, Comtois, and Troy Terry, we will see the next Teemu SelannePaul KariyaSteve Rucchin line.

Ciara Durant: While I personally believe that now would be the perfect time for the Anaheim Ducks to pass the torch to a new captain, I don’t think it’s going to happen this season unless, on the off chance, the Ducks don’t re-sign Ryan Getzlaf. Nevertheless, I have been saying for years that Cam Fowler is the obvious choice for Captain.

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I feel like the organization has been grooming him for this position for years. Fowler has always carried himself as a leader, he has grown up under Ryan Getzlaf and Scott Neidermayer, and his current contract and 11-year tenure with the team shows tremendous dedication to the organization.

Fowler is humble, optimistic, confident, loyal to his team, and practices integrity. While he catches a lot of flack (which I believe is solely because of his contract) he is always the first to step up. Much like Neidermayer, he has had an influential hand in raising the current group of Ducklings. The future of this team trusts him, which is extremely important when you’re the mediator on the ice.

Over the years, there has been a lot of responsibility put on his shoulders and he has always taken it in stride. There is no doubt in my mind that he is the best candidate. Following in the footsteps of Ryan Getzlaf is no easy feat, but Fowler is the best man for the job.

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