Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 9/3/2013 (3143 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- He is the frat boy who starts cramming at 9 p.m. and aces the poli sci quiz at 9 a.m.
He takes over playoff games, or at least did, back when the Ducks actually played them.
He led the Stanley Cup champions in playoff scoring when he was 23.
He was great in Edmonton, one January night in 2010, when he knew he wouldn't play on the Canadian Olympic team if he didn't show he could skate through his ankle injury.
He was also quite good in the Olympics themselves, and he helped win a World Junior, and when he was confronted with Jumbo Joe Thornton in the first round in 2009, he downsized him.
And now that Ryan Getzlaf has needed to reaffirm his place among the gifted, he is tied for first in Western Conference scoring, plus passing, defending and bouncing bodies at an all-star level.
There never has been a worry about Getzlaf's ability to answer the siren.
By giving Getzlaf his eight-year extension Friday, the Ducks expect him to answer the nightly bell, too.
He was good enough on this Friday night against Calgary, with an assist and a late goal, although Viktor Fasth was the proximate cause of this 4-0 victory. For the third time this season, the Ducks have a point streak of six games.
Much raw material has been given to Getzlaf, and much steel has been expected in return.
He never has had a 100-point season. Last year he scored 11 goals, only one more than he has this season in 23 games. He wasn't shooting enough and he wasn't physical enough and he wasn't "captain" enough, which is what happens when a team collapses around him.
But it's amazing how your leadership swells when the puck is going in.
"He's starting to get into the prime of his career, at 28," coach Bruce Boudreau said. "I think he likes the pressure. He wants the ball, wants to run with it, wants to be put into the situations that are important. He takes on challenges.
"If you're basing it on points, he's up there now. But there's much more to it. Last three years, he's been in the top five in ice time among all forwards. He didn't have a great statistical year last year but a lot of guys have one year that isn't great. He's playing hard all the time."
Saku Koivu is a centre and has been a captain before.
"Maybe the numbers weren't there for him last year," Koivu said of Getzlaf. "I don't think he was playing bad, but when you don't get the offensive results you look for, there's baggage that comes with that, and you can get away from our own game. But when you get points you give yourself permission to play relaxed, to worry about the defense first. Obviously we have a four-line offence now, giving him a little less minutes, and more energy.
"You have to handle the faceoffs as a centreman. You have to be more responsible defensively, and then you have to get your (self) down and forecheck and be a threat. Maybe it's more demanding, and you're more involved."
Getzlaf came into Friday night with a 49.7 faceoff win percentage. He was at 47.2 per cent last year, 45.8 the year before that.
Getzlaf's deal takes him through 2020-21, or one year past the next lockout. To replace him, the Ducks would have to finish low enough to get a high pick --there won't ever be another draft as bountiful as 2003, when Getzlaf lasted until No. 19.
"Where else are you going to get a centre like that?" asked general manager Bob Murray. "Every time we talk to somebody about a trade, they ask for centremen."
And they will be asking for a certain right wing, too.
Corey Perry is not as rooted to Orange County as Getzlaf. Nor has he yearned to stay here as loudly.
Now Getzlaf has served as Perry's financial planner. This deal gives Perry an outline of his own impending windfall.
Even though wings are more expendable than centres, Perry's insistence on playing his hockey just outside the goaltender's nose is unique in this game. He will get a very similar wage, either here or somewhere else.
As long as the Ducks keep rolling, this subject will stay tabled. The Ducks told Getzlaf they were here to win. Trading Perry, in fear of getting nothing for him if he leaves after the season, would break that promise.
Neither Boudreau nor Murray wanted to address Perry's issue Friday, or ruin what Murray called "a good day for the Ducks."
Do eight years of good days await? Maybe, if Getzlaf can show he's a little-game player, too.
--The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.)