Anaheim Ducks name Ryan Getzlaf their new captain

getzlafcelebrates.jpgIn somewhat surprising news, the Anaheim Ducks announced late last night that 25 year old power forward Ryan Getzlaf will be the team’s eight captain. Here are some tidbits from the team’s press release.

The Anaheim Ducks announced today that the National Hockey League (NHL) club has named Ryan Getzlaf team captain. Saku Koivu and Teemu Selanne have been named alternate captains for the 2010-11 season. In addition, Corey Perry and Todd Marchant will serve as additional alternate captains when necessary.

“This is another step in the maturity process of Ryan Getzlaf,” said Head Coach Randy Carlyle. “We felt that with it being his sixth season in the league, now is the time for the transition and the veteran players agreed with us.”

Getzlaf, 25 (5/10/85), who is entering his sixth NHL season, will become the eighth captain in Ducks history after serving the past two seasons as an alternate captain for Scott Niedermayer. Having led the team in scoring in two of the last three seasons, Getzlaf also led the club in assists and ranked second in points in 2009-10 (19-50=69 points in 66 contests). The 6-4, 221-pound center also appeared in his first Olympics in 2010, winning a gold medal with Team Canada at the Winter Games in Vancouver. He finished the Olympic tournament tied for second on Team Canada with 2-5=7 points in seven contests.

A native of Regina Saskatchewan, Getzlaf has earned 107-232=339 points in 363 career games. His career +64 rating leads all active NHL players under age 25 heading into the 2010-11 regular season.

I must admit, I was expecting the Ducks to make more of a “transitional” decision regarding their captaincy by handing the “C” to an older player such as Saku Koivu. Koivu has 10 years on Getzlaf and also served as the captain for the Montreal Canadiens before moving over to Anaheim last season.

Still, naming Getzlaf captain does follow a recent trend of NHL teams naming their best young player captain even if that player isn’t always an outspoken leader. From the lead-by-example types such as Jonathan Toews and Sidney Crosby to the boisterous Alex Ovechkin, the common thread is a high talent level and long future with a given franchise.

By that logic, Getzlaf was the obvious choice for the Ducks. My suggestion for Getzlaf to prove his new found maturity: save your head, Ryan. It’s time for him to accept follicle reality. By parting with the last remaining threads of his hair, he’ll show the wisdom of a cagey veteran. Just a suggestion.

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    Scary moment: Carlo Colaiacovo hospitalized with ‘dented trachea’


    Buffalo Sabres defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo has experienced plenty of bad injury luck in his winding career, but Saturday presented one of his worst scares.

    As you can see from the video above, Colaiacovo received a scary cross-check from Viktor Arvidsson of the Nashville Predators, who received a major penalty and game misconduct.

    Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma said that Colaiacovo was hospitalized with a “dented trachea” yet is OK, the Buffalo News’ John Vogl reports.

    Frightening stuff from an eventual 4-1 Sabres win.

    PHT will keep an eye out for additional updates regarding Colaiacovo’s health (and a possible suspension for Arvidsson).

    Comeback Kings: Gaborik pulls L.A. past Kane, Blackhawks

    Jake Muzzin, Scott Darling

    Patrick Kane set an American scoring record, and added another assist to make it more impressive, but the Los Angeles Kings just wouldn’t be denied.

    In the end, Marian Gaborik‘s big night meant more than Kane’s; he scored the tying and then overtime game-winner, both assisted by Anze Kopitar, for a rousing 4-3 overtime Kings win.

    Gaborik’s first goal:

    And here’s video of the OT-GWG:

    Noticing a theme tonight? Yeah, it’s been an evening in which it’s dangerous to assume a lead would stand.

    With that, the Kings stick to the No. 1 spot in the Pacific Division, but Chicago shouldn’t feel all bad. The Blackhawks were able to piece together a decent run during their dreaded “circus trip.”

    Patrick Kane’s streak hits 19 games, setting a new American record


    When it comes to point streaks for U.S.-born NHL players, Patrick Kane now stands alone.

    With a power-play goal early in Saturday’s Blackhawks – Kings game, Kane extended his streak to 19 games, breaking a tie with Phil Kessel and Eddie Olczyk (who finished with at least a point in 18 straight).

    As of this writing, Kane has 11 goals and 19 assists during this 19-game streak. He also leads the NHL in scoring.

    Bobby Hull’s 21-game point streak stands as the Chicago Blackhawks’ overall team record, by the way.

    So, how would you protect a lead against the Stars?


    You know what they say: it’s easy to bash a strategy in hindsight.

    Slam that NFL head coach for going for it on fourth down … or settling for the field goal. Bury that MLB manager because he kept a pitcher in too long. And so on.

    “Score effects” settle in during almost any lopsided hockey game, yet the Dallas Stars present quite a conundrum: what’s the best way to put a way a team with this much firepower?

    Tonight may have presented the greatest evidence that this team won’t go away easy, as it seemed like the Minnesota Wild had the best of a tired Stars team* when they built a 3-0 lead.

    Instead, the Stars scored three third-period goals while Tyler Seguin capped the comeback with an overtime-winner.

    It was one of those bend-and-then-break moments for Minnesota. Dallas generated a 44-26 shot advantage, including a ridiculous 35-15 edge in the final two periods.

    Does that mean that Mike Yeo may have tried to play too conservatively with a healthy lead? It’s a possibility.

    On the other hand, would the Wild be wiser to try to run-and-gun with one of the most dangerous offenses in the NHL?

    It sure seems like a pick-your-poison situation. Which way would you lean, though?

    * – To be fair to Minnesota, each team was on back-to-backs.