The Anaheim Ducks announced Friday afternoon that they have signed center Ryan Getzlaf to an eight-year contract extension. Terms of the deal were not disclosed by the team, but TSN's Bob McKenzie reports it carries an average annual salary of $8.25 million.
That would tie him with Carolina's Eric Staal for the fourth-largest cap hit in the NHL, trailing only Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.
The eight-year contract is the maximum length allowed under the new collective bargaining agreement and will keep the 27-year-old Getzlaf in Anaheim through the end of the 2020-21 season.
"We are very happy to have Ryan committed to this franchise long-term,” said Ducks general manager Bob Murray in a statement. "He has often expressed his interest to stay in Anaheim for his entire career, a goal we share. He is a leader, a proven winner, and possesses a skill set that's hard to find. This is a great day for the Ducks."
Getzlaf was set to become an unrestricted free agent after this season and along with his long-time linemate, Corey Perry (who remains unsigned beyond this season), was going to be one of the top players available on the open market. The contract status sparked trade rumors and a discussion as to whether or not the Ducks would deal their star forwards, even in the middle of what has been to this point a wildly successful season on the ice.
Now they no longer have to worry about that, at least as it relates to Getzlaf.
Murray has said all along his goal was to keep both players in Anaheim. He has Getzlaf. Now it remains to be seen if Perry will remain.
The Ducks selected Getzlaf and Perry in the first-round of the 2003 draft (Getzlaf was the No. 19 pick; Perry was 28th). They've been the backbone of the team ever since, and were both a part of the 2006-07 team that won the franchise's only Stanley Cup.
Getzlaf, one of the NHL's best playmaking centers, is currently experiencing a bounceback season for the Ducks after what was statistically one of the worst seasons of his career in 2011-12, when he scored just 11 goals and converted on fewer than 6 percent of his shots on goal, well below his career average. That made him a prime candidate for a big turnaround this season and he hasn't disappointed.
He already has nine goals in Anaheim's first 22 games.
Since the start of the 2005-06 season, Getzlaf's first in the NHL, only seven players have tallied more assists: Joe Thornton, Henrik Sedin, Crosby, Martin St. Louis, Pavel Datsyuk, Daniel Sedin and Brad Richards.