As part of our Ducks Summer Q&A series, we’re catching up with several players to see how their offseasons are going, their outlooks for this coming season and more. Next up: Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf.
How has your summer been?
It’s been busy. The kids are really busy, so we’ve been running around. A lot of sports, a lot of baseball at the start of the summer. Since then, I’ve been to Bandon Dunes [Golf Resort in Oregon], Lake Arrowhead and Mammoth. I’ve been all over the place. It’s been a busy one.
Anything else planned before training camp starts?
We’re going to Napa and then we’re taking the kids on a Disney cruise right before the season starts. Kind of a closeout to the summer before things get really busy.
How has your offseason training been?
Offseason training is a progression as we go along. Given the long summer, it’s been nice to have ample time to recover and get my body feeling great again, which has been a blessing in disguise after a disappointing season.
There has been some change with the club this offseason, notably the hiring of Dallas Eakins as head coach. Did he reach out to you?
Dallas and I had lunch shortly after. We had a great conversation and a great connection when it came to the way we see things and the way we feel that changes need to be made operations wise as well as our play on the ice. He has a very positive outlook on the way things need to go, and he has a good rapport with a lot of the young players, which is great.
How did that lunch session go?
I thought it was great. I really appreciated the way he called and went about it, and wanting to reach out and have a conversation before things got going. It wasn’t so much about expectations, but just the way he sees things. He asked me a lot of questions about what we’ve done well and what we need to improve on as an organization, those kinds of things. I respected that a lot.
On a more personal level, this offseason also marked the departure of your longtime friend and teammate Corey Perry.
It was a little bit of a shock to the system. I talked to him a little bit here and there. We kind of had an idea that something was going to change. Going into training camp is definitely going to be a weird experience without him. I’ve been to every training with him since I was 18 years old. It’s going to be a little different.
What excites you about the upcoming season?
I’m excited about going into camp with the changes we’ve made, and obviously the coaching staff. Sometimes when those things happen it creates a bit of a buzz and a different look going into training camp, which is exciting for me because I’ve been to 14 training camps or so. Sometimes it gets a little monotonous. It’s nice to have an exciting year and a lot of young players who are here to push for spots and push us forward.
With what you know about this team, what can you say to some of the experts who aren’t expecting much from the Ducks next season?
We’re going to go out and play and put our best team on the ice. I know one thing about this organization – I’ve been here 14 years and we’ve never taken a season to rebuild. The one thing we’ve always tried to do is rebuild on the go. We’re going to have to do the same thing again. I’m pretty confident we can be competitive next year. We’ll see how it goes.