The Boston Bruins are among the teams interested in Anaheim Ducks captain and pending unrestricted free agent center Ryan Getzlaf, according to multiple reports.
The Fourth Period was the first to link the Bruins to Getzlaf, and the rumblings intensified on the eve of free agency with Pierre LeBrun including the B’s among those with their eyes on Getzlaf as the league inches closer to its yearly free agent frenzy.
A career-long Duck, Getzlaf is potentially hitting the open market after 16-year Anaheim run that’s included 279 goals and 982 points in 1,103 career games, including a Stanley Cup championship over the Ottawa Senators back in 2007. Most recently, the 36-year-old Getzlaf put up five goals and 17 points in 48 games.
There’s some obvious doubt as to whether or not Getzlaf will actually leave the Ducks. He clearly enjoys life out there, he’s been the team’s captain since 2010, and he’s been more than willing to stick it out through the club’s recent rebuild. Hard to imagine why he’d be in any sort of rush to abandon that after all this time.
But if he’s going to extend his Anaheim stay for another year or two, there’s no doubt that he’ll have to take a sizable pay cut from the $8.25 million cap hit he’s skated with for the last eight seasons.
If the Bruins are going to make a play for him, too,, you’d have to assume it’s because they have him penciled in for a potential bottom-six role with the club. (Potentially as the team’s third-line center option, and with Charlie Coyle moved to right wing.) The Bruins may have an opening on their second line, but it’s believed that David Krejci and the Bruins are close on a new contract, and Getzlaf’s days as a No. 2 center are behind him, so this fit would have to be in some sort of bottom-six role.
Getzlaf is certainly familiar with that kind of usage, too, as he’s been on the ice for the third-most five-on-five defensive-zone faceoffs among all Anaheim skaters over the last three years, and his 20.51 defensive-zone faceoffs per 60 minutes of five-on-five play rank as the 15th-most among a group of 106 NHL forwards with at least 2,500 minutes of play since 2018.
Getzlaf would also bring considerable postseason experience to the mix, with 37 goals and 120 points in 125 career postseason contests, including eight goals and 19 points in Anaheim’s three-round run in 2017.
The Bruins are slated to enter the free agent market with just over $20 million in available cap space.
NHL free agency will officially begin at 12 p.m. on Wednesday.
Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.