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Ryan Getzlaf should feel pretty safe, and rightly so.
Stats 2011/12: 17GP, 4G, 5A, 9PTS, -4
Pro-rated stats over a full season: 82GP, 19G, 24A, 43PTS, -19
Career Average: 71GP, 21G, 48A, 69PTS, +13
Clearly, Ryan Getzlaf and the Anaheim Ducks are having a rocky start to their season; going 6-8-3 in their first 17 games for only 15 points, ranking them 14th in the West and 26th overall in the league.
The problem is the Ducks offence, which besides the top-line has been almost anemic, generating 35 goals for only 2.00 goals per game—good for dead last in the NHL. The top line, consisting of Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Bobby Ryan, as well as their power play running mate Teemu Selanne, have hit the back of the net a total of 20 times, which is 57 percent of Anaheim's total offence.
Every team has a right to want their best players to be their best players, but the complete lack of any kind of consistent secondary scoring has really sunk the Ducks.
Anaheim was a serious playoff contender just last season and probably could have pushed deeper had No. 1 goaltender Jonas Hiller not been sidelined with a strange case of vertigo. Now that Hiller is healthy, he is still an elite level goaltender, so the Ducks have that shored up.
With Lubomir Visnovsky and Toni Lydman, they have veteran presence on the defence with young guns Cam Fowler and Luca Sbisa logging significant minutes, so the D isn't looking too bad either. The problem stems from a lack of toughness in the bottom six to play the aggressive, hard-hitting, wear-me-down game that coach Randy Carlyle loves to play, as well as a complete lack of any kind of finishers on the team not named Getzlaf, Perry, Ryan or Selanne.
The team isn't in horrible shape however, as Emerson Etem (the Ducks' first-round pick, 29th overall in 2010) is dominating in the WHL and looks ready to step in for Selanne on the right side on the second line next year, should Selanne finally choose to retire. With Peter Holland not looking ready and Saku Koivu looking devoid of any offence in what could possibly be his last season, the Ducks have no one to step in to replace Getzlaf should he be moved.
Pros of trading him: a massive return for such a dominant, physical player with elite hands and vision.
Cons of trading him: Ducks just got off a few successful offseasons and are only a few tweaks to the second line away from being legitimate contenders again.
Sending away Getzlaf could seriously hurt the effectiveness of Perry, as the two really feed of each other on the ice. Getzlaf's recent injury history over the past three seasons, combined with his slow start, will have significantly hurt his trade value. With no other viable centre ice options to step in and replace Getzlaf, the Ducks would have to commit to a serious rebuild to justify his exit.
Verdict: No, Getzlaf stays a Duck.