4 Big Questions for the Anaheim Ducks in 2020-21

Ryan Getzlaf #15 of the Anaheim Ducks. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Ryan Getzlaf #15 of the Anaheim Ducks. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /
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Ryan Getzlaf (15)
Ryan Getzlaf #15 of the Anaheim Ducks. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

There’s four big questions facing the Anaheim Ducks in 2020-21.

We are a week away from the 2020-21 NHL season and, as a result, we are rolling out our season previews for all 31 teams, starting with the Anaheim Ducks.

We will be looking at the four biggest questions facing each team ahead of and during the 2020-21 season, running all the way through to Opening Night on Jan. 13, 2021.

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And today we start with the Anaheim Ducks who are currently in rebuild mode, although they did appear to accelerate that process somewhat by signing Stanley Cup Champion Kevin Shattenkirk in Free Agency.

Shattenkirk certainly adds some offensive punch to that Ducks blueline line, and there is also a plethora of high-end prospects that appear to be on the cusp of breaking through.

So, all in all, this appears to be an exciting time for Anaheim fans and we are now going to delve into the four most pressing questions that will need to be answered by the Ducks in 2020-21.

Let’s go…

Ryan Getzlaf (15)
Ryan Getzlaf #15 of the Anaheim Ducks. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

4. Can Ryan Getzlaf revive his career?

It isn’t a stretch to say that the 2019-20 season was a rough one for Anaheim Ducks Captain Ryan Getzlaf, who put together his worst statistical year since his rookie season in 2005-06.

The veteran center recorded 42 points (13 G, 29 A) in 69 regular season games with a plus / minus rating of -16, a regression from his 48 points the year before and a steep dropoff from the 61 points he recorded during the 2017-18 season.

Of course, father time is obviously a factor given that Getzlaf is now 35-years-old, while you also have to consider that the Ducks were just not very good in 2019-20, finishing 27th in the entire National Hockey League.

They also ranked 29th in Goals For Per Game (2.56) during the regular season, and the Ducks also spent a lot of time in their own zone given that they allowed an average of 3.17 Goals Against Per Game, which was 25th in the league.

Ryan Getzlaf (15)
Ryan Getzlaf #15 of the Anaheim Ducks. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

It probably also didn’t help that Getzlaf was without his regular and trusted running mate in Corey Perry, who was busy trying to help the Dallas Stars win a Stanley Cup, and there is enough evidence to suggest that Getzlaf’s play is declining as his career reaches the back nine.

His shooting percentage dropped from 10.5 in 2018-19 to 9.1 last year, and he just looked like a faded force.

Maybe giving Getzlaf a shiny new toy in rookie Trevor Zegras on his wing – and more on him later – could spark a revival in the veteran, or you could pair one of Max Jones, Sonny Milano, Troy Terry or Rickard Rakell with Ryan Getzlaf in the hope that they help their Captain get back to some-level of goalscoring prowess we have become accustomed to from him.

Because, if the Anaheim Ducks are serious about being competitive in a shortened 56-game season in 2020-21, they will need a lot more from their stagnant offense and that starts at the top with Ryan Getzlaf.