Jeff and Elliotte chat with Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf, discuss the Oilers struggles after a 6-0 loss to the Panthers, Sheldon Keefe’s post-game comments, provide more updates on Vancouver’s GM search, marvel at Victor Hedman’s dominance, a few thoughts on Brad Marchand, and a few more teams are added to the Jakob Chychrun trade list.
Where do the Oilers go from here? After a 6-0 loss to the Florida Panthers, Jeff and Elliotte really begin to question what management is thinking in Edmonton and if the team needs to make a desperation move to save their season (00:01). They then touch on Sheldon Keefe’s comments following the team's loss to the New York Rangers (9:55), arena capacity for Ontario teams (23:00), more updates on Vancouver’s GM search (25:10), Victor Hedman’s dominance (29:10), more teams are added to the Jakob Chychrun trade list (35:00), a couple of things on Brad Marchand (39:10), and they take a few of your questions (44:30).
The guys also chat with Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf (51:30) about the influx of youth on the squad, coming into a team that was filled with veterans, his world junior experience, if he’ll be the last man standing from his draft class, his friendship with Corey Perry, post-playing career plans, and if he was considering signing somewhere else in the off-season.
Full transcript for the episode can be found here by Medha Monjaury
Music Outro: J.E. Sunde - Sunset Strip
Listen to his entire album on Spotify
This podcast is produced and mixed by Amil Delic, and hosted by Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman.
Audio Credits: 104.5 The Team ESPN Radio, AM 560 Sports WQAM, Bally Sports Sun, Rogers TV, Sportsnet and Twitter (Sean McGuire via Aiden Smith)
The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts and guests and do not necessarily reflect the position of Rogers Sports & Media or any affiliates.
OPEN //// Elliotte Friedman [00:00:00] Let me just say I had the best spicy chicken for dinner tonight, but I think that that means I'm gonna drink a lot of water during this podcast. Great spicy chicken, spicy podcast.
Jeff Marek [00:00:14] It's been said before Elliotte, you never hit rock bottom, all you can do is decide to stop digging. Welcome to 32 Thoughts the Podcast presented by the all new GMC AT4 Lineup. We had eyes all week long on Thursday evening in Edmonton, the Oilers, facing off against the Florida Panthers, Panthers coming off a tough loss earlier in the week against the Calgary Flames. You knew they would be in an ornery mood and you had a feeling that the Edmonton Oilers would come out with something. You know, after all the speculation and the talk and what happened at the scouting meeting in California and all the discussions about trades and firings, etc. You knew Edmonton would bring something and they did in that first period.
Elliotte Friedman [00:00:57] Yeah, they were great.
Jeff Marek [00:00:58] They were all over the Florida Panthers. And you said to yourself, maybe, just maybe there could be something here. By the end of the night, the song remained the same. 6-nothing is the final score. We saw jerseys hitting the ice as well. Various members of the Edmonton Oilers trending on Twitter. There's a game Saturday against the Calgary Flames on Hockey Night in Canada for a little bit of spice for the weekend. Where are we with the Edmonton Oilers now Elliotte?
Elliotte Friedman [00:01:30] Tonight, I sat down, watched all the games.
Jeff Marek [00:01:32] Yes.
Elliotte Friedman [00:01:33] Did a chunk of our podcast earlier with you. It was a one beer night for me. Just one nice, smooth beer just to relax. I have a feeling when all the various members of the Oilers, whatever their role in the organisation is, when they get home after this game tonight, it's going to be a lot more than one beer for them. You know, just what a nightmare. Everything, as you said, first period dominant, they outshot Florida 17-7. Bobrovsky stands on his head. He's the best player on the ice in the first period, and tied for second were a lot of Oilers who played really well. And then you saw that first goal.
Elliotte Friedman [00:02:46] It was 5:28 in. It wasn't a great goal. It was short side and the Oilers lost the game right there. And I think everybody out here who's listening to this knows what it's like to be down, okay? I know what it's like to be down very publicly, and I don't like kicking people when they're down. Like Jeff. What else is there to say? In that moment right there you could see Koskinen sag, the team sag. The game, for all intents and purposes, was over, and I thought the Oilers really gamely tried to come back, but they didn't believe that they were gonna be able to make it work. And then, you know, the Barkov one that made it 3-to-nothing.
Elliotte Friedman [00:04:01] You could hear it in the building, it was like a balloon going, pfffffff. And the tough thing is right now is, Smith is hurt, Skinner's in protocol, you have to win games. I was thinking to myself, take Koskinen out for maybe his own sake. You know, the problem is you have a young kid behind him who's barely played and you are trying to win the games. But I'm almost like thinking, can you not put Koskinen back in because he's broken too like, you can imagine how he feels?
Jeff Marek [00:04:36] Oh, horrible.
Elliotte Friedman [00:04:38] So, where do you go?
Jeff Marek [00:04:39] But the thing is that that isn't new like, that's been an ongoing story between that goaltender and this organisation--
Elliotte Friedman [00:04:46] But I think it's just hit it's rock bottom now.
Jeff Marek [00:04:49] Oh it can get worse. Saturday's the Calgary Flames.
Elliotte Friedman [00:04:52] Yeah.
Jeff Marek [00:04:52] Like here's the thing. My question is, does anything change between now and Saturday? It's one thing to lose to the Florida Panthers, but you can say they're the best team in the NHL, make a real good case of the best team in the NHL right now, and they certainly showed that tonight. It's another thing to lose to the Calgary Flames on Hockey Night in Canada Saturday.
Elliotte Friedman [00:05:11] Yeah, I mean, I just wonder if we're gonna wake up on Friday and we're going to have to redo this podcast because they go out and say, screw it, we're getting someone else. Just to say we got someone else.
Jeff Marek [00:05:22] I mean, how many times we said, at some point you have to do something to change this. And I know that Ken Holland doesn't wanna make, [unclear], doesn't wanna make the coaching change. I get it.
Elliotte Friedman [00:05:33] Yeah.
Jeff Marek [00:05:33] I get it. That's not his style, he's resisting it, he doesn't want to do that, he doesn't believe in that. Okay. And he probably knows he's going to have to overpay to get a goaltender.
Elliotte Friedman [00:05:41] You brought up a really good name.
Jeff Marek [00:05:44] Semyon Varlamov of the New York Islanders. And the reason is, is he has term. So if you're looking at that first round draft pick that you and I like to argue about occasionally here on this podcast, you've made the point that you don't want to use that for a rental. Varlamov has another year left on his term. This is not a rental. This is a goaltender with another year left on his contract. Now, do you have the complications next year because you have Mike Smith signed for one more year and Stewart Skinner now needs waivers? Yes. But I think you're in a situation now, if you're the manager of the Edmonton Oilers, you're not worried about next year. At all. All you're worried about is the game against Calgary. And trying to get something back for this team. I don't know how you do it like I have a hard time pinning all of this on the goaltending. When you don't score a goal, you can't pin it on the goalie.
Elliotte Friedman [00:06:36] I know Jeff, I know, but this time you can't escape it. They were dominant and the game was over in that moment, and you can say that, okay, they've got to be mentally stronger than that, and it's true. But I think when you are having trouble with all the different goaltenders you've tried to use, they were beaten there and you could feel it. Did you not think the game was over when it was 1-nothing?
Jeff Marek [00:07:02] Not so much 1-nothing, but the Verhaeghe goal, like there was a really great play by Reinhart, that goes in, all of a sudden it's 2-nothing. I don't know that the Oilers have it mentally together to come back from 2-nothing.
Elliotte Friedman [00:07:13] Yeah.
Jeff Marek [00:07:13] And then you're right, the one that really cracked the spine. It's a really nice shot by Barkov, and he's an elite level player. But the NHL, can that goal go in? From that distance with that shot?
Elliotte Friedman [00:07:23] It's really tough for me.
Jeff Marek [00:07:25] I'll get you off the hook. For me, no. For me, that shot can't go in. That can't go in.
Elliotte Friedman [00:07:30] I don't like to kick people when they're down.
Jeff Marek [00:07:32] I know.
Elliotte Friedman [00:07:32] It really, it really hurts me to do that.
Jeff Marek [00:07:35] I know.
Elliotte Friedman [00:07:35] The only problem with Varlamov is, no, he's got a modified no-trade, so I'm not convinced he'd go to Edmonton? You know the thing that Holland could do if he wanted to talk about him was, imagine that negotiation, Holland-Lamoriello, he could say to him, You need the cap room too. It's a great name. I'm just not sure it makes sense. But, you know, I think if you want to give a shot to a younger guy, there's Husso.
Jeff Marek [00:08:01] Vanecek.
Elliotte Friedman [00:08:03] You know, Vanecek to me is a really interesting name. I mean, Vanecek signed for another year at 750, and you can give him a chance. Now it's not a guarantee, but I don't mind that gamble. I mean, you know, there's Holtby, UFA, Does it make any sense, Fleury? I can't see it. You know, Korpisalo, they're not crazy about him, he hasn't played well. I still wouldn't pay a big price, Jeff, we've had this argument plenty. I think you're at a point now where you have to say to your team, guys, you had a great period there. You had to hold together stronger, but we also know we owe you a goalie here. You have to do it.
Jeff Marek [00:08:47] Yeah.
Elliotte Friedman [00:08:48] You know, I would like to say one thing too I'd like to talk about something in particular. I wrote in my notes this week. I gave the impression to people. I didn't really realise it when I was doing it, I thought I was being flippant about it being in California and, you know, Darryl Katz could talk to them in person if he wanted to. Some people took that to mean he was running their scouting meetings or dominating or domineering their scouting meetings. That wasn't the case. I think he gives his opinion to the management team. But I don't think he like, sits in the scouting meetings and starts giving opinions. I, I wanted to clarify that I don't think that was happening. But, again, I would like to close this out by saying, I don't like panic moves, but I think the Oilers, they have to go get a goalie. They have to.
Jeff Marek [00:09:35] This is their season right now Elliotte, do not feel this? That right here, this is their season.
Elliotte Friedman [00:09:41] Absolutely.
Jeff Marek [00:09:41] To turn it around or it becomes another wasted season. This is it.
Elliotte Friedman [00:09:47] 100%.
Jeff Marek [00:09:48] Okay, so clearly not the last time we're gonna talk about the Edmonton Oilers, but let's pause the conversation. Turn our attention Elliotte to another Canadian team. The Toronto Maple Leafs.
Jeff Marek [00:10:54] Hockey players get called a lot of things, and hockey players can shrug off a lot of things, you can say a lot of things to a hockey player. You can say a lot of things about a hockey player but the one thing that I do know Elliotte, you probably should never call a hockey player soft. It seems like that is very much a line.
Elliotte Friedman [00:11:13] It's the biggest insult.
Jeff Marek [00:11:14] That for players you just do not cross, but there it was. Madison Square Garden, Maple Leafs squander another lead a 3-to-1 lead. They lose to the New York Rangers. And that was one of the words that Sheldon Keefe used to describe his team. A bridge too far, Friedge?
Elliotte Friedman [00:11:32] No, I, you know, I don't think it was a bridge too far. If that's how he feels, that's how he feels. I will say this. I had someone say to me that it got lost in the other stuff, the soft stuff.
Jeff Marek [00:11:43] Yeah.
Elliotte Friedman [00:11:43] But I had someone say to me that they thought the worst thing was what he said about Campbell.
Elliotte Friedman [00:12:06] There was someone else who was saying to me that if he was in Keefe's position the way Campbell's this year, and it's pretty obvious they don't trust right now what's behind Campbell?
Jeff Marek [00:12:15] Yeah.
Elliotte Friedman [00:12:15] As far as he's concerned, Campbell should be basically exempt from criticism. So I thought that take was interesting. But you're right, soft is the biggest insult. You know I think you could call a hockey player just about anything else, and that wouldn't accept them as much as soft.
Jeff Marek [00:12:28] Yeah.
Elliotte Friedman [00:12:29] I think that the GM really tries hard not to overreact to one game. That's number one. I think it's his job to be detached. His coach is in there, he's on the bench. And on this trip, Keefe has shown a little bit of frustration. You know, when he said after the Arizona game.
Elliotte Friedman [00:13:17] He talked about the lack of conditioning, which really surprised me because that came on a night they got goalie. They dominated.
Jeff Marek [00:13:24] They did.
Elliotte Friedman [00:13:24] Arizona that night and Vejmelka.
Jeff Marek [00:13:26] Yeah.
Elliotte Friedman [00:13:26] Just stood his head and completely beat them. But, you know you look at last week that comment and then you look at the other night, you can tell that the coach has a bit of a short fuse right now for what's going on. And, you know, I think it's the GM's job to look at it from 35,000 feet and say, okay, I'm not going to overreact to this and... I'm curious to see what it's going to mean. They've, they've still got a lot of time before the deadline. Think the thing that I took from that was, is the coach at all worried that he's not gonna have Muzzin? Because if you don't have Jake Muzzin, then it really changes your defence. That's the defenceman in terms of the way he plays the body. You don't have anyone else like that. And he's out with a concussion. And I think they're optimistic it's not anything that's long term, but with a concussion, you never know, right?
Jeff Marek [00:14:25] Yup.
Elliotte Friedman [00:14:25] So that was the one thing I kind of wondered about it was, is the coach worried that he's not gonna have Muzzin and therefore it changes the complexion of his defence? But I've kind of been told, don't run with that theory right now.
Jeff Marek [00:14:43] So the one thing that I thought about when I heard Sheldon Keefe's comments was a couple of things. One, I thought about the Jake Muzzin situation and you saw how, you know, Rasmus Sandin and Timothy Liljegren. I mean, Liljegren got run by by Chris Kreider I mean, Kreider does that to a lot of defencemen, but still like the one defenceman on that blue line that has snarl and has pushed back and does things that the other defenceman can't, is Jake Muzzin, and we've talked about that before he's, you know, the one guy where there's not a really the, no one has an overlapping skill set on that blue line with Jake Muzzin. Like, you look at the forwards, you can miss some forwards because there's some other people in the forward group that can do some of the things that the other big guys can, but they just do it in a minor key. They can't do it as well as the big guys, they do it in a minor key. No one on the Leafs blue line does what Jake Muzzin does, but the other thing that I wondered about Elliotte, was, you know, with that frustration that you saw from Sheldon Keefe and, you know, the choice of words, which was interesting and controversial. I wonder how much in the back of his mind he's thinking about what happened earlier that day, and that is the schedule coming out and having a look at what February looks like for the Toronto Maple Leafs, and the thoughts of maybe not having Muzzin, and that stress compounding after another loss where they squander a lead in... that was a big day. It was a big day for the Maple Leafs. Listen, it's Madison Square Garden, it's the Rangers, it's the Leafs, it's going to be a big night. I know you might look at it and say, you know, why would you waste that bullet calling your team soft on a midweek game in January? Like, why would you do it then? I just think that that was a day where the Maple Leafs got some news about their schedule, and they probably didn't like it dovetailing with the situation with Jake Muzzin. Do you think that has anything to do with it?
Elliotte Friedman [00:16:31] It's not as terrible as your regular theories, but the only hole I would poke into your argument was, I think that the Leafs and probably then Keefe knew about their schedule for a while. You know the announcement wasn't made until, you know, 3 o'clock Eastern Time on on Wednesday, but it doesn't mean that they got their schedule at 2:55. I think they've known for some time now what their schedule would be. That's the only hole I have with your argument. The players everyone's looking here, you know, the Sandin one with Reaves?
Elliotte Friedman [00:17:44] That one didn't bother me as much. I think he tried to battle them, he got beaten by a monster of a guy who would overpower any defenceman. You know, I thought he gave it the effort. The one with Kreider I didn't like, with Liljegren, I didn't like that one at all because Kreider just bull-rushed him and Liljegren basically left the play.
Elliotte Friedman [00:18:37] I'm trying to imagine what Dubas thinks about all of this. First of all, he's paid not to overreact to one game like coaches sometimes do. Number two, the one thing I think that Dubas really agrees with this year is that their new defence coach Dean Chynoweth. What I heard was, when they talked about overall philosophy, they talked about, the kids gotta play. Like Sandin has to play and Liljegren has to play. You know, for one thing, they're at the cap in a lot of places. And for another, eventually you've gotta find out what these two are capable of, right? And I think Dubas really believes in, that they've committed to this, and he likes that. So I think what he is gonna do is he's gonna say, look, I want to watch this for a couple more months before the deadline and then kind of make my decision then. Like I had people texting me last night and this morning saying, okay, the Leafs need two defencemen: they need a righty that can play a lot and a lefty for depth, and they need it like tomorrow. Like, there was a lot of that.
Jeff Marek [00:19:47] Sure.
Elliotte Friedman [00:19:48] What happens by Keefe doing that is, everybody who believes that, they now have licence to do it. And Kessler once said to me in Vancouver he didn't like, he says, I know you media guys like it when Alain Vigneault carves us, but I don't like it because it gives the fans licence to do it. They can say, well I can rip this guy and say, this guy is this because the coach does that. So everybody who said ah the Leafs, they played too soft, they're too soft, whatever. Now they've got licence to do it because it's been said. And so everybody's texting, ah, two defencemen, lefty for depth, a righty, like if Dubas believed it already, okay. But I don't think he believed it already. I think he's looking at it like, I still wanna see these guys as the intensity ratchets up before I make my decision. And I think that's what he's gonna do, I think he's going to watch it play out. I don't think he'll overreact to one game, but everybody else is really unhappy.
Jeff Marek [00:20:49] You know, I wonder how much though, that puts Kyle Dubas in a difficult position like if you want to make a move with the blue line and the coach is saying everybody here is soft. Does that not put him at a competitive disadvantage when he's making calls?
Elliotte Friedman [00:21:03] I don't buy that. I mean, look like, everybody can see what Toronto's strengths and weaknesses are. I just don't believe a coach's rant in the middle of January makes everybody think that, ope, Toronto's even more desperate now. I don't buy that. I just don't.
Jeff Marek [00:21:20] Leafs face off against the Islanders on Saturday.
Elliotte Friedman [00:21:22] That's a soft team. So you're going from--
Jeff Marek [00:21:25] Oh yeah, no problem.
Elliotte Friedman [00:21:27] You're going from one soft team to another.
Jeff Marek [00:21:28] Yeah, they're not going to get your face up against the glass on a consistent basis. Nah, they're a lot of fun. Yeah, no. They tickle you in front of the net, too, yeah, they bring a feather and tickle your chin, yeah, it's wonderful, nice easy game. Should mention as well. Ryan Getzlaf's gonna be aboard here.
Elliotte Friedman [00:21:40] Yeah.
Jeff Marek [00:21:40] A little bit later on in the podcast, sat down with him a couple of days ago Elliotte, real interesting conversation as well like, he's, you know, he's sort of assumed that role now of the, the elder statesman, the veteran, although I think you and I can still remember him coming in, him and Corey Perry as the big hotshot rookies on this Stanley Cup team that had, you know, a who's who of all, certainly elite-level defenceman on the blue line, Scott Niedermayer and Chris Pronger and Francois Beauchemin to say nothing, you know of some elite-level goaltending with Jean-Sebastien Giguere and like, up and down the lineup. And there were these two kids, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, and it's interesting to hear Getzlaf talk about Perry and their relationship. Still, to this day.
Elliotte Friedman [00:22:24] He misses his bestie. Yeah.
Jeff Marek [00:22:26] He misses him.
Jeff Marek [00:22:27] That was interesting though, and Elliotte asked a little bit later on if Corey Perry tried to lure Ryan Getzlaf to Montreal. And then I think the conversation about how close he was to leaving in the offseason, you know, on free agent day, you know, I think we had all heard about Edmonton. I think we had all heard about Nashville as well. And I would imagine there have been other teams that were interested in Ryan Getzlaf. And, you know we ask him just how close he was, just how close he was.
Elliotte Friedman [00:22:53] Don't ruin it. Don't give it all away. People are gonna want to listen.
Jeff Marek [00:22:57] I'm not saying the answers, this is the carrot in front of the mule, the cheese in the trap here Elliotte. These are the questions. The answers are coming up.
Elliotte Friedman [00:23:04] This is lousy cheese.
Jeff Marek [00:23:06] Okay well we'll move on. I want to stick with an Ontario issue. Capacity limits for fans in Ontario. This affects the Toronto Maple Leafs, it affects the Ottawa Senators. It'll be 50% capacity Elliotte on February 21st, full capacity on March 14. The question becomes, how much financial damage does that do from now to then?
Elliotte Friedman [00:23:30] Oh it does a lot. So before full capacity, Ottawa has 15 home games and Toronto has 10. Toronto's three and a half million negate Ottawa's about 600,000. You know, the teams say at this point in time, they don't know exactly how this is all gonna affect overall revenues or the million dollars at the salary cap is supposed to go up, but it's gonna hurt.
Jeff Marek [00:23:53] So you know what people are wondering about as well Elliotte? The Heritage Classic. What's the deal there?
Elliotte Friedman [00:23:58] They sound optimistic that they're going to be able to make that work, but nobody wants to say anything because they don't want to rub anyone the wrong way by saying something that's incorrect, they don't want to jinx it. They sound optimistic but, you know I did see today that the soccer game between Canada and the U.S. is gonna be at 50%. NHL's hopeful, but until you know, you don't know. You know, look, we've all got COVID fatigue, out of respect for our burned out medical professionals who are doing unbelievable work, I really try not to go any farther than saying that I think a lot of us have COVID fatigue, and a lot of us would love to see full buildings and I think it's really hard for especially players to see full buildings in the U.S. and not here but what are you gonna do Jeff like, what are you gonna do?
Jeff Marek [00:24:51] I know I and listen. I sympathise with you on healthcare workers.
Elliotte Friedman [00:24:54] Yeah.
Jeff Marek [00:24:55] And many of my friends work in that field too, and I know what they go through so.
Elliotte Friedman [00:25:00] I remember we had Craig Donaldson on at the beginning of the podcast and--
Jeff Marek [00:25:03] Great guy.
Elliotte Friedman [00:25:04] As frustrated as I get, I think about that podcast often.
Jeff Marek [00:25:07] Vancouver Canucks and the latest with their general manager search. Now this has been a week where Kent Hughes was named officially the general manager of the Montreal Canadiens and had his first press conference alongside Geoff Molson and Jeff Gorton. And all the attention now turns to the team we believe who will be naming next. And that's Vancouver. What is the latest Elliotte?
Elliotte Friedman [00:25:30] Well Vancouver has interviews going on Thursday and Friday. Two of the names have been mentioned the most, Scott Mellanby and Patrik Allvin and are in town to get their interviews done, and I think we'll see what happens after this week. Now there was a report about Mike Futa? I've been led to believe that's incorrect. Now, I could be wrong, but I've been led to believe that's wrong. I give Jim Rutherford credit, he has not made this easy on us. I think Sean Burke is another interviewee. I heard Anson Carter's name, but I was told that was a conversation.
Jeff Marek [00:26:05] Right.
Elliotte Friedman [00:26:06] And while Rutherford and Carter, I hear those two guys have a lot of respect for each other, I just heard it was just not good timing and it was decided not to pursue, but I know they had a conversation. I don't know if Ryan Johnston's been interviewed, but I have people keep telling me they think that he's gonna be a part of this, especially as it grows so, I'm really curious about it. I've also heard in some of these searches that there are some teams that are still deciding over timelines that they want to allow people to be interviewed. And I don't know if that affects Vancouver. It might be more for Chicago and Anaheim because I think Vancouver is getting closer. But I have heard there are some teams saying the timing for allowing interviews isn't very good for us right now.
Jeff Marek [00:26:56] So we'll stay tuned and see what happens with the Vancouver Canucks general manager situation.
Elliotte Friedman [00:27:01] Before we move on to anything else, you were on Rachel Doerrie's podcast today when she was announcing she was going to Vancouver so.
Jeff Marek [00:27:07] Yup.
Elliotte Friedman [00:27:07] You must have thoughts on this.
Jeff Marek [00:27:10] The Staff and Graph podcast.
Elliotte Friedman [00:27:11] Yes.
Jeff Marek [00:27:12] So, yeah, I'm really happy for Rachel. That's someone that's, you know, worked hard in a number of different places in a couple of different capacities as well. You know, I met her after I think it might have been a Sudbury newspaper where she talked openly about, you know, at a really young age, think she was like 20, talking about wanting to one day become a general manager in the NHL. And it's one thing to think that and it's another thing to put that out. And I really admire that. I admire that about young people now more so than ever, putting their ambitions out there for the world. You know, we've talked about, you know, not living a world of secrecy anymore. You put everything out there and I was just impressed by that. And I've, you know, struck up a friendship with Rachel ever since, I've always been, you know, supportive of Rachel and whatever she wants to do and, you know, I'm just happy for her. And I know the Vancouver Canucks have a really enthusiastic and hardworking person and someone that, you know, has great things in her mind she wants to achieve, and she's smart. And what have we talked about before? When it comes to your organisation, you can never go wrong filling your organisation with smart people, and filling your organisation with people that will challenge you, and people whose, you know the cement hasn't hardened around their ideas yet, people that can evolve are thought too. So I'm really happy for her. And as I told her today, as the news was made official, I very much look forward to her ignoring my texts now and ghosting me as she's like, I'm working for a team, I can't talk to you anymore. If that happens and I'm sure it will, I'll understand, and I'm really happy for Rachel. I really am.
Elliotte Friedman [00:28:52] Well said.
Jeff Marek [00:28:53] She's a good person. Vancouver got a good one there. All right. There's something that I want to get on this podcast just because, I really like this player. And I think when someone does something, the likes of which we saw Victor Hedman do earlier on this week, I think we should pause and note it. Two goals and one assist over 32 minutes of ice time, four defenceman for the Tampa Bay Lightning against the Los Angeles Kings. I'll tell you, we've talked about giving teams a reason to quit or a reason to lose. Tampa won't take it. And Victor Hedman relished the chance to be part of a four man D-crew against the Los Angeles Kings. Your thoughts on Hedman in, in what I would have to say, Elliotte is the best performance we've seen from a defenceman this season, period.
Elliotte Friedman [00:29:45] I was going to write about this next week, I watched it the other night. That night was why Tampa is a two time defending Stanley Cup champion. So I'm watching the game and I get a text before that game saying Tampa's only playing four D, and L.A. is +170 on the moneyline. So even at home, L.A. is the underdog to win the game against the Lightning, and I looked at that and I said Tampa four D, and it's worthwhile putting down a bet. And as you said, Hedman has an unbelievable game and Tampa wins the game, and I'm watching on our feed, I'm watching the Tampa feed. So after the game, I'm listening to their postgame show, which is still on with Paul Kennedy and Dave Andreychuk. And I can't remember the order of, if it was Cooper first or Hedman first. But Hedman comes on and he's got this big smile on his face. And somebody asks him.
Elliotte Friedman [00:31:05] And so I'm looking at this, this is why I was writing the blog this week, and he basically says.
Elliotte Friedman [00:31:56] I've told these stories about Michael Jordan before, I think Michael Jordan's biggest strength was, you could get a meaningless game against the Clippers in the dog days of February, and Michael Jordan would find a reason to score 40 points and win. That was what I think separated Michael Jordan from mere mortals. And I'm watching Hedman, and I'm thinking of this because he can't sleep in the afternoon because he's so excited to try to win with four D. Like here we are, we're a January game against the L.A. Kings and like there's no rivalry between the Kings and the Lightning, although that was a--.
Jeff Marek [00:32:37] Different conferences.
Elliotte Friedman [00:32:38] It was a mean game like it was a good hockey game. There was, there was a lot of meanness that night. It was really entertaining but here's Hedman pulling the Jordan move of, I've got a game that overall you don't think that there's a lot of motivation here, more than normal, and I'm wired to play this game because we could win with four D. And I just said, like, that's what separates the good from the great. Because he's like, we have every excuse here to lose. But we're gonna win. And Ken Campbell was on the postgame Zoom with Jon Cooper, and he was talking about his Norris ballot and Cale Makar's on it, and Cooper said something like.
Elliotte Friedman [00:33:27] You know, Cooper's got this kind of look he gives you when he's deciding if he's gonna be really sarcastic or not with his answer. But I think the thing that he basically conveyed was, Victor Hedman is the best defenceman the National Hockey League. He might not win the Norris Trophy every year, but he's the best defenceman in the NHL. And tonight was the reason why. I know I'm a failure as a person, but if I could conduct myself in a way, that is the way I would strive to conduct myself.
Jeff Marek [00:34:02] This is where you were expecting me to say Elliotte, come on you too hard on yourself, right?
Elliotte Friedman [00:34:05] No, I know you're a [grain], believe me.
Jeff Marek [00:34:09] You know what he was a, he at least told one person before the game who asked him about the four D setup? Two words: dream scenario. And you can see he had been saying that with a smile like I have, I have no doubt he was relishing the idea of playing like, beer league four D. I bet if you told him, hey, we're going down to three D, he'd be like, all right, bring it on. Good on Victor Hedman. That was a command performance.
Elliotte Friedman [00:34:37] If they played with 17 forwards and one defenceman. I think Tampa should try that one night.
Jeff Marek [00:34:45] The late great Brad McCrimmon used to do that for the Brandon Wheat Kings of the Western hockey--now in its junior hockey it's not the NHL, but he would play complete games for the Wheat Kings.
Elliotte Friedman [00:34:56] Wow.
Jeff Marek [00:34:56] He'd be out there for the whole game. Beast was awesome. We miss that guy. Speaking of defencemen. it seems as if, you know the deeper we get into the season, the more teams keep popping up around Jakob Chychrun. And, you know, you wrote about, you know, the Florida Panthers being all-in on players, that this isn't all in year. They're one of the teams tied to Jakob Chychrun, the Columbus Blue Jackets. I mean, I think a lot of teams have enquired. Some of the teams have the package that the Arizona Coyotes are looking for, which we've talked about a number of times here on this podcast. What do you make of the Jakob Chychrun situation here? Normally we say like, oh, all it takes is two teams to bid up a big price. Well there's more than two teams involved in this situation Elliotte.
Elliotte Friedman [00:35:41] Yeah, I think there's a lot. I think the Coyotes prefer to send him East, though I don't think that that is absolutely 100% gonna happen. I think Florida has let it be known that they're deep in this and that they are prepared to do what it takes to get it done. I don't think they're the only one, you've talked about L.A., Anaheim, and St. Louis.
Jeff Marek [00:36:04] Yup.
Elliotte Friedman [00:36:04] I think Columbus is there. I've heard the Rangers. I've had people disagree that it doesn't make sense for them, but I've heard it.
Jeff Marek [00:36:12] I've heard Rangers too.
Elliotte Friedman [00:36:14] I think that Chris Drury's gonna be one of the GMs to watch, I really do. The Rangers made a lot of changes last year because, you know, first of all, what were one of the issues that you know, people said about the Rangers last year that they weren't, that they didn't stand up for each other, right? They like basically they were accused of being what Keefe accused the Leafs of being the other night. And they're obviously a very different team. Although I gotta tell you, Jeff Gorton, he did extend Kreider and he brought Trouba in there so he did bring some guys with some beef and Trouba's been clobbering people this year.
Jeff Marek [00:36:46] He has.
Elliotte Friedman [00:36:47] But, you know, their identity's really changed, they're going really well. I think Drury and Jim Dolan, I think they could take a big swing. I think they're in on the Chychrun... I'm glad you've heard it too, because--.
Jeff Marek [00:37:00] Yes, I have.
Elliotte Friedman [00:37:00] I had some people who said to me after I wrote it, it didn't make sense and, and maybe the swing won't be Chychrun, but I think the Rangers are preparing to do something.
Jeff Marek [00:37:10] It does very much, if you read the tea leaves out there, it does very much feel like they want one forward and one defenceman. That in their mind, they're one shy of each. We need one forward, and one D. I could see Chychrun, I could also see Jake DeBrusk up front. And you know what, you know who else I could see? I mean, this is, you know, not exactly breaking news here considering how much, you know, Gerard Gallant liked this player, but I think we can all see Reilly Smith there. If the Vegas Golden Knights have to make some difficult decisions to get Jake Eichel into the lineup when he joins the mix. Honestly, I can see Rangers making a big move for a big forward, and if they can, a big move for a defenceman.
Elliotte Friedman [00:37:49] I hear a lot of noise around what teams think that the Rangers are gonna be involved here in some stuff. Take a look at it. Montreal just hired a new GM, they've got a lot of decisions to make.
Jeff Marek [00:38:00] Yup.
Elliotte Friedman [00:38:01] Chicago hasn't hired a new GM, they've got a lot of decisions to make. Like the one thing I can't figure ism when this is all gonna start, you know, the trade deadline is still two months away and there's not a lot of teams that have a lot of cap room, there's a lot of teams in LTIR, which makes it even more complicated. But I do think that there's some teams that are saying, look like, we'd like to get started early if you want to.
Jeff Marek [00:38:29] Well, there was, like I told you one manager told me, which is, there was a feeling amongst many that, you know, there was a mini-trade deadline in a lot of teams' minds that they all wanted to get something done before the Olympic break, that they were treating that as a deadline. Let's get some business done here before the Olympic break. We're not gonna leave this thing to March 21st, let's get it done before the players go to Beijing. And obviously that didn't happen and then so that kind of went away. But there very much is an appetite to do something early I think for a lot of these teams, I just wonder, you know, which trade is gonna be the one that breaks the dam here, because there's gonna be one, and then teams are gonna scramble and react. We see it all the time.
Elliotte Friedman [00:39:09] Before we do anything else, I wanna talk about Brad Martian for a second.
Jeff Marek [00:39:12] Sure.
Elliotte Friedman [00:39:12] For a couple of different reasons. Number one, this is a potentially altering injury.
Jeff Marek [00:39:19] Yes.
Elliotte Friedman [00:39:20] Bruce Cassidy didn't say much about it. Obviously didn't come back, I guess, was his quote. But, you know if you've ever injured your collarbone before, and that's what it looked like, I know I'm kinda guessing here, but that's what it looked like, collarbone shoulder area?
Jeff Marek [00:39:35] When you saw that he couldn't raise his arms on the goal, that's, oof.
Elliotte Friedman [00:39:39] I have done that before, and I'm guessing I may not have the pain threshold of a guy who's been thrown around as much as Marchand does.
Jeff Marek [00:39:49] Uh, I don't know. You're pretty tough, you're pretty tough.
Elliotte Friedman [00:39:51] I will say this. I'm not soft about that stuff, I am not. But I remember when I hurt it and I did it making the greatest catch of my life in softball in a game that we were losing by 16 at the time.
Jeff Marek [00:40:05] Oof.
Elliotte Friedman [00:40:05] I felt like throwing up. I couldn't believe the nausea that came through my body when I got that injury, so I can only imagine how much pain he was in. I think the Bruins are fine to make the playoffs, but I think in terms of the Eastern Conference playoff race and the standings, that's an potentially altering injury. And, you know, I think Marchand... I don't think he was gonna win it, but I think he was having a Hart trophy level season. So we'll see what this means, but I'd like to talk about him for a second. First of all, he grabs that fan's phone, which was hilarious.
Jeff Marek [00:40:42] Aiden Smith is the kid.
Elliotte Friedman [00:40:44] Aiden Smith. He grabs the phone, which is hilarious.
Jeff Marek [00:40:47] Yes.
Elliotte Friedman [00:40:47] And the kind of thing that I think the NHL needs more of.
Elliotte Friedman [00:41:04] But, you know he's had quite a month. You know when our grandparents get to 85 years old and they just decide they don't care anymore and they're gonna say whatever is on their mind? Brad Marchand has hit that point. He does it with the Olympics. They get blown out by Carolina the other night after a tremendous ceremony for Willie O'Ree considering O'Ree unfortunately couldn't be there. I thought everyone involved, the league, the Bruins, including O'Ree himself with a wonderful speech, did a great job.
Jeff Marek [00:41:34] Yeah.
Elliotte Friedman [00:41:35] Carolina talks up the win and he hammers them on Twitter with "You're the reason we paid 20 percent escrow" and I don't have the tweet in front of me, but there was somebody who asked me to explain what Marchand meant there. And basically what has happened is Marchand is taking a shot at the Hurricanes for not being a high revenue team like, say, the Bruins are. And he's saying that one of the reasons the players owe money is because teams like the Hurricanes don't make enough money. Like, that's a real shot at them. And to give you an idea, there's been a few times over the years when labour relationships between the league and the players have been really at their low, where people will go into wild conspiracy theories like this one: the NHL only keeps a team in Arizona to keep the salary cap down, which I think is insane. I don't believe that for a second. I think the commissioner is committed to the market and Bettman is, we've talked about this, out of his cold hands.
Jeff Marek [00:42:40] Yeah.
Elliotte Friedman [00:42:41] Is he gonna let Arizona go anywhere. It's the absolute last case scenario for him. But that's the way in moments of extreme disappointment about labour have people occasionally said things so that's what Marchand meant for that. When his career is over, the TV networks are gonna be fighting over him. And I think he takes Kevin's job before yours or mine but. You know the other thing too is, someone said to me that, first of all I wonder how many players are seeing Marchand doing this stuff, especially with the Olympics, and encouraging him to keep doing it because he's less afraid than I think a lot of other ones are. I had a couple of guys tell me that they think that the Olympics issue in particular and some players who were supposed to go to the Olympics didn't wanna play in the All-Star Game, they thought if they weren't allowed to play one, they shouldn't have to go to the other. You know, I'm getting told that the, the Olympics has ripped open a lot of wounds amongst the players and why they felt they weren't guaranteed to go. And they think this has, you know, longterm ramifications for the players association. You know, basically, we're in talks now about what's gonna be the succession plan for Donald Fehr. And there's always a battle from time to time for players to be interested in this? At times, they get criticised for not caring enough about this kind of thing? Someone told me the Olympics and what Marchand is doing is the tipping point of how a lot of players feel this was handled and they said to me, it's a story that you have to be watching.
Jeff Marek [00:44:35] With you saying that, all right. So with that, let's get to some emails and let's get to to some phone calls as well and there's a couple of interesting ones here, and one has a nice little historical slant to it, and we always appreciate that. This from Matt. "With the NHL having to reschedule so many games, do you think we'll see any teams playing three games in three nights? Anything in the CBA prevent this." And that's what I want to get this one in. You can't do it under the NHL's CBA.
Elliotte Friedman [00:45:03] Yeah, three games in three nights is not--I mean, if there's a special exemption, yeah, but generally you can't do it. It was interesting though. I had one player tell me that when they looked at their schedule, they said to themselves, I knew it was coming. But to see it look like that?
Jeff Marek [00:45:21] Mhm.
Elliotte Friedman [00:45:22] I wasn't prepared for it. It's gonna be a lot. It's gonna be a lot.
Jeff Marek [00:45:26] Feel like you're in the American League all over again.
Elliotte Friedman [00:45:28] Yeah. Yeah.
Jeff Marek [00:45:29] This from Josh in Florida. "I'm new to the pod and already loving what I'm hearing from the two of you. Had a question about a potential Winter Classic between the Panthers and Lightning in Florida. What do you think that would look like in the future and do you believe it could be a realistic possibility with the growth of the sport into the state?" Elliotte I love it.
Elliotte Friedman [00:45:48] Well, I love it too, and I know the league has investigated it. And the biggest problem I've heard is that they're worried they couldn't do it just cause of the weather, the humidity. I think they would love to do it, but I've always heard they're just concerned about the ability to have ice outdoors in Florida, even in January and February. They're just not convinced they could pull it off.
Jeff Marek [00:46:14] The thing is, if you're gonna do it, you do it now.
Elliotte Friedman [00:46:17] Yeah.
Jeff Marek [00:46:18] While these two teams are great and meeting in the playoffs, that adds a whole new layer to this rivalry. What have we talked about for so long? The inability of these two teams to get a rivalry going because as one was good, the other wasn't, and then one was great, and the--now it's clicked. Because if you're not going to do it now, you just don't do it.
Elliotte Friedman [00:46:37] Yeah.
Jeff Marek [00:46:38] But if you're gonna do it, the time is now before we get to Getzlaf here again, one quick voicemail, then we'll get to the captain of the Anaheim Ducks. This from a listener in Hamilton, Ontario.
Jeff Marek [00:47:15] Hmm. Maybe not make it just expansion teams, but other cities that almost got NHL teams. Elliotte, two weeks ago we were talking about Saskatoon hosting a game.
Elliotte Friedman [00:47:28] So, Jeff, I know you have a couple here that are good stories. The Saskatoon-St. Louis one, 1983 St. Louis doesn't even show up at the draft, and there's rumours the team's going to Saskatoon and Harold Ballard had like, one of the all time great lines saying, why would you go to Saskatoon, that's where god left his snowshoes. Whatever you think of Harold Ballard, that is funny. And you know, the other one I think of and it's not exactly the same, but there's a good story to be told there a good book to be told there was, before the Atlanta Thrashers moved to Winnipeg, the Arizona Coyotes were literally, I think, the year before, about five minutes away from moving to Winnipeg before that franchise got saved. So those would be the two that, that I would think of.
Jeff Marek [00:48:15] There was also a time in the, in the early 50s where the American Hockey League legitimately rivalled the NHL in terms of quality of player and quality of team. And you know, there was always the question, you know, the Cleveland Barons were a legendary team, real good I mean, and Johnny Bower, you know, didn't want to join the NHL and the Toronto Maple Leafs because he could make more money playing with the Cleveland Barons. But there was a lot of talk, and I believe the governors all agreed to it, but the Barons couldn't put the money together to make it happen, that the Cleveland Barons were going to join the National Hockey League, Cleveland was coming in, and what we now call the original six would really have been the original seven. And the other one that I think of Elliotte, is 1967 expansion and the St. Louis Blues. Now that market was granted a franchise, but no ownership. Like Chicago pushed for St. Louis to get a franchise, but there was no ownership bid. And that's another one of those. Could you imagine if that ever happened now? We're just putting a team here, and now we're opening up for ownership bids. But that's what happened in 1967. And what the NHL had planned to do, is if no ownership bid came forward, they were putting the team in Baltimore. Now Baltimore and came up a couple of different times and expansion, and eventually Washington ended up with the team.
Jeff Marek [00:49:42] Mhm.
Elliotte Friedman [00:49:42] But those are a couple that came to mind for me, and that's when Seattle expansion happened, we were all reminded of how Seattle came close a couple of times, I think in '74 and '76, and there was actually a press conference announcing that Seattle was going to join the NHL in the mid-'70s and, and that didn't go anywhere but those are, and I'm sure I'm missing a bunch, too, but those are just a few.
Elliotte Friedman [00:50:06] The NHL does things very weirdly over the years. You look at the way some things were done?
Jeff Marek [00:50:13] Listen, look at the origins of the league, how, you know, it was essentially a backstabbing that started this league.
Elliotte Friedman [00:50:19] And also, how many teams did the Norrises own? One time didn't they own four of the six teams?
Jeff Marek [00:50:24] I know right? The Noris family owned all of them.
Elliotte Friedman [00:50:27] Could you imagine now what would happen if you said, okay, we're awarding St. Louis a team, but we don't have an owner yet.
Jeff Marek [00:50:34] We don't have an owner yet.
Elliotte Friedman [00:50:34] And we don't have an owner by this date, we're gonna go to Baltimore. Could you just imagine that? So funny.
Jeff Marek [00:50:40] Listen, that the NHL had to be dragged kicking and screaming into expansion. Right? It was like, you know, the thought of how good the hockey was out west and was gonna rival and rumours of the WHA and like, they liked it the way it was. Like if it was up to those owners, there would be no 1967 expansion thank you very much. We got a good thing going here.
Elliotte Friedman [00:50:58] The story in Sports Illustrated about expansion, and there was one owner or somebody who was quoted saying, we played at 98% capacity, why are we doing this?
Jeff Marek [00:51:08] Yeah.
Elliotte Friedman [00:51:08] And right now it's the reverse. Where, where can we put a team somewhere for $650 million?
Jeff Marek [00:51:16] It's true. Okay, let's get to our guest. He is the captain of the Anaheim Ducks. Here's our interview with Ryan Getzlaf on 32 Thoughts the Podcast.
Jeff Marek [00:51:33] Pleased to be joined by Ryan Getzlaf, the all-time leading scorer of the Anaheim Ducks, captain of the Anaheim Ducks, a pair of gold medals, Stanley Cup in 2007. Ryan, first of all, thanks so much for joining us. How are you today?
Ryan Getzlaf [00:51:46] I'm good. Thanks for having me, guys.
Jeff Marek [00:51:48] The pleasure is all ours. Now when people ask you this question, we're going to get a lot about you, but I want to ask you about your team to start. When people ask, what's the difference between last year's Ducks and this year's Ducks considering, listen the personnel is almost identical, what answer do you give them?
Ryan Getzlaf [00:52:06] Just a new year. I mean, we went through some experience and stuff last year, obviously with our kids and having that many young kids in the lineup last year, a lot of it was their first time going through things and, you know, and it makes it more difficult. We had a lot of trouble scoring goals last year to keep ourselves in games and this year we came in with a, with a nice attitude and obviously the excitement back around the rink and stuff with fans and everybody helps a lot and we were able to kind of get on a roll at the start of the year.
Elliotte Friedman [00:52:36] Every team goes through its struggles. You're out of the lineup, the team struggles a bit. When you get back Ryan, what's the first thing you say when you walk in to get everybody settled down?
Ryan Getzlaf [00:52:48] Well, I wouldn't say that I say anything. I think that, you know, it's more important that I'm there and doing my job, I'm not going to come in and be a saviour by any means, it's a matter of understanding certain situations, and I think some of those I've been through so some of that experience helps me calm the room without having to say a whole lot. I'm able to come in and, you know, in certain situations during the games, I can take control of the puck or control the play, and that allows our group to kind of settle down and fall in suit. And I think that comes with experience and, you know, I've been lucky enough to have a lot of that.
Jeff Marek [00:53:22] Let me jump on that one because one person that I talked to about you said, one of the reasons why Ryan Getzlaf is a great player is, he doesn't dwell on the last play and he doesn't worry about the next play. The you're very much a in-the-moment kind of player. Is that accurate?
Ryan Getzlaf [00:53:40] Yeah, to an extent, for sure. I think again, that's, you know, being in the league as long as I have been in some of the moments I've been able to be part of, it allows you to have the experience to understand that that's what it kind of takes at this point and, I don't think I was always that way, but I definitely, you know, try to take whatever happens and kind of learn from it and then move on. And I've had some nice coaching along the way that has taught me that, as well as other players that I've watched along the way, Scotty Niedermayer was a prime example of someone like that that never really let anything concern him other than what his next shift was going to be and I tried to take that along as I went.
Elliotte Friedman [00:54:19] It's funny you mentioned Scott Niedermayer because I've always wondered what exactly bothered that guy. In all your time with him. You know, I'll tell you this. The angriest I ever saw him was in that series against Detroit when the disputed goal knocked the Ducks out of the playoffs, whatever the year that was, I think it was '09? But other than that, I never saw him mad. What's the angriest you ever saw him?
Ryan Getzlaf [00:54:45] I don't know. I saw videos of Scotty twirling around a jersey and trying to kick it out of the air at one point when he was in Jersey but. You gotta dig deep to find that video. But no, he, you know, Scotty's a pretty level headed guy. There's not a lot that, not a lot that bugs him. You know, I see him, see him in the middle of a playoff run and get a slapshot taken at him after a whistle.
Jeff Marek [00:55:09] Yup.
Ryan Getzlaf [00:55:09] You know, everyone else in the room was more upset that he was so. He definitely had a knack for staying levelheaded at all times and understanding what the next job was.
Jeff Marek [00:55:19] That intermission by the way, I've asked so many Ducks players about that. And that's the Alfredsson shot.
Elliotte Friedman [00:55:25] Yeah. '07 Cup Final.
Jeff Marek [00:55:26] Yeah and everyone's hot and, you know, everyone's got a different version of what Scott said, but it's all the same message like guys, settle down, we've got them. What do you remember from that intermission in your Ducks room in 2007?
Ryan Getzlaf [00:55:41] Yeah, I mean, I just remember obviously, our team was a pretty high-strung team to begin with, we fought a lot, we did a lot of things that year. I wouldn't say we were the most [unclear]. But no, I mean, I just remember Scotty saying, just forget about it, don't worry about that. We'll go get the game and that's all that matters kind of thing, and that was the message that basically we had to take back onto the ice at that point.
Elliotte Friedman [00:56:06] You know, Ryan, it was sixteen years ago that you showed up in Anaheim as a 20 year-old and you look around, you got Selanne, you got Niedermayers, two of them, you got Beauchemin, Andy McDonald, you got all these veterans and you're 20 years old. And I'm curious, how does it compare to a 20 year-old Trevor Zegras walking in this year and players like yourself, Shattenkirk, Fowler, who've been around for a long time?
Ryan Getzlaf [00:56:38] Yeah. I mean, that's probably a better question for Z but, you know, I can only speak for myself, obviously, I understand at that point when I came into the team, I was pretty bright-eyed and, you know, and looking to kind of make my mark and make this team and I remember just, you know, being completely focused on that. I was, I don't want to say luckily enough, but I never really grew up a big hockey fan so I didn't come into the room and awe at all these people, I just came in and tried to find my way of trying to find my space and understand what I had to do to, you know, compete at this level so. I was pretty fortunate to be surrounded by some pretty good people and, who helped bring me along and make me understand what it was like to play in this league and what you had to do. You know, and then now these guys coming in and obviously the kids now are a lot different than we were. But at the same time, we're, we're able to kind of relate in different ways and share experiences that I had when I was a kid in trying to bring them along and help them any way I can.
Elliotte Friedman [00:57:41] Well, I wanted to ask a bit more about that because you mentioned kids now, they don't wait. There doesn't seem to be as much of a hierarchy as there used to be. And there's good things about that, and there's bad things about that. And I wonder, you know, you were never afraid, you were always confident in yourself. When a guy like Zegras walks in or another young player walks in, do you ever look at them and say, was I this confident when I was 20?
Jeff Marek [00:58:08] Hmm.
Ryan Getzlaf [00:58:09] I like that you're using the word confident, not cocky.
Elliotte Friedman [00:58:13] Well, to me, it's the same thing. I don't really have a problem with it.
Ryan Getzlaf [00:58:17] Well, there is a difference between confident and cocky, that's for sure but to be at this level, you have to be confident in your abilities, you have to be confident who you are, otherwise you're probably not gonna make it at this level. But at the same time it's about respect and finding that understanding of, you know, what your position is, where you can be, where you can push. And that's, you know, the kids nowadays are coming in with a lot more, a lot more confidence and a lot more... impatience, I'll call it. They don't wanna wait for their opportunity. They don't wanna wait for their turn. They wanna come in and contribute right away and, and like you said, there's pros and cons to that. I mean, there's some of these kids now come in and, and they're able to contribute right away and they're able to drive the bus and understand that their skill levels are just that high, that their hockey IQ will come with it along the way but in the meantime, their skill takes over and they're able to compete at this level so there is both of those but, you know, I think the biggest thing is we try and just teach them, there is other elements to the game other than just your skill level and just your talent level, because those are the things that are gonna push you to win championships and win consistently in this league.
Jeff Marek [00:59:26] So what goes through your mind then, when you see Zegras and Milano against the Buffalo Sabres in the highlight of the year? What goes awry in Getzlaf's point of view?
Ryan Getzlaf [00:59:35] I was, I called our coach after and told him I was gonna retire. So that's it for me. I wasn't on the ice. I was at home actually when I watched that.
Jeff Marek [00:59:48] Yup.
Ryan Getzlaf [00:59:48] But those things are, they're all fine and dandy, and all that stuff to me is great. That stuff pushes the game, it adds the entertainment value, the fans love it, everybody, which is great when it works. It's awesome. And it's the same as back in the day when you made a backhand pass across the rink in the air, everybody, if it gets there, everybody thinks it's great, if it doesn't, it's a stupid play. So it's one of those things you gotta kind of weigh out. But I thought it was great, I mean, they were having fun. They made a play happen that everyone was able to talk about, and it pushed our team to win the game.
Elliotte Friedman [01:00:23] Did you know that they were gonna do that?
Ryan Getzlaf [01:00:25] No.
Elliotte Friedman [01:00:26] I was just wondering if you saw that and said, I knew they were gonna do it.
Ryan Getzlaf [01:00:30] No, no, no. That's not--they haven't, they haven't, it's not like they were practising it or trying to practise or anything like that, it came out of nowhere. Z's always playing around and flipping the puck around and all that kind of stuff and he just happened to decide to toss it to Sonny I guess that moment.
Jeff Marek [01:00:48] I mean, that play did so much work marketing the game, you know Elliotte and I were talking about this a while ago on the podcast here that, you know, you can create the slickest, coolest marketing campaign you want. But that one moment against the Buffalo Sabres did more to market this game than anything else that I've seen. And I know it's just one element of the game, and to your point, it's not going to happen every--but that moment when we look back on this season, it's going to be tough to top that. There have been some great plays, some great moments, some great games. This season's been really good in a really tough situation, but I think we're gonna look back on this year and go, oh yeah, that was the year that Zegras and Milano did that.
Ryan Getzlaf [01:01:28] Yeah, I mean, it was definitely cool. That was a big thing for the game and like you said, everybody was talking about and going through it, which was really cool.
Jeff Marek [01:01:36] Let me ask you about coaches. Because in Anaheim, you've had Randy Carlyle twice, Bruce Boudreau, now Dallas Eakins, briefly Bob Murray went behind the bench as well. I'm curious about Carlyle. How was he, or should I say, was he different the second time around with Anaheim?
Ryan Getzlaf [01:01:54] I think he tried to be, you know? The one thing I've noticed about coaches and I guess people in general is that everyone can try and change and try to try to do things but if what you change doesn't result in wins and losses, or wins I guess, then you tend to revert back to your old ways. And I think that at times Randy was a little bit guilty of that. He came in with a little bit different mindset, a little different attitude but the team results weren't that much better I think at the point, so I think he reverted to some of his old ways, which ultimately ended up with him moving on again.
Elliotte Friedman [01:02:33] You know, you've had four coaches. Is there anything that's the same in all three of them?
Ryan Getzlaf [01:02:39] Well, I can definitely say that their passion for the game and their passion for winning is the same. They all care a lot about their players and all care a lot about the game You know they have different ways of delivering that message and different ways of dealing with players and stuff but ultimately, I know in their heart that they all had a similar interest in that they wanted to win hockey games and they wanted to get the best out of their players so, I definitely would say those are similarities for him.
Jeff Marek [01:03:07] You know, we just saw as we record this on Tuesday evening at 7 o'clock Eastern, yesterday we saw Chris Pronger get his jersey retired in St. Louis. You played with Chris Pronger, of course in Anaheim, you guys won a Cup together. We always talk about our love of grumpy hockey players on this podcast and elsewhere, and I have a soft spot in my heart for grumps, maybe that's why I like Brian Burke so much. What was Chris Pronger like as a teammate?
Ryan Getzlaf [01:03:34] You know what? Prongs is great. I got along with Chris really well, I still talk to him all the time. But you're right, I mean, he's kind of a grouchy guy when it comes across as a person and as a player but he was a guy that drove the team. He's a guy that expected a lot out of players and he was the first one to let you know if you weren't doing it, so. I learned that at the young age as a young player. Chris wasn't afraid to demand the room and... or demand the ice, you know, in practise or whatever it was. He made you work for whatever you were gonna get so he taught me a lot in that aspect.
Elliotte Friedman [01:04:07] You know, Ryan, I'm really curious about that because, you know, there's the famous story about Philadelphia when he slammed Giroux into a wall and Giroux didn't complain about it, he realised what was going on. You are no shrinking violet. You are not afraid to stand up for yourself. Like, what was it like when Pronger came for you? And would you go right back at him, or would you just say, this is my initiation, I've gotta to take it?
Ryan Getzlaf [01:04:34] My memory isn't great, but I don't know if me and Chris ever had a moment like that that he felt like he had to attack me? But I do know that, I do know that he was demanding, and there definitely was times where he would yell at me in practise to do something properly or not or whatever. And again, I had a lot of respect for Chris and listened to a lot that he said, you know, in those situations, but I definitely would stand up for myself and work through it with him. And I think that's why we got along great because I never turtled away from anything and I never worried too much about anything. You know, those guys kind of taught me as well as Randy, that this is a tough game. And, you know, if you can't take criticism, it's gonna be a long road for you.
Elliotte Friedman [01:05:18] I'm looking over that list and we mentioned it before, you walk into a room, you've got, well, Pronger came a bit later, but you have the Niedermayer brothers, you have Teemu Selanne, you have guys like Andy McDonald. Boy, you were, you were really fortunate when you started out. Those are great players, very different personalities between all of them, very demanding of themselves, some Hall of Famers. I mean, you walked into an area where you knew that you were gonna get an education and it was your choice on whether to accept it or not.
Ryan Getzlaf [01:05:50] You know what, I've said it all along. When I got drafted Anaheim, I kind of fell in the draft and it was a little bit of a weird scenario at the start and, you know, from the day I got to Anaheim, I realised how lucky I was that I ended up there. I watched some of my other guys that I came up with going to certain situations and some succeeded, some failed. And I was very fortunate to go end up where I did with a new ownership group that was pushing the right way and understood what it took to win and, and then, like you said, surrounded the team with guys like that. There were great character people, not only good players, but great characters, and I got to take a lot out of them in different areas.
Elliotte Friedman [01:06:33] Did they clobber you at the rookie dinner? How bad was it?
Ryan Getzlaf [01:06:40] Well you know what? Our rookie dinner actually worked out pretty good because it was in Canada at the time where the dollar was not so good.
Elliotte Friedman [01:06:48] Yeah.
Ryan Getzlaf [01:06:50] And B, there, I think there was, I want to say there were seven of us. It wasn't too bad, we got the split it up pretty good.
Elliotte Friedman [01:06:57] Because I could see like Selanne ordering, you know, a really expensive bottle of wine and saying, Oh, there's seven? One, two, oh then I can go a little bit higher on the menu.
Ryan Getzlaf [01:07:08] He does, he still does that to me now!
Elliotte Friedman [01:07:15] Do you miss Corey Perry?
Ryan Getzlaf [01:07:18] Yes.
Elliotte Friedman [01:07:19] What's the biggest thing you miss?
Ryan Getzlaf [01:07:21] Everything off the ice, me and Pears are, you know, best friends, we grew up in this game together, we were able to go through lots of highs and lows and all that kind of stuff so, you know, we did, we did almost everything together off the ice, dinners out, all that kind of stuff. So I think that's the the biggest thing I miss is just that camaraderie. Not that I don't have that with some other teammates.
Elliotte Friedman [01:07:43] Right?
Ryan Getzlaf [01:07:44] Pears has been a really good friend of mine for a long time now.
Elliotte Friedman [01:07:47] So how hard did he work to try to get you to go to Montreal last year?
Ryan Getzlaf [01:07:55] Pears never worked hard in his life, are you kidding me? He would, he would never work hard enough to do that because he wouldn't want to admit that he wanted me there so, you know, I think we talked about it one time but, you know, ultimately we were, we've never been that, that involved in that kind of stuff. We, the hockey kind of part of it is a moot point for us when we have conversations to tell you the truth.
Jeff Marek [01:08:23] A couple of things about your draft because you mentioned that a couple of seconds ago: where did you think you were going? Did you have an idea who, before Anaheim, who was gonna take you?
Ryan Getzlaf [01:08:32] I had a pretty strong feeling that I was gonna go to the Rangers. I think there were picking at 11 or something, and they'd kind of told my agent, not told him, but kind of hinted towards the fact that if I was still there, they were gonna take me and, so that was the only one that I kind of thought that I was going to end up at.
Jeff Marek [01:08:50] And they ended up taking Hugh Jessiman that year, that was 2003 and, Hall of Famers in that class, like in guys that have, you know, shattered records and won Stanley Cups. I am curious. Who do you think the last man standing will be from that draft?
Elliotte Friedman [01:09:07] Oh that's a good question.
Ryan Getzlaf [01:09:07] The last player, cause whether it's, I mean, you're in the conversation, I think you're 7th. You and Corey Perry are, I think you have a similar amount of games played, but there's, you know, Dustin Brown and there's Ryan Suter and Patrice Bergeron. Who do you think the last man standing is and do you think it might be you?
Ryan Getzlaf [01:09:29] I know it won't be me. I know that. I don't know. There's no way my body will let me be the last man standing, but yeah, I don't know. I mean, that was such a unique group. But yeah, there's still quite a few guys going, so hopefully they can continue on.
Jeff Marek [01:09:46] Did you get the sense even then that, you know, you look around at your draft class like, we look at it now and we say this is one of the best drafts of all time. That first round, you guys are all in Nashville for the opening round, did you all sort of look around and go, this group's gonna to do some damage in the NHL and do some damage for a long time? Like, did you guys know how good you were?
Ryan Getzlaf [01:10:04] I don't think you ever look at it like that when you're that age, I think that, you know, you know, realistically, until you actually make the NHL and make a hockey team, you're kind of on the outside hoping to be in so. But I think we knew that, obviously we came up together, there was a lot of hype on that draft.
Jeff Marek [01:10:20] Mhm.
Ryan Getzlaf [01:10:20] Fortunate enough to play a lot of international hockey together for the Canadian guys and then the Americans obviously were playing against them, and then the Europeans came in too. So it was a really fun experience I mean, the whole growing with that group from the under-17 tournaments on was really fun.
Elliotte Friedman [01:10:37] I remember interviewing Brent Sutter the night after you guys won the gold in the 2006 World Juniors, and he said, that was a 5-nothing blowout of Russia in that gold medal game, and he said he knew that Canada had won it on the first shift. And he said that's one of, all the games he's ever coached, that remains, I think his favourite. Just what do you remember about that night, that team, and that game?
Ryan Getzlaf [01:11:06] That was really my first, you know, true experience at that kind of level that was like that elite level that the fans were passionate about, that everybody was, was on board, I never played in the Memorial Cup before that or anything and to go into that building and just see red everywhere and people going crazy was just a unique experience that got, you know, pushed us along the way and obviously from losing the year before, it made it even sweeter because we came there on one mission and we executed throughout that whole tournament and learned a lot.
Jeff Marek [01:11:39] That was a fascinating time because that Grand Forks team, you know, one of the greatest junior teams ever assembled, maybe the best junior team ever assembled. You guys win the gold and everybody goes back to their team, and then the first time Calgary and Red Deer play, you're fighting teammates. It's a throw down, and that I remember, I think it was the first game and I remember being at Budweiser Gardens in... I think it was the first game after that. It was London and Kitchener and right at the end of the game, Corey Perry and Mike Richards throw down like with like two seconds left in the game.
Jeff Marek [01:12:53] And here we are thinking to ourselves, wow, this is like one of the greatest teams we've ever seen, and they look like they hate each other like a week later.
Ryan Getzlaf [01:13:01] But it is [unclear].
Jeff Marek [01:13:02] That was, can you describe that dynamic? Like, the Perry-Richards thing was kind of interesting because I'm watching this fight and it's almost like they're laughing, like they're having a good time with it? But then I watched, you know, you guys, you're in Calgary throwing down, nobody was smiling Ryan.
Ryan Getzlaf [01:13:19] Honestly, I think that this is more just a contribution to the fact that we we were just competitors. You know, that team was built that way. We were, had one mission at that tournament and that was to win the tournament. Not that we didn't get along there. Everybody was, you know, we were a tight group, we had a great time. But I think when you have competitors like that, we just don't really turn it off. We don't really know how to so I think that next game was, you know, going into that, after all the celebration, all the talk of the team and yada yada yada, we got back to the team and I just remember that, you know, Ladd and Phaneuf, you know, they kind of had, they had their battles throughout the year the whole time.
Elliotte Friedman [01:13:58] Mhm.
Ryan Getzlaf [01:13:58] They just said that they wanted to fight and then Frase[r] asked me and, and I think that was kind of just both our messages to our team that, hey, we're back here now, we're not Canada. That doesn't mean anything anymore. That's the way we looked at it anyway.
Elliotte Friedman [01:14:11] Ryan, will you be a coach or GM in this league?
Ryan Getzlaf [01:14:14] I don't know. I, I can probably say for certain that I will not be a coach. Whether I go down the GM road at some point I'm not sure? I'm intrigued by the management side of things, and I always like to kinda help understand what's going on and and I think it would be cool experience to be part of building a team, whether it's a direct GM job or, or something in the background, a little bit more, but we'll see.
Elliotte Friedman [01:14:41] Obviously Paul Kariya and Scott Niedermayer are part of the, the group that are helping select the Ducks' new general manager. Did you ever say to them, it's nice that you're part of the group, but remember, I'm the highest scoring Duck in franchise history?
Ryan Getzlaf [01:14:57] I haven't had to throw that out yet. Haven't had to throw that out yet.
Elliotte Friedman [01:15:00] But I'm just curious about it in the sense that, look, I know it was, it was tough this year with, with Bob Murray and the reasons that he's no longer the GM of the Ducks. But I understand you guys did have a relationship in the sense that he would come to you periodically and ask you about what he might have been thinking. Like, there are some players who don't want that. They're like, just tell me who's on the team, and I'll deal with that, and there are some players who say, I appreciate the input and I'll tell you what I think. What was it with the two of you and how often did you want to know things?
Ryan Getzlaf [01:15:37] Well, it's like I had just previously said, I've always been intrigued in helping understand what it takes to build a winning team, what the thought process is. So I always appreciated Bob coming in and asking my input and kind of discussing some of that stuff with me. Ultimately, at the end of the day, my relationship with Bob was, he asked for my input and then he did what he had to do it. You know and I always made that clear to him that this isn't I'm not making decisions, I'm not trying to do certain things, he just wants to know where I can help him understand what I think we need, where I see problems or holes, so to speak. And that's kind of how we went about it.
Jeff Marek [01:16:17] One of the interesting stories around you in the last off season revolves around free agent day, and it wasn't a certainty that you were going back to Anaheim. We had heard Nashville, we had heard Edmonton. No surprise to either, and I'm sure there were more as well. I asked someone in Anaheim, did you think he wasn't coming back? And this person said to me, I was concerned. Should this person have been concerned in the first place?
Ryan Getzlaf [01:16:48] Um. I don't really know how to answer that. I think concerns were raised when obviously there was no contract come that day. That's a concern. I think that some of that had to do with... me and Bob had a little bit of a miscommunication on what I was expecting as far as timing. And I think that, you know, when that happened, the day approached really fast without us, without us really even giving it thought. Like I said, that was kind of a miscommunication between me and Bob. He thought I, I'd meant one thing and I meant something else and, yada yada, but the timing of it was weighing a little bit, and free agent day comes and phone calls start coming in, and obviously the level of concern is gonna go up when you start listening to other things and talking to other teams so, you know, ultimately, I don't know if it was ever that big of a concern? Anaheim was where I wanted to be, and then it was just a matter of working out the contract and understanding what was expected on both sides so, you know, once the talks got going and, and everything like that, then everything was fine and we worked it out.
Elliotte Friedman [01:17:59] Ryan, can you ever see yourself wearing a different jersey or is it Anaheim or bust or could you see yourself... Like you look a Corey Perry now, it's been Dallas, it's been Montreal, it's been Tampa. He's on the, he's like a band, he's on tour. Could you ever see yourself doing that?
Ryan Getzlaf [01:18:16] No. That's, you know, that's just not for me. I think at this point in my career, I've put way too much into this organisation and they've put way too much into me. I think at this point, you know, I'd like to retire an Anaheim Ducks and hopefully they have the same plan.
Jeff Marek [01:18:33] Last question from me Ryan. I know the obvious answer for you is probably 2007 and winning the Stanley Cup, and that makes a lot of sense. But if you park 2007 for a second here, for me, my favourite Anaheim Ducks series is one that you guys didn't win, and that was 2017 against the Nashville Predators.
Elliotte Friedman [01:18:53] Whoa, good series.
Jeff Marek [01:18:54] Where every game and every shift was nasty, like a horror movie at times, a car chase scene at times, there was so much in that series. It's one of those series you just didn't want to end as a fan, I'm sure as a player your bodies were like, okay, can we please end this now, this is vicious. What do you remember from from that series and do you, outside of 2007, have a favourite Anaheim Ducks playoff series?
Ryan Getzlaf [01:19:21] Well, I mean, it's hard to really say a favourite series I guess? You know, on a personal level, that year was a lot of fun. That was one of the last times I can remember going into the playoffs feeling healthy and energetic and ready to go. And the Nashville series was exactly like everything you just said. I mean, it was a, it was a war zone out there, and we, I enjoy that part of the game as much as anybody. So it was, I had a blast and obviously would have liked to come out on the other side of it, but, but gained a lot of experience and just enjoyed competing like that.
Elliotte Friedman [01:19:56] My last one for you is this, you've played in a lot--we talked a little bit about the Canadian world junior team. You've also won two gold medals, so you've played a lot internationally. Who is the player that you never played with, who you have the best friendship with from all of those teams?
Ryan Getzlaf [01:20:17] Oh jeez. That I never played with?
Elliotte Friedman [01:20:20] Played with in the NHL.
Ryan Getzlaf [01:20:21] Oh in the NHL.
Elliotte Friedman [01:20:22] Yes, that on--from those Olympic or national teams that you have a good friendship with.
Ryan Getzlaf [01:20:27] I could probably quite a few but you know, the difference is, is that I, I live here all year round. Most of the people that I hang out with on a, on a daily basis are people that I've played with here and have come back here. Like I said before, I've been very fortunate to play with a great group of guys for a long time. And you know, since I was under-17s, a lot of us played together so, you know, I still, I text with Doughty and those guys all the time, even though they're our enemy up the road but, you know, once we get off the ice... It cracks me up. But you know, I talk to Sid and, yeah, we're just kind of, you know, every time guys are around and we're able to touch base and it's great and it's worth it when you, when you go through things like that together and go through those kinds of experiences.
Jeff Marek [01:21:13] Let's finish with this one then. So Elliotte and I work with Kevin Bieksa and have for a couple of years, you played with Kevin Bieksa with the Ducks. Yeah, well, that's what I'm going to get to here. What is the best thing about Kevin Bieksa and the worst thing about Kevin Bieksa?
Ryan Getzlaf [01:21:29] The best and worst thing are his hair. No I honestly I would, I would probably say just his overall attitude I think is his, his best and worst attribute. It, it gets him in trouble just as much as it gets him out of trouble. So. He's always been able to trade with, with just about anybody at any time, and you know sometimes it gets him in trouble and sometimes it gets him out of trouble, but he's always entertaining, that's for sure.
Jeff Marek [01:21:58] This has been a lot of fun. Ryan, thanks so much for spending a lot of time with us today. We really appreciate it.
Ryan Getzlaf [01:22:02] You got it, guys. Take care.
Jeff Marek [01:22:06] Okay, hope you enjoyed that interview with Ryan Getzlaf. We wish him all the success in his future endeavours both this season with the Ducks and beyond. And will he be the last man standing from the 2003 draft class? Taking us out Elliotte, a songwriter and composer from Wisconsin who's classically trained and it's heard in his indie folk approach. J.E. Sunde can almost cover any song, but it's his three full-length records that showcase his skills. From his latest album, Nine Songs About Love, here's J.E. Sunde with Sunset Strip on 32 Thoughts the Podcast. Enjoy.