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NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE MEDIA CONFERENCE
January 10, 2008
DAVID KEON: Good afternoon, everyone. With us we have Anaheim Ducks forward, Ryan Getzlaf. Thank you, to Ryan for taking the time to answer your questions. Couple hours ago it was announced that Ryan was named to the Western Conference roster for the 2008 NHL All-Star Game which will be played at 6:00 p.m. eastern Sunday January 27th at Philips Arena in Atlanta. The game will be broadcast on Versus, CBC, RDS, and NHL Radio.
Ryan will be making his first All-Star appearance leads Anaheim in scoring with 48 points and 17 goals and 31 assists in 44 games played. While posting a team best plus 20 rating. He also led the Ducks in scoring during last season's playoffs as Anaheim captured the Stanley Cup. Thanks to Ryan for taking the time today to we are your questions.
Q. What are your initial feelings being named to this All-Star Game?
RYAN GETZLAF: Obviously, it was an exciting time for me. It was something that I've looked forward to, and hoped that I could be a part of this year. It's an honor to be selected to something like this. Overall, it's a pretty exciting day.
Q. What was the experience like last year on that Young Stars game?
RYAN GETZLAF: It was cool. I think it was nice to kind of getting to and just be behind the scenes a little bit and see how things run and see how much guys enjoy it.
I think that's the main thing to take out of this weekend is that you just go in there with the right attitude that you're going to enjoy your time and enjoy the company around you.
Q. How do you view this game? Obviously, you want to win the game. Are you viewing it as something that you're looking forward to and having a lot of fun? Are you going to take it seriously? Very seriously? What is your mindset there?
RYAN GETZLAF: I'm going to go in and enjoy it. That is the main thing. Obviously, the game is the game, and we'll just play hockey when we get out there. But I think it's all about the whole experience and being with the guys that are around.
There are going to be a lot of guys out there that I've looked up to for a long time. It will be fun to be part of something like that.
Q. I'm wondering if you had other plans that you'll have to break up now for the All-Star break?
RYAN GETZLAF: I hadn't made that many plans. We talked about a few different things that we were going to do. If it came that I didn't make the team, and, fortunately enough, I did. So I don't have to make plans now.
Q. They're having fun in the Vancouver media today by saying one city made it, the other one didn't. I almost wonder if it feels that way with you and Corey?
RYAN GETZLAF: You know what, it does a little wit. It's unfortunate that he isn't able to be part of it. You've got to tip your cap to the rest of the league, I guess, and just feel that we have throughout the league. And there are a few guys that I'm sure got left off the list that probably could have been there. It's unfortunate they don't get to share that with Barry. I know he's pretty excited for me as well as I am.
Q. Thanks for doing this call today and congratulations. My question is in the vein - from the league-wide standpoint we haven't seen the Eastern Conference team yet. But seven first-time All-Stars are on the Western Conference roster. I know that you haven't been in the league long enough to see all the changes over the course of generations. But why is it, do you think, that so many young guys are making such a splash here in the last couple of years? Last year's All-Star roster was similar.
RYAN GETZLAF: I think that it's just the way the league works. I mean, the league is designed around bringing new players in and giving them a chance to play. Obviously when you go through a time that we're in right now with the lockout that happened and stuff, I'm sure there is a lot of turnover where there are a lot younger guys in the league. And that's just the way it goes, I guess. When you have bigger numbers of younger guys in the league and the way the game has changed.
Q. When you look at before the lockout it seemed there were a lot of guys who just kept coming back year after year, and they were great players. But it just seemed that there's been such massive turnover in the last couple. Do you think is it because of the rules changes and it opened up the speed of the game that maybe just if I could get you to elaborate on that a little bit more? Do you think it just plays into a younger athlete's game a little bit more?
RYAN GETZLAF: I don't know. Obviously, there's going to be different things contribute to that. And that's going to be one of them, for sure. The difference in the game and the way the game is played now, it's an up-tempo game. It's really fast. Maybe that's does play into the younger players a little bit more.
It's a matter of our game helping promote younger players, too. A lot of times you didn't hear about a lot of the young players before. Now the word is getting spread around a lot more for the younger players.
Q. I missed the beginning of this. So tell me your feelings on being a kid in the NHL All-Star Game and what's that like for you?
RYAN GETZLAF: It's exciting. I mentioned before that I look up to a lot of the players that are probably going to be here for this thing, and it's going to be exciting to be on the ice with them and interact with them a little bit. Talk to them about the different experiences that they've been through as well.
Q. Can you talk about the major coincidence, how you guys are playing great with Scott Niedermayer in the house?
RYAN GETZLAF: Yeah, it's a matter of us coming together at the right time right now. We've got to just keep rolling and we've got to keep playing. With Scotty coming back in the lineup, it creates that comfort level, I think a little bit in the dressing room as well as on the ice.
Scotty's got that winning aura around him all the time. It just brings that out in other people.
Q. It's certainly nice that you've won the last couple of games by the way you have. Dominating at home is what you want to do.
RYAN GETZLAF: Yeah, we've got to make our building a tough building to play in again. You can only do that by creating that atmosphere around our building, and that's what we need to do on this home stand.
Q. I was just wondering how that changed your approach to the game, knowing that you're going to face the top checkers and top shut down defensemen every team you face?
RYAN GETZLAF: Well, Doug Weight might attest to that number one center. But it's been a fun year. It's been an experience for us. As a group we've been growing together over the last little while with some of the younger players and stuff that we've had.
This year creates a challenge. It's a matter of we lost Sellanne and Penner, and quite a bit of scoring in our lineup. It was an opportunity for young guys like Perry and myself and a few other guys to step into those roles and contribute more offensively and play that number one line.
Q. Going back to the subject of Corey Perry for a second -- I know a lot of factors enter into this as far as having players to be selected from certain teams and so on?
RYAN GETZLAF: I'm sorry, what was that?
Q. Going back to the subject of Corey Perry. I know a lot of factors enter into this as far as how many players can be selected from certain teams and things of that nature. I'm curious, do you think for some reason, somehow maybe Perry gets overlooked a little bit? He didn't get in the young stars game last year. He's not selected now. He's having a tremendous season do you think maybe somehow he doesn't get the recognition he deserves?
RYAN GETZLAF: Definitely. Corey's a hell of a player. I've been fortunate enough to be able to play with him for the last three years. It's unfortunate that he didn't get there. But I said before it's the tip of the cap to the league as well. There's a lot of good players in our league. You can't take anything away from the guys that were selected.
I would have loved to see Corey there and be able to experience it with him.
Q. How much do you think last year's run to the cup and you leading the team to the scoring raised your profile enough that you would be recognized for this All-Star Game?
RYAN GETZLAF: It all does. I mean, that's part of the game. That's the biggest piece to this, is that last year we had the success that we did. We played as a group. And when you do go through those things, people notice the different things that you have to go through to create that kind of a championship team.
When you get that recognition, it comes from the big games and the big events and that kind of stuff. But anyone will tell you that the playoffs create that buzz around them.
Q. You said you hadn't made other plans. Going into today, were you confident you were going to be picked?
RYAN GETZLAF: Pardon?
Q. Going into today, you said you hadn't made plans for the All-Star weekend, how confident were you that you were going to get this call today?
RYAN GETZLAF: It wasn't a matter of confident. It was just that I had hoped that I was going to be able to be part of it. I thought that I had a pretty good start to the season, and I knew I had a chance to play. Obviously, it pulled through today, and I'm honored to be selected.
Q. What type of pressure did you feel entering the league as the 19th overall pick in 2003? The pressure?
RYAN GETZLAF: The pressure comes from being a first round pick. And you get the opportunity to go and play with some guys that maybe you wouldn't if you were drafted a little bit lower. I came into a pretty good situation where the team really liked me and liked what I was bringing to the table. They made me pretty comfortable right away.
Q. You were drafted 9 slots ahead of Corey. Do you guys ever talk about that? Do you razz him about that that you were 9 spots ahead of him at all? Do you have discussions on it?
RYAN GETZLAF: We don't talk about it that much. But like you said it was more he gave it to me, because I dropped pretty low from where I was ranked on that day. So he kind of gives it to me a little bit at times about that. But that was a long time ago now.
Q. Talk about what's it been like playing with Chris Pronger and what he brings to the locker room?
RYAN GETZLAF: He's great. Chris is a player that loves to win and loves to compete. He's a pretty black and white kind of guy. You're going to know what you're getting right away. That's something you can learn from and take down the road.
Q. Despite the fact of all the success you've had in such a short period, do you still consider yourself a kid at heart?
RYAN GETZLAF: For sure. I've been in the league, this is only my third year. There are many more years to come. I think that I've been blessed and fortunate enough success I've had in my career. With Swanny and them last year, they had their first chance to play for the cup and win it. They've been playing for a long time. So I feel blessed having my career here.
Q. When you were in juniors or even in the minors, were you thinking to yourself at all that this is the level or this is the place that you'd like to get to be? Were you thinking that back then?
RYAN GETZLAF: You know what, back then it was a matter of, obviously, it would be nice to be a part of that stuff. But it's weird. You kind of take it in steps when you're coming up.
I never really thought I was going to get drafted, then that happened. I never thought that I would make it. And it's just stepping stones along the way, I think, and that's all part of putting together a good career. This is just another stepping stone along the way.
Q. But you weren't thinking you know what, not only do I want to make the league, but I do want to be one of its stars?
RYAN GETZLAF: Oh, for sure. That's definitely what I've wanted to be since I was young. Everybody wants to be the go-to guy and have that kind of pressure on their shoulders, and I've been fortunate enough to be given that opportunity to do that right now.
Q. What do you think about being teammates with Deon?
RYAN GETZLAF: It's good. It's going to be exciting. Deon is a good player. There's no grudges off the ice. It's just a battle out there.
Q. Just wanted to follow up on what I asked earlier. With the All-Star Game skewing younger these last couple of years, what do you think that does for the league?
RYAN GETZLAF: Well, it creates excitement, I think. It creates a little bit of a buzz. And it gives young players the opportunity to be involved in those things early in their careers and learn about them and learn how it goes. To see some of the veteran guys and stuff, it gives guys a chance to gel that some of the guys wouldn't see before.
Q. Do you think it plays a factor in from a marketing standpoint, not that this is concocted or anything. You guys are the stars of the league right now, it just happens to be the way it is. But in terms of taking hockey to the next step, doing things or trying things like the outdoor game and various things like that, the fact that it's young and you're going to be around for a long time, what kind of impact do you think that can have in the long run?
RYAN GETZLAF: It can only help. The league's doing a great job right now trying to market different aspects of the game and get more people involved. The younger you can do it, the longer those guys are going to be around to teach the other young guys when they're not the young guys anymore, I guess.
Q. I just want to know if you have any moves that you might want to show off in Atlanta? And the NHL says they're going to spice up the festivities with a slam dunk style contest for the shootout?
RYAN GETZLAF: Oh, no. I don't know. I'll have to start working on something.
DAVID KEON: Thank you very much for your time today.
RYAN GETZLAF: Thank you.
End of FastScripts