Ryan Getzlaf tied Teemu Selanne on the Ducks’ all-time assists list on Sunday, and he’s not the only active player trying to chase down a franchise record.
For many, Teemu Selanne will go down as the greatest Anaheim Duck in the franchise’s history. However, as far as the record books are concerned, it might not be long before he’s fallen off the top of the team’s all-time list.
In the Ducks’ 4-1 victory over the Calgary Flames on Sunday night, Anaheim captain Ryan Getzlaf picked up three assists — the 529th, 530th, and 531st of his career — and by doing so matched Selanne in the franchise’s record books as the team’s all-time assists leader.
“That’s a big honor for me,” Getzlaf said, according to the OC Register’s Eric Stephens. “To spend as much as my career that I have here, those things I think are a natural progression and hopefully they can continue. Being up there with [Teemu] is a big honor for me.”
It’s not a matter of if Getzlaf will overtake Selanne, but rather a question of when. There’s a chance Getzlaf could overtake the ‘Finnish Flash’ come Wednesday against the Columbus Blue Jackets, but even if it doesn’t come then, it could very well be by the end of the coming weekend. And the rest of Selanne’s franchise records don’t appear too safe, either.
Getzlaf could also take Selanne’s points record, though that one’s going to take a bit of work. At 753 points, Getzlaf is 235 points behind Selanne. That said, Getzlaf is good for about 65-80 points per season, so another three or four years could do the trick. And as for goals, Corey Perry is knocking on the door of that record, trailing Selanne by little more than 120 goals with several good years left in the tank. Give it a few seasons and it’ll be the duo of Getzlaf and Perry who sit atop the scoring categories as the all-time scorers in Anaheim’s history.
Selanne’s records aren’t the only ones that could be falling in the near future, though. Here are five other players chasing franchise records who could reach the team-based milestones this season:
Shane Doan, Arizona Coyotes — All-Time Assists
There’s few areas of the Coyotes’ record book that Doan doesn’t already own, and the all-time assists lead is the lone categories that Doan is still behind in. The current record of 553 assists is held by Thomas Steen, who spent 14 seasons with the then-Jets in Winnipeg, and Doan is only two helpers back of tying the mark. There’s little doubt he’ll find himself atop the heap soon, though.
Doan, 40, hasn’t been incredibly productive yet this season, but he doesn’t really need to keep up much of a pace to get himself ahead of Steen. An assist here and there puts him into first all-time in the Coyotes’ books.
The mark Doan might be more keen on, though, is the 1,000-point plateau. He’s only 52 points back, and if he can put together a halfway decent season this year, there’s a chance he could come back for a final go-round in 2016-17 and reach the 1,000-point mark.
Erik Karlsson, Ottawa Senators — Highest-scoring defenseman
Even without the all-time points record, it’s probably safe to say that just 490 games into his career, Karlsson is already considered the best defenseman to ever play for the Senators. However, the record books show Chris Phillips as the longest-tenured and Wade Redden, who last played for Ottawa in 2008, as the highest scoring rearguard. That’s going to change this year, though.
With three goals this season, Karlsson has already taken over as the highest goal scoring defenseman in franchise history. He needed just two tallies, which he had by the fourth game of the campaign, to jump ahead of Redden’s 101 goals in a Senators uniform. Now Karlsson requires 16 points to become the most prolific blueliner Ottawa has seen.
For many blueliners, 16 points would be more than a half season of work. For Karlsson, it might not even be a couple of months’ worth. He’s at a near point-per-game pace already this season.
Craig Anderson, Ottawa Senators — Most games played, wins, shutouts
Ottawa has had some incredibly talented players over the years, with the likes of Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza, Marian Hossa, Dany Heatley and Alexei Yashin having their names scattered through the franchise’s record book. But one position that has always been lacking for the Senators has been in goal. Anderson has changed that, though, and the record book should soon reflect what he has meant to the team over the past six seasons.
As it stands, the Senators’ goaltending records are dominated by Patrick Lalime, who spent five years with the club between 1999 and 2004. But Anderson is soon to overtake Lalime in games played, wins and potentially shutouts, though the latter would require some otherworldly play.
Anderson needs only 23 games to surpass Lalime’s record 283 in the Senators’ crease, 15 wins to overtake Lalime for the all-time wins lead and 10 shutouts to become Ottawa’s all-time leader in that category.
Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning — Highest-scoring defenseman
It’s sometimes hard to fathom how long some of these perceived youngsters have been around the league, but the 2016-17 season is Hedman’s eighth as a member of the Lightning. And over that time, he’s steadily climbed the ranks to a position where he’s set to overtake Dan Boyle as the franchise’s top-scoring defenseman.
Over the course of his six years in Tampa, Boyle registered 66 goals and 253 points, but by the time this season is over, Hedman — who currently sits at 52 goals and 239 points — will have jumped into the all-time lead for points by a rearguard.
The most impressive thing about Hedman surpassing Boyle is that he’s in a position to be able to do so in such short order. Sure, it took him two seasons longer than Boyle had with the Lightning, but Boyle was considered one of the very best offensive defensemen of his time while Hedman’s more noted for his ability at both ends of the ice.
Brent Burns, San Jose Sharks — Highest-scoring defenseman
Sure, Burns spent a couple of seasons in the middle of his Sharks tenure bouncing between the wing and blueline, but, for all intents and purposes, he’s a defenseman. He has made the most impact as a rearguard, became part of international squads for his defensive play and was a Norris Trophy candidate for his play this past season.
And by the time this season is through — or, more realistically, by the time the all-star break rolls around — Burns will be the Sharks’ all-time top-scoring defenseman. In fact, he could become just the seventh 300-point player in San Jose’s history.
Entering the season, Burns was already the top goal-scoring blueliner the team had ever had, but he sat 29 points back of Dan Boyle’s mark as the highest-scoring defenseman. In 12 games, Burns has closed that game to 18 points, though, and at his current scoring pace, the bearded blueliner stands to pass Boyle by, say, the end of December.
It’s a good thing Burns is finding his way to that mark now, too, because there’s a chance, albeit a rather slim one, that he could be headed elsewhere next season.
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