Ducks' Ryan Getzlaf says holiday practice session was his idea

Ducks' Ryan Getzlaf claims he arranged holiday practice on his own

Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf said Tuesday he was not encouraged by any team official to stage the practice he arranged Friday during the NHL's mandatory holiday period.

The league is investigating whether Getzlaf acted on his own to hold the practice at the team's practice facility, Anaheim Ice, or was urged by anyone in the organization to gather the players.

Getzlaf said he was aware of collective-bargaining agreement rules and informed Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau about the practice before it happened to ensure the coach and his staff stayed out of the team's practice facility in Anaheim.

"We're supposed to be prepared to play every night," Getzlaf said. "I felt that gave me the best chance … and my teammates the opportunity to do the same if they needed it."

Boudreau said he was "glad" the players assembled, but in no way influenced the gathering.

"He [Getzlaf] said that's what he wanted to do, and I said, 'OK, fine,' " Boudreau said. "I don't know what time they skated, don't know how many guys were there. It was all Ryan's idea."

The Ducks were scheduled to be off ice for four days before playing in Arizona last Saturday.

"I can't be off the ice that long and expect my body to react without getting injured or in trouble," said Getzlaf, whose 30 assists are second-most in the league.

"Quite a few" teammates joined him, he said. "I don't know if we had the whole team there or not. Some guys were on [ice] for five minutes, some guys for 20.

"It was an opportunity for guys to bring their kids out during the holidays. When I was a kid, I skated every Christmas. The team had nothing to do with it."

Heatley to minors

Veteran forward Dany Heatley cleared waivers Tuesday and was assigned to the Ducks' minor-league affiliate in Norfolk, Va.

The Ducks still owe Heatley, 33, about $600,000 as part of the one-year, $1-million deal the two-time former 50-goal scorer signed during the off-season.

Heatley — slowed by a groin injury and surgery in the preseason as well as the toll of more than 800 NHL games — has gone point-less in six games with the Ducks.

"I'm sure when he goes down there and plays regular, there'll probably be an awful lot of teams interested at that point," Boudreau said. "He didn't have a great opportunity [here] … hard coming back off an injury and jumping back into a lineup where everyone's playing pretty well."

Health news

Right wing Corey Perry, sidelined since suffering a sprained knee Dec. 5, practiced with Getzlaf and Patrick Maroon on the first line Tuesday and appears poised to return Wednesday, barring unexpected complications.

DUCKS WEDNESDAY

VS. SAN JOSE

When: 5.

On the air: TV: Fox Sports West. Radio: AM 830.

Etc.: The Pacific Division rivals meet for the fourth time this season, nine days after Ducks center Ryan Kesler beat the Sharks with an overtime goal. The Sharks, led by Joe Pavelski's nine power-play goals, rank second in the NHL in power-play scoring percentage.

lance.pugmire@latimes.com

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