The NHL has determined Ducks’ executives had no involvement in the informal Dec. 26 practice organized by team captain Ryan Getzlaf and did not violate any league rules or collective bargaining agreement protocols, so the club will not be punished.
Getzlaf rented time at Anaheim Ice for players and their families to skate during the Christmas holiday period. According to the league’s collective bargaining agreement with the NHL Players’ Assn., no practices can be held Dec. 24 to 26 and coaches or other club officials are not permitted to urge players to practice or skate during that time. The league was investigating whether Ducks’ executives suggested that players practice or had otherwise been involved in arranging the session. If club executives had been involved, the club could have been fined.
“We are satisfied that the team was in compliance with the guidelines and protocol previously provided by the league for ‘off day’ activities,” NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said in an email to The Times.
Getzlaf said the league’s decision was correct.
“We didn’t do anything wrong. We didn’t expect anything to be handed down,” he said. “It was a thing that got blown out of proportion.”
Separately, Getzlaf was honored by the NHL as its first star for the month of December. He had five goals and 20 points in 14 games, including an eight-game point streak from Dec. 12 to 28, and helped carry the offense while Corey Perry was injured.
“It’s an honor. It’s not anything that changes anything in the locker room or what I’m doing to prepare or anything like that,” he said Friday after the Ducks held their morning skate in advance of that night’s game against the St. Louis Blues at the Honda Center.
“Any time you’re honored in this league, when you’re talking about competing against the best players in the world, it has to be an honor.”
The second star was Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane, who had eight goals and had 17 points in 13 games in December. Third was Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, who was 9-1-1 in 11 appearances with a 2.14 goals-against average, a .937 save percentage and one shutout as his team compiled a 10-1-1 record in December.