Given his individual accomplishments, Corey Perry could command $9 million or more per season. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
The Anaheim Ducks re-signing Ryan Getzlaf last Friday to an eight-year, $66-million contract has shifted attention to teammate Corey Perry, slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July.
Some pundits believe the Ducks will move Perry by the April 3 trade deadline (regardless of their position in the standings) if he’s not re-signed by that point.
Perry remains publicly noncommittal about his plans, but suggested Getzlaf’s re-signing could factor into his decision.
On Saturday, CBC’s Elliotte Friedman reported the Ducks hope to re-sign Perry, but there isn’t much belief it’ll get done before the trade deadline.
He feels Ducks GM Bob Murray “has a brutal decision to make” if Perry hasn’t committed by then. Either Murray retains the 27-year-old right winger for a Stanley Cup run this spring and risks losing him to free agency or he trades him by the deadline and jeopardizes his team’s chances for a championship.
Friedman’s colleague Glenn Healy believes Perry’s competitiveness and individual success (which includes winning the Hart and Richard trophies in 2011) could help him command $9.25 million per season on the open market.
Larry Brooks of the New York Post believes Perry could make $9.5-$10 million per season on a maximum seven-year deal.
Money is definitely an issue for the Ducks, who have more than $44.8 million in salary cap space committed to 15 players next season.
With the cap dropping to $64.3 million and assuming Perry agrees to a hometown discount of $8.5 million per season, the Ducks would have roughly $11 million to re-sign or replace free agents Teemu Selanne, Saku Koivu, Toni Lydman and Kyle Palmieri.
The Ducks aren’t considered a “cap team” willing to spend up to the maximum. By re-signing Perry, they’ll have to free up payroll for other signings by shopping a player or two already under contract next season.
Bobby Ryan $5.1-million cap hit) was a frequent subject of trade rumors over the previous two seasons. If the Ducks re-sign Perry, Ryan’s name could resurface in the rumor mill.
Another factor is where Perry sees his NHL future.
One reason the Ducks were able to re-sign Getzlaf was his wife’s ties to Orange County and the roots he’s put down in the community.
Perry, on the other hand, is a Southern Ontario native and it’s rumored he’d prefer to play for a team in the Eastern time zone.
If Perry is shopped by the deadline, the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch believes the Ducks would want “a king’s ransom” consisting of a “No. 1 pick, two top prospects and a player who can help the Ducks right now.” He doubts any team would pay that price.
Even if a team is willing to give up that much for Perry, they would first want to speak with his agent to ensure they could re-sign him before agreeing to a trade.
Those factors could ensure he remains a Duck for the rest of this season.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Rob Rossi believes Getzlaf’s new deal could affect the Pittsburgh Penguins' efforts to re-sign Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang, who have a full season remaining on their respective contracts.
Rossi reports the pair have expressed their desire to stay with the Penguins, whose ownership has instructed GM Ray Shero to re-sign Malkin.
That could mean paying Malkin a higher annual cap hit than team captain Sidney Crosby, which Rossi claims was made clear to the Crosby camp during his contract negotiations last year.
Crosby re-signed a front-loaded 12-year deal last June paying him an average annual salary of $8.7 million, but he’ll earn $12 million per season in actual dollars in the deal’s first three years, after which he’ll earn more than $10 million per season for the next three seasons.
Rossi speculates Malkin could “max out” with an eight-year deal worth the cap maximum of $12.86 million per season, taking a huge chunk out of the Penguins payroll.
Letang is due $3.5 million next season and could double his salary by July 2014 with the Penguins or elsewhere as a free agent.
The assumption the Penguins cannot afford both players has prompted some speculation of Letang being shopped before this year’s trade deadline.
It remains to be seen if the Penguins can afford both players, but they certainly won’t move Letang now. He’s their best puck-moving defenseman and vital to their hopes of a Cup run this season.
Rumor Roundup appears weekdays only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Eishockey News and The Guardian (P.E.I.).