There are a number of players scheduled to become unrestricted free agents once the period begins in July. Some of the more tempting names include Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Nathan Horton, Alexander Semin, Derek Roy and Brenden Morrow.
Of those names, the one that catches my eye the most is that of Corey Perry. I think that when you look big picture, there is a better than average chance that Perry might end up as a member of the Ottawa Senators. The following reasons give me that reason for optimism:
- Bryan Murray is the man who drafted Perry to the Anaheim Ducks system. They are familiar with each other and I would assume the relationship is cordial at worst.
- Ottawa is facing the potential loss 2 top-6 forwards after this season with Daniel Alfredsson‘s status in question and Guillaume Latendresse (if he is really considered a top 6 forward) becoming a UFA. There are prospects on the way, but no guarantee they will be ready and don’t really have the upside of Perry.
- Ottawa will have plenty of cap space available to spend on an elite player
- Perry is from the Peterborough area and I know for a fact that he has a lot of family in the Ottawa area. Don’t discount the want of many players to play in front of family and friends.
- The Senators offer the opportunity for Perry to play with another elite centre, possibly even a better playmaker than his current running mate, Ryan Getzlaf in Jason Spezza.
- According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, while Getzlaf is also set to become a UFA and is likely to resign in Anaheim, Perry’s desire to remain with the Ducks is in question.
It’s going to hang over them all season until something goes one way or the other. I can tell you that Pat Morris, the agent for Corey Perry, is heading to California in the next week or 10 days, not necessarily to speak to GM Bob Murray of the Anaheim Ducks, but to sit down with Perry to have a strategy session about whether they are going to negotiate or go to free agency. The representative for Ryan Getzlaf, Gerry Johannson, will initiate dialogue soon on a contract; there was a lot of it last season. I think everyone gets the sense that Getzlaf is a good bet to re-sign with the Ducks, the jury is very much out on Corey Perry. – TSN.ca
I know Perry is a polarizing figure and is not very popular. However, he is one of those players that you hate to play against but love to have on your team. He brings a track record that is unmatched by anyone who has ever played for the Senators, let alone one of the most decorated hockey players to ever play the game.
- Memorial Cup Champion (2005)
- World Junior Champion (2005)
- Stanley Cup Champioin (2007)
- Olympic Gold Medal (2010)
- OHL MVP & Playoff MVP (2005)
- Hart & Rocket Richard Trophy (2011)
Not only does he bring top end skill, but also plays with an edge, as his 6 straight 100+ PIM seasons will attest. This is just the kind of player Ottawa has been missing, even in its Stanley Cup run that was ended, coincidentally enough, by Perry and the Ducks.