When a team has two of the top players in the league about to become unrestricted Free Agents, sometimes a difficult decision has to be made. Ottawa went through that when they had to decide between Zdeno Chara and Wade Redden.
So faced the Ducks and the impending free agency of Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf. Well, one of those problems was solved today with the announcement of the 8 year, $66M deal signed by Getzlaf. With that contract done, attention in Anaheim and around the league for that matter, will now shift to Perry.
The duo signed identical 5 year, $26.5M that took effect in 2008-09, but they would be hard pressed to give Perry the same treatment this time. While it was speculated that Getzlaf was more inclined to stay in Anaheim, Perry was more likely to test the market.
So if Getzlaf is worth $8.25M per season, what is the former MVP and Rocket Richard trophy winner worth? Well 8 years is the maximum deal he could get, and that is only if he re-signs in Anaheim. On the open market, he can sign a maximum 7 year deal. I speculated in late January that Ottawa would be an ideal landing spot because of the organization, Bryan Murray’s presence and also family proximity.
Do the Ducks have room for Perry and Getzlaf? They do, in terms of cap space, but it would probably blow any internal budget they would have in Anaheim.
So, for a team that is one of the hottest in the league, what do they do if Perry decides not to sign before the trade deadline?
They either A) stay the course and run in the playoffs with him and hope he decides to stay, and risk losing him for nothing; or B) trade him at the deadline, not likely getting equal value in return, and possibly hurting the Ducks’ chances in the postseason or C) hang onto him for the playoffs and then trade his rights after they end and before the free agent market opens.
Keep in mind that they could sign him any time up to the July 5th opening of free agency, and would even have a chance after it opens, but at that point the competition opens and some “experts” have suggested that he could garner up to $10M per season on the open market.
Even if they hang onto him until the playoffs are over, then trade his rights, he could get more value in return than past expiring contracts for the Ducks because, if I am interpreting it correctly, the team that acquires his rights could still offer the 8th year, even though he never actually played for them.
It will be one of the hottest rumor mills between now and whenever (and wherever) Perry signs.