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Why did Corey Perry re-sign with Anaheim Ducks, rather than test market?

Greg Wyshynski
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When Ryan Getzlaf signed his 8-year extension with the Anaheim Ducks two weeks ago, removing him from this summer’s free-agent pool, star teammate Corey Perry played it cool.

“Getzy and I have talked a bunch of times,” Perry told the OC Register at the time. “I'm not going sit here and say yes or no. It's one of those things where I'll wait and see what happens. I'm not going to change my answer just because he signed.

“[But] when you know he's going to be here for a long time, it could definitely have a factor in my decision.”

It did. Big time. The idea that Getzlaf, a player he’s meshed with to become one of the NHL’s most potent tandems, would remain with the Ducks for eight years proved tantalizing for Perry – to the point where he chose to forgo a free-agent bonanza this summer and ink his own 8-year extension on Monday.

[Also: Where are the 'real' New York Rangers?]

According to his reps, the goal was to remain in Anaheim rather than test the market. From the OC Register:

“Corey made it clear to Pat Morris and I that it was his goal to sign in Anaheim long term and obviously that was the goal of Bob Murray, (assistant general manager) David McNab and the Anaheim ownership.

“He believes strongly that the Ducks are committed to winning championships and that was a big factor in his decision to sign a deal now and avoid free agency in July.”

Appearing on Prime Ticket during the Ducks’ game against the San Jose Sharks, Perry said that getting both he and Getzlaf signed makes Anaheim an attractive destination for potential free agents (as if the Ducks would have the cap space for such things).

“It shows a lot that they believe in the guys that are here. Helping the organization, bringing in recruits or whatever it might be, it definitely helps having Getz and I signed here for a while,” said Perry.

That commitment goes beyond retaining both Getzlaf and Perry. It’s also the foundation the Ducks are building with young players, like Emerson Etem and Cam Fowler.

Perry said the future matters.

“When you’re making decisions like this, what’s what you’re looking at too. At who’s coming up. Teemu’s not going to be here for the rest of his career,” he said of his veteran teammate Teemu Selanne, with a laugh. “But who knows?”

Harrison had his take on the deal here. I’m frankly stunned the Ducks decided to retain both players, committing an extraordinary amount of money to two players on the roster.

In six years when they’re both 33 years old with cap hits of $8.625 million and $8.25 million, with full no-move clauses, we might pan these contracts with the benefit of hindsight.

Teams that bloat themselves with long-term, top-dollar contracts are playing with fire. For every team like the Pittsburgh Penguins, there’s a team like the Lecavalier/St. Louis/Richards Tampa Bay Lightning; does that make Bobby Ryan the Brad Richards in this comparison?

As I said when Getzlaf signed: The Ducks do have the cap space next season to do both deals, and will open up more when they find a taker for Jonas Hiller’s $4.5 million deal. It’s just amazing to think that a team so concerned with the financial bottom line in recent times has committed has committed $135 million to two players.

Why did Perry choose the Ducks over free agency? Cam Charron of NHL Numbers had this take:

The contract makes a lot of sense for Perry, and Getzlaf's also makes a lot of sense. By signing in Anaheim, he gets the maximize his payout since he can sign for 8 years instead of 7 if he were on the open market. For the Ducks, though, these are two contracts that could look awful bad awful fast, particularly if the expected slide for the Ducks begins sooner rather than later. They're the 25th best possession team in hockey this year, and it's not like this season we get a whole lot of sample size to judge the quality of a team based on wins and losses.

That could happen. But it probably doesn’t matter to the majority of Ducks fans who are ecstatic that Perry will be in Anaheim for the Stanley Cup push this season, and eight more beyond it.

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