It's funny how history repeats itself. The last time Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf re-signed in Anaheim, Getzlaf went first and Perry followed with a (slightly) different deal.
In a weird way, I can't help but wonder if Corey Perry's suspension led to Corey Perry's extension.
As recently as a week ago, it didn't look like he would re-sign before the April 3 trade deadline. But with some unplanned vacation time, the coveted winger had a chance to really think about things.
He liked what he saw. Getzlaf committed. The Ducks won 20 of their first 26. If you're an offensive player and you can't thrive under Bruce Boudreau, you've got the problem.
The biggest challenge for Anaheim was the lure of home; Perry moving closer to his family. For all of the complaints about re-alignment, that was a huge help for the Ducks. Instead of the odd trip to Ottawa, Toronto and other potential drives or short flights for his parents, they are guaranteed to see him in several close locales per year.
Or, maybe he just saw the footage of Monday's Toronto-area snowstorm.
There were whispers earlier Monday Perry had made his choice. Alluded to it in 30 Thoughts
but couldn't confirm it. But it reminded me of the best advice I've received in my career.
When I was 26, Bob McCown told me, "Don't %&$@ with happy." He explained that the world is full of people who leave a good situation for a little bit of extra money and later regret it.
People won't exactly mourn for Perry, who will average $8.625 million US on his deal, but the principle still stands. He could have made more. Good on him for recognizing a good situation.
No chance of replacing Perry, Getzlaf
Next season, the Ducks will have more than 25 per cent of the cap tied up in two players. Only Pittsburgh, with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin at $17.4 million, is higher for next year. (And when Malkin's next deal is done, that figure will probably be larger.)
Anaheim HAD to do it. There was no chance of replacing what these two players, months shy of their 28th birthdays, bring to the ice.
I always try to put myself in the shoes of the people making these decisions. Imagine you're Bob Murray. You just watched your most hated rival win the Stanley Cup. You explode out of the gate, creating excitement among your fan base.
What are you going to do, give up?
This isn't Toronto or Vancouver or Manhattan or Philadelphia. Yes, the Ducks have a strong group of hard-core fans. But quit on a potentially magical season, right after a lockout? It just wasn't an option. That's the kind of message that will sell tickets in SoCal.
They had to find a way to convince Perry it was worth staying, and come up with the money to close the deal. There was no other choice. And that's what they did.
Owner Henry Samueli was among the hardest of hard-liners. The Ducks were not eligible for revenue-sharing in the previous CBA. He demanded it. And, to his credit, he delivered now that he got it.
It will be on Perry and Getzlaf to deliver just like Crosby and Malkin do. To set the tone, to push for the best, to lead the way. They're certainly doing it this year, and when you're at that level, winning consistently, good players will want to play with you.
That's how this can work.
Other teams were after Perry
The final point is about how this affects the rest of the league. Don't know if it changes much for this trade deadline. Other teams weren't so certain Perry was going anywhere, even if he didn't re-sign.
But it changes things for the future. Teams like Toronto and Detroit (obviously there would have been others) were going to be making serious pitches.
The Maple Leafs, in particular, had to see what it would cost to get Perry before adding salary. Now, the focus moves to different targets. There is some disappointment tonight, at least outside of Anaheim.
Some other teams really hoped to get him.
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