The Ducks today have bought out the contract of right wing Corey Perry.
Perry, 34 (5/16/85), won a Stanley Cup, Olympic gold medal, World Championship, World Cup, Memorial Cup and World Junior title. Only Perry and Scott Niedermayer have accomplished this feat in hockey history. Perry is the only Hart Memorial Trophy winner in franchise history, becoming only the third player on the West Coast to win the award (Wayne Gretzky and Joe Thornton). Perry is also one of eight players in hockey history to win a Stanley Cup, Gold Medal and Hart Trophy, joining Mario Lemieux, Sidney Crosby, Dominik Hasek, Peter Forsberg, Jaromir Jagr, Chris Pronger and Joe Sakic. In addition, he is one of 11 Canadian skaters and 29 players all-time in the Triple Gold Club (Stanley Cup, Olympic gold medal, World Championship gold medal).
A two-time NHL First Team All-Star and four-time All Star, Perry and Chicago's Patrick Kane are the only two right wings with two NHL First Team honors since 2010-11. The only other players with multiple First Team honors since 2010-11 are Crosby (3), Connor McDavid (2), Alex Ovechkin (2) and Jamie Benn (2). The Peterborough, Ontario native holds several all-time franchise records, including most games played (988) and penalty minutes (1,110). He also ranks second in franchise goals (372) and game-winning goals (64), and third in points (776), assists (404) and power-play goals (103). Selected by Anaheim in the first round in the 2003 NHL Draft, Perry also owns a postseason franchise record for overtime goals (4).
Video: Our tribute to Corey Perry
Ducks Executive Vice President and General Manager Bob Murray today spoke with members of the media about his decision to buy out Perry's contract.
On buying out Perry's contract
It's one of the toughest things I've done. It's tough. The guy epitomized what we've been for the last 14 years. I procrastinated forever, but as we turn the corner with this team, it's the best thing for us and for him. I know in my heart it was best.
On how Perry handled the news
It's not easy. I've talked to him a few times. This isn't fun for anybody. His agents have been great with this - Mark Guy and Patrick Morris. They've been outstanding in this process, and I thank them for that. I talked to Perry yesterday. I firmly believe he can be the cherry on the ice cream sundae that puts a team that's close over the top because of his competitiveness and willingness to do whatever to win. I still think he can do it, and I'm hoping he does.
On Perry's uniqueness
With Corey, it's the intangibles. It's always been, and always will be. It's just the intangibles he brings. He's had a great career. Look at his accomplishments. You can't win much more than what he's done.
On if Perry's physical style of play started taking its toll
The last few you could see it was starting to wear on him, if you know what I'm saying. It was tougher and tougher for him to get into the tough areas and stay in the tough areas. He was willing to do anything to win a hockey game. He's the ultimate rink rat guy that wants to be there and be a part of it. It's taken its toll. I think last year was somewhat good for him. Don't take this the wrong way, but it was somewhat good for him to get a break. His body got to rest and heal up. That knee [issue] was there before. The way it happened, it doesn't happen if something wasn't wrong before that. He put his body through a lot, that's for sure.
On if he got the sense a trade wasn't going to be an option
As it went along, I got that sense big time. I wasn't going to take back something that would get in the way of some of our kids. I wasn't going to do that. We tried. They were really helpful in that area, but it wasn't going to happen.
On how the buyout affects financial flexibility
A little help this year, cap-wise, next year is a bad year, cap-wise, with the way the buyout works. We're turning the page. Hopefully some young people get into that situation that Corey was in. You hope somebody sort of develops half as good as Corey did.
On how the buyout affects his plans for the upcoming years
You can't go jumping into any long-term deal right now. The further issue is, when we get the cap number tomorrow at the [general managers] meetings, we're going to know that stuff and be where we thought it was going to be. A lot of us are going to be scratching our heads as to what we can do. Some teams are in worst shape than we are. One-year deals always work. We're going to try to surround this young group with a little more oomph. We're trying to do that, but I don't know if we can. I'm going to protect them a little bit, and let them grow.