The Ducks announced today that they have signed right wing Corey Perry to a five-year contract, which runs through the 2012-13 NHL season. Per club policy, no financial terms of the deal were disclosed.
"It’s pretty amazing. It’s something special," Perry said. "I really wanted to stay in Anaheim. That’s home now and I didn’t want to leave there. It’s a great place to play hockey and it just shows how well that organization is run. You can’t ask to play for a better organization than the Anaheim Ducks."
Perry, 23 (5/16/85), scored 29-25=54 points with a +12 rating and 108 penalty minutes (PIM) in 70 games with Anaheim last season. A 2008 NHL All-Star, Perry established career highs in most offensive categories, including goals, points, plus/minus, power play goals (11), game-winning goals (4) and shots (200). Among team leaders, Perry ranked first in goals, second in points and tied for second in game-winning goals. During the 2008 NHL Playoffs, he recorded 2-1=3 points with eight PIM in three games.
“Corey is one of the top young players in the NHL today,” said Executive Vice President/General Manager Brian Burke. “He’s a true Duck, a hard-nosed goal-scorer who’s difficult to play against.”
"I really wanted to stay in Anaheim. That’s home now and I didn’t want to leave there. It’s a great place to play hockey and it just shows how well that organization is run. You can’t ask to play for a better organization than the Anaheim Ducks." - Corey Perry
A native of Peterborough, Ontario, Perry won his first Stanley Cup with the Ducks in 2007, playing in all of Anaheim’s 21 postseason games. He concluded the 2007 playoffs tied for second in club history for most points in a single postseason (6-9=15) behind teammate Ryan Getzlaf, while finishing tied for seventh in the NHL in scoring. Among all active NHL players aged 23 or younger, only Perry (21 points), Evgeni Malkin (26), Getzlaf (29) and Sidney Crosby (32) have at least 20 career playoff points.
Originally selected in the first round (28th overall) of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, Perry has collected 59-64=123 points with a +25 mark and 213 PIM in 208 career NHL games with the Ducks. He has also appeared in 35 career playoffs games with Anaheim, scoring 8-13=21 points with 61 PIM.
Perry spoke to reporters via conference call from his home in London, Ontario. Following is a transcript:
On the new contract,
It’s pretty amazing. It’s something special. I just have to thank the owners of the team, the Samuelis, and their contributions to having me back and letting my play another five years here.
I really wanted to stay in Anaheim. That’s home now and I didn’t want to leave there. It’s a great place to play hockey and it just shows how well that organization is run. You can’t ask to play for a better organization than the Anaheim Ducks.
It’s just nice to get it over and done with pretty quick. The one thing I wanted to do was to not worry about it too much and let things happen as they went. Fortunately, it happened today. It’s pretty special and I can’t wait for training camp to start.
On waiting until July 1 to sign,
We had to wait until July 1 because of the salary cap situation. We wanted to do it in February or March, back when we were playing. But we knew we had to wait and there were some things that had to be done. It was just a waiting game for us.
On signing on for five years,
We’re trying to get back to the Stanley Cup team that we were two seasons ago. That’s everybody’s goal and everybody’s mindset. Being here for five years, hopefully we’ll get that chance again in that term. We’re putting high expectations for ourselves next year and we’re trying to push for it again.
On the status of his leg injury,
It’s coming along. I’m still doing rehab and trying to get the scar tissue out. Everything is coming along pretty good. My strength is coming back. The leg doesn’t look like the atrophy has set in any more. It looks like a normal leg, which is nice. I should be 100 percent when camp starts. We have a couple of months to keep working at it, and it’s just a matter of time of extra care with it.
On his leg strength when he came back from the injury during the playoffs,
It was not very good. It was pretty sore after the first game back and then the back to back with Games 4 and 5. It was pretty sore those two games, but I just wanted to try and help the team win. You do anything in the playoffs to play, so I got out there.
On his offseason,
My season was kind of cut short, and it’s already been a long summer. Since I got the injury in February, I played only three games in a matter of four days. I can’t wait until September rolls around again. I’ve gotten to work out a lot more than last year, but it’s not as much fun, that’s for sure. I’d rather be playing into June every year. It’s a long summer and hopefully we can get back to where we were a couple of years ago.
On where he thinks the organization is headed,
I haven’t talked to [management] about any of that. I leave that to them and I don’t get involved with any of that. I’m still a young guy and I’m trying to make my name in this league and with the team. As it looks right now, it looks like we’re going in the right direction. With Scotty coming back, that puts us where we need to be again. He’s an exceptional player and he’s missed on and off the ice. With him back, it’s a great team again and hopefully we can get back to where we want to be.
On who has bragging rights between him and Getzlaf, since the deals they signed were nearly identical,
He does. [Laughs] He signed a lot earlier. I won’t tell him that, but he’ll probably say it.
On playing with Getzlaf,
He’s a great player and I’ve been playing with him ever since Day 1 of camp in our rookie seasons. It’s been great for both of us. Coming out of junior together, coming up together and being the same age, doing everything pretty much together, it’s nice to have someone like that you can talk to on and off the ice and you can build a relationship. I think our relationship on the ice is better because we’re best friends off the ice.
Ducks Executive Vice President and General Manager Brian Burke also spoke to the media via conference call. Following is a transcript:
Today is a big day for the Ducks. To be able to re-sign Corey Perry is in my mind an important achievement for us. He’s an important player for us. It reaffirms the Samueli family commitment toward winning.
On the importance of Perry making it a priority to re-sign with the Ducks,
In these marriages both parties have to buy a ring. To me, I think it’s important from Corey’s standpoint, this organization has given him a chance to succeed and he plays with a pretty good center. I think it is a statement both ways. It’s a statement from ownership that they’re determined to keep their players and a statement from Corey Perry that he wants to be part of that process.
On what offer sheets have done to free agency,
They’re all being re-signed at inflated prices. Everything I said a year ago has come true -- every single word. Most managers don’t like starting fights with other managers. You’re not going to see anyone take a run at Edmonton, but I stand by everything I said a year ago and everything I predicted would happen has come true. Thanks to the Edmonton Oilers, the second contract has disappeared in the NHL. They just go right now from the entry level system right to what used to be the third contract, thanks to two offer sheets from Kevin Lowe.
On what he thinks Perry can accomplish over five years,
When you make a commitment like that, that’s what you’re guessing with Ryan Getzlaf as well. I think with Corey, he demonstrated a very high compete level, which is critical to us. Both young players have demonstrated that. That battle level, we place a great premium on that. The fact is that both players are physical and hard-to-play-against guys, but they’ve also both put up good numbers. That’s what we’re rewarding here and betting on is that that package will continue, that these will be big, physical guys who are hard to play against and know how to control a game offensively.
On the signing bonus money in the deal,
The average annual value of the deal and the cap hit are what the league cares about. For internal budgeting and accounting purposes, it’s often useful to use up-front money to work with the budget. There is some shuffling going on within this deal, same with Ryan Getzlaf’s, to be advantageous to us from a budget standpoint.
On Perry’s deal matching Getzlaf’s previous deal,
I don’t know if that was ever articulated, but that’s certainly my view, that no one on this group as we’re constructed will earn more than Ryan Getzlaf. I think this deal took a little longer than that, than saying if you’ll take that deal we’ll do it. I certainly believe on a team, you’ve got to have your own internal limits in each age group and in this age group, the top dog salary-wise is going to be Ryan Getzlaf. No one is going to go by him in that age group.
The deal is similar, but structured differently.
On Perry never being put off in having to wait until July 1,
We told Corey, the only reason we have cap issues is because we’ve had success. The only teams that don’t have cap issues generally have not success recently or they’re on their way to cap issues. Maybe a team like that has had success and they’re not bumping against, but they are going to. We will happily have cap issues, I will happily give David McNab more gray hair, as long as our team has success. I think Corey understood that. I told him at the time we were limited what we could do. I think he understood that. I think he likes playing for the Samuelis and he likes playing in Orange County. It made sense for him to wait.
On Teemu Selanne,
I have no word. We told Teemu’s agent, Don Baizley, that after the 1st we were going to take whatever steps we needed to improve our team and that might or might not leave payroll room for Teemu. They’re well aware of that. We’ve been on the phone since free agency started this morning and we’re not close to doing anything. As I predicted, it’s Neiman Marcus prices so far and we’re shopping at K-Mart.
We told Teemu and Scotty, right after the season, that they called the tune a year ago and we had no problem with that. But it wasn’t going to happen again. Teemu’s camp is well aware of that. If a deal comes across this desk in an hour that locks us up to the cap and means we’re done and makes sense, we’re going to do it. I’m telling you with some level, that doesn’t look imminent. The prices we’re hearing on people so far are well out of our range. Not that we couldn’t pay some of them, but we’re not interested in paying some of them. We are prepared to obtain whatever holes we have in our lineup, we’re prepared to fill them the old-fashioned way. We don’t have to do it today.