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Ducks sign Perry to eight-year extension

by Curtis Zupke

ANAHEIM – They were born six days apart and have been in lockstep with each other for all of their pro hockey careers.

So it was only natural that Corey Perry called Ryan Getzlaf the night before he signed an eight-year contract extension reportedly worth $69 million -- the deal was announced Monday night. Perry said Getzlaf had called him the night before signing his eight-year, $66 million extension 10 days ago.

Corey Perry
Corey Perry
Right Wing - ANA
GOALS: 9 | ASST: 15 | PTS: 24
SOG: 61 | +/-: 14
"He talked to me and asked me what my thoughts were," Perry said. "At that point I was still undecided, but it was definitely a huge factor that he did stay here and he's committed here.

"It means a lot. We've been through a lot of things together. We're great friends off the ice, and on the ice he's been there every game I've played. When something like that happens, it definitely helps. I called him last night right away when I found out what was going to happen. It's an exciting time for both of us."

Perry might have to pick up a few more dinner checks, considering the 2011 Hart Trophy winner will earn $3 million more than Getzlaf during the life of their contracts. Both contracts contain no-movement clauses. But perhaps their chemistry is beyond monetary worth.

"He's an elite center man, that's for sure," Perry said. "That was a big factor in my decision. With him staying here and knowing I'd get to play with him for pretty much the rest of our career. It definitely added some pride to stay here."

Getzlaf said keeping Perry was important for the team.

"That's a big step in the right direction for this organization," he said. "Me and Pears had some conversations and stuff over the last week. The free agency thing is a route that some guys like to go but we're in a pretty good situation here with a great ownership group, and we both showed that now."

It was a big day for Anaheim general manager Bob Murray, who not long ago was looking at losing the two franchise cornerstones.

"Any time in an organization you've got two elite players like this, two winners, and you know they're winners, God forbid they get away or one gets away," Murray said during a between-periods meeting with the media. "But they're going to be here and we've got something for us to build around and work towards another Stanley Cup."

Murray said Anaheim "we've got lots of room" for the $64.3 million salary cap next season. His biggest unrestricted free agent re-signings would be Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu, but neither commands a massive salary.

Perry could have become an unrestricted free agent this summer, but said the way he's been treated in Anaheim was a big factor in his decision to stay.

"It's a class-act organization, and the way they've handled the team this year and the way we're playing, that's all coming into being a big factor," he said. "A big [factor] was Getzy signing here as well. Knowing I'm going to play with him for eight more years is pretty special."

Perry has 214 goals and 239 assists for 453 points in 555 career games over eight NHL seasons, all with the Ducks. The 27-year-old was Anaheim's first-round pick (No. 28) in 2003.

"But at the end of the day, once it was kind of crunch time … this is where I wanted to be. You look around that dressing room. There's a lot of great guys in that room, great hockey players. It's going to be a great team for a long time."
-- Corey Perry on signing with Anaheim through the 2020-21 season

Perry led the League with 50 goals in 2010-11 and helped the Ducks win the Stanley Cup in 2007. He has nine goals and 15 assists with a plus-14 rating in 25 games this season. He's currently sitting out a four-game suspension for an illegal check on Minnesota Wild forward Jason Zucker.

Speculation about Perry was intriguing with the April 3 trade deadline approaching. If Anaheim couldn't re-sign him, then it surely needed to get something in return or risk losing him for nothing.

Asked if he received any tempting offers, Murray said, "I never allowed it to get that way. I wasn't going to give up until I had to give up. That's just the way I am. So I didn't let that thought to come into my mind. I worried, but I never said 'OK.'"

Getzlaf was pretty sure that after he signed his extension that Perry would follow suit.

"I had less than everybody else," he said when asked if he doubted that Perry would re-sign. "I talked to Pears quite a bit. We had a lot of conversations about the direction of the team and everything was headed in the right direction. They've shown us everything from day one on a winning organization, and it showed in our commitment back to them now."

The idea of Perry being moved during Anaheim's brilliant season seemed unlikely, but Perry didn't throw cold water on other possibilities after Getzlaf signed, initially saying at the time that it wouldn't influence his decision.

Did the Ontario-bred Perry allow himself to think about going elsewhere?

"Obviously being from back East, you think about it," Perry said. "But at the end of the day, once it was kind of crunch time … this is where I wanted to be. You look around that dressing room. There's a lot of great guys in that room, great hockey players. It's going to be a great team for a long time."

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