Looking relieved after getting captain Ryan Getzlaf under wraps through the 2020-21 season, Murray now turns to fellow franchise cornerstone Corey Perry. The GM was characteristically tight-lipped about negotiations to extend the pending free agent when he spoke with reporters at the first intermission Friday night at Honda Center.
"We're going to attempt to sign him," Murray said of Perry.
"I've never commented on negotiations. I never will. Corey's group, Getzy's group -- none of us want to comment and we have been talking and there is nothing [to say]. I have no update for you."
Earlier Friday, the Ducks announced the signing of Getzlaf to an eight-year, $66 million contract to end half of the speculation about the future of the two longtime linemates and friends who have come up through Anaheim together.
Like Getzlaf, Perry can re-sign for the maximum eight-year deal with Anaheim under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Another team could sign him to a seven-year contract. The salary cap will return to a $64.3 million ceiling next season.
Since Murray took over for Brian Burke, he has typically operated with a $2 million to $3 million cushion or more under the salary cap. Anaheim has ample room to sign Perry, so it becomes a matter of how close Murray is willing to bump up against the cap in order to keep the 2011 Hart Trophy winner in a Ducks sweater.
Perry, who made between $4 million and $5.3 million in the final two years of his current contract, would certainly command at least Getzlaf's money in the open market. Perry said Friday morning that Getzlaf's deal ultimately would not sway his choice, but he allowed that "Obviously it helps when you know he's going to be here for a long time. It could definitely have a factor on my decision."
As for Getzlaf, Murray said he believes the only way to keep players of his caliber is with a long-term deal, although he's not a fan of such contracts.
Murray added that the combination of size and skill is invaluable with Getzlaf, who has rebounded with a terrific season after a dismal 2011-12 in which he struggled with captaincy and adjusting to fatherhood. Getzlaf notched his 500th career point in the second period Friday, and has 28 points in 23 games this season.
"Where are you going to find a centerman like that?" Murray said. "Everyone in this League, every phone call you have, is about a centerman, and where are you going to get one with size and skill?"
Murray made a comparison to Steve Yzerman, who was made captain of the Detroit Red Wings at a young age. He said Getzlaf will evolve in similar manner.
"It didn't happen overnight," Murray said. "I'm a great fan of Stevie's, and you can talk to him about it because it takes a while and I think some things got to him. I just think [Getzlaf is] going to get better and better with that role and I think it dragged it him down at times when he's worrying about things instead of just playing, and that's all part of being a leader."