NHL Rumors: Murray's top priority is to keep Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry
Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf will be coveted in free agency, but Ducks GM Bob Murray will do everything he can to keep them in Anaheim.
And if general manager Bob Murray has his way, they're going to continue doing it in Anaheim for quite a while.
Looking ahead to next summer's free-agent class, Perry and Getzlaf clearly stand out as the cream of the crop as the star forwards are both entering the final year of their contracts.
Murray has already stated that his top priority is to keep both players together in Anaheim.
Because ... well, it would be pretty crazy if he didn't try.
"It's my top priority," Murray told Eric Stephens of the OC Register on Monday. "They've been Anaheim Ducks from the start. I love those guys. They're winners, and I'm going to do everything in my power to sign them."
Quite honestly, that's the only thing he can say at this point. When you have two players like that, it's usually in your best interest to do whatever you can to keep them. Murray also added, via Stephens, that the agents for both players are coming in during the next couple of weeks and that "This isn’t rocket science. I’m going to try everything I can to get them signed."
The question is whether the Ducks can get the numbers to work under the cap.
As the team is currently constructed, Anaheim has $32 million committed to 12 players for next season. The cap, assuming Anaheim wants to spend all the way to it (which it hasn't always done in recent years), is set to be $64.3 million. Getzlaf and Perry have matching $5.325 million cap hits this season, and you can be sure they're both going to get significant raises on their next deals, whether they get them in Anaheim or another NHL city.
Along with the contract status of Perry and Getzlaf, there's also the constant trade rumors that keep popping up involving Anaheim's other top forward, Bobby Ryan. Murray said on Monday that situation was a "non-issue."
Ryan still has three years and more than $15 million remaining on his contract.
Getzlaf and Perry were both selected by Anaheim in the first round of the 2003 entry draft and won a Stanley Cup with the Ducks back in 2006-07. Perry won the NHL's MVP award and goal-scoring crown during the 2010-11 season, and he followed it up with a 37-goal effort last season. Getzlaf had a down year this past season -- at least by his standards, anyway -- but seems to be poised for a bounceback season in 2013.
Since the start of the 2007-08 season, they've played nearly 5,000 minutes of even-strength hockey on the same line, and during that time the Ducks have outscored their opponents by a 227-180 margin.
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