The Anaheim Ducks own one of the best records in the NHL to date. They also have the unenviable task of deciding what to do with their two superstars, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, both who are set to hit free-agency this summer. The Ducks could resign both players, although many industry personnel feel that is highly unlikely. Trading one of the two is a good possibility and Perry’s name is the one that many feel will be the player the Ducks try and move.
If and when Perry becomes officially available, the Toronto Maple Leafs could and should have a high level of interest in acquiring him according to Damien Cox of the Toronto Star.
It’s believed that Getzlaf will get the long-term extension from the Ducks which will then lead them to shop Perry. The timing as to when he’ll be available is still uncertain. Anaheim could hang on to him for their playoff run and try and deal him before free-agency begins, or they’ll try and trade him by the April 3rd deadline. Rumors are guaranteed to pick up surrounding Perry and Getzlaf over the next 33 days leading up to the trade deadline and the Leafs will surely be involved.
Cox’s article is mere speculation and it’s easy to say the Maple Leafs would like to acquire the services of Perry; every team in the league would like to have Corey Perry on their roster. He’s a former 50-goal scorer, has been named the league’s most valuable player and has a Stanley Cup ring. Add all that up and his price tag will be enormous.
But Cox is quick to point out that the Leafs have room to sign Perry to an extension and have the assets to deal with Anaheim. Cox drops the name of Phil Kessel as a starting point in a potential package for Perry. Yes, you read that right, he said Phil Kessel.
Brian Burke, the infamous former GM of the Leafs is once again working with the Anaheim Ducks. It was Burke who continues to defend his move to acquire Kessel during his tenure in Toronto and Cox believes that Burke could see value in bringing the former Bruins draft pick to Orange County.
Cox also describes that Burke knows current Leafs GM, Dave Nonis better than any other GM in the league, something that could bode well when putting a deal together.
Randy Carlyle, the Leafs head coach was also the head coach of the Anaheim Ducks not to long ago. He too would have insight into the Ducks players, another interesting angle.
I’m not sure I agree with Cox and his reasoning on this one. Kessel is set to earn $5.4 million next season and while he is a free-agent in one-year’s time, his price tag won’t drop a whole lot if he were to hit the open market. Cox writes that Perry could fetch north of $8 million on the open market and while the Ducks may not be able to afford to keep both him and Getlzaf, bringing in Phil Kessel for anything more than $4 million is not worth it. He’s struggling this season with just 4 goals through the first 22 games.
Surely the Ducks could receive a better package than one that begins or ends with Phil Kessel if they look at moving Perry over the next month.
While all the connections and story lines between the Ducks and Leafs are nice and fun to write about, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Anaheim will want a proven playoff performer if they look at moving Perry and Kessel doesn’t exactly fit that mold. While a change of scenery might be what Kessel needs, Anaheim is unlikely when you look at the needs of both clubs.
For more on the Anaheim Ducks, check out Pucks of a Feather.
For more on the Toronto Maple Leafs, check out Editor in Leaf.