Ducks Get Their Man
Tuesday, 07.1.2008 / 12:43 PM PT / Features
|Anaheim GM Brian Burke has signed Corey Perry to a five-year deal which runs through the 2012-13 season.|
"Corey is one of the top young players in the NHL today," Burke said. "He's a true Duck, a hard-nosed goal-scorer who's difficult to play against."
Perry was happy to not only hear Burke's words, but to have the deal finally done to stay in Anaheim for the long-term future.
"It's pretty amazing and something special," Perry said. "Anaheim is 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."
Signing Perry was one of the top priorities for Burke, who chose to buy out the remaining year on Todd Bertuzzi's deal to help create salary-cap space.
The 33-year-old Bertuzzi, who signed with the Ducks last offseason, missed 14 games with a concussion and finished with 14 goals and 40 points in 68 games.
Despite missing the final 12 games of the regular season with a right quadriceps laceration, Perry posted similar numbers in his third season with Anaheim, scoring 28 goals and 54 points. He finished with a plus-12 rating and 108 penalty minutes and established career highs in most offensive categories, including goals, points, plus/minus (plus-12), power-play goals (11), game-winning goals (4) and shots (200). During the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs, he had two goals and three points in three games.
Not surprisingly, Perry has done most of his damage riding shotgun with center Ryan Getzlaf. Perry and Getzlaf, who represent the Ducks' future, were teammates for the Western Conference at the All-Star Game. The pair has been linked since being selected together in the first round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, when Getzlaf was taken No. 19 by the Ducks and Perry was selected nine picks later.
The two were also linemates in 2004-05 with Portland, the Ducks' American Hockey League affiliate, and have remained together in the NHL.
"We have similar games but are different in certain ways and our styles complement each other," Getzlaf said back in March. "I believe our time together as teammates in Portland really brought us closer together and got that confidence going. We've been very productive since that time and we've really taken off as linemates."
Perry is often referred to as the Anaheim agitator, a role he certainly cherishes.
"There's always a time when you say to yourself, 'You have to play this way since it's working for you,' and for me, that meant taking the role as an agitator. It's how I stay involved in the game," Perry said.
Perry emphasized his desire to remain an Anaheim Duck back in January while participating in the 2008 NHL All-Star Game in Atlanta.
"I love being here in Anaheim and I want to remain here for the rest of my career," Perry told NHL.com at the time.
Perry helped Anaheim win the Stanley Cup in 2007, finishing tied for second in club history with 15 postseason points in 21 playoff games. Among all active NHL players aged 23 or younger, Perry (21 points), Getzlaf (29) and Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin (26) and Sidney Crosby (32) have at least 20 career playoff points.
Perry has collected 59 goals, 123 points and 213 penalty minutes with a plus-25 rating in 208 career NHL games with the Ducks. He has also appeared in 35 career playoffs games, collecting eight goals, 21 points and 61 penalty minutes.
Contact Mike Morreale at email@example.com.