Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NHL [Print without images]

Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Perry, Ducks agree to new five-year deal

By Scott Burnside
ESPN.com

Free Agent Tracker

Follow the wheelings and dealings throughout the off-season via ESPN.com's Free Agent Tracker.

The Anaheim Ducks took care of their No. 1 priority Tuesday, locking in rising offensive star and restricted free agent Corey Perry to a five-year deal worth a total of $26.625 million.

Perry, along with Ryan Getzlaf, represents the future of the Ducks' offensive lineup. GM Brian Burke was cognizant of the potential for another team to drop an offer sheet onto Perry's lap, as was the case a year ago when the Edmonton Oilers snapped up Dustin Penner.

Corey Perry

Perry

"I really wanted to stay in Anaheim, it's a great place to play hockey," Perry said during a conference call.

The Ducks may not be done. They may try to move veteran defenseman Mathieu Schneider either in exchange for more offensive help, or to free up cap space to pursue a free-agent forward.

Perry, 23, had a team-high 29 goals in 70 games this past season and was plus-12, despite missing part of the season with a leg injury.

"Corey is one of the top young players in the NHL today," Ducks general manager Brian Burke said. "He's a true Duck, a hard-nosed goal-scorer."

Perry had little interest in prolonging contract negotiations, so he quickly agreed to stay in Anaheim.

"At the end of the day, it's the same deal [as Getzlaf] and it was just nice to get it over and done with pretty quick," said Perry, who conceded bragging rights to Getzlaf. "He signed a lot earlier."

The two talented 23-year-old forwards have generally skated together during their first three NHL seasons and are likely to remain the Ducks' top offensive threats.

"Both players are physical, hard-to-play-against guys who have also put up good numbers," Burke said. "What we are rewarding here, and betting on, is that package will continue, that these will be two big, physical guys who know how to control a game offensively."

Perry is still going through the rehabilitation process as a result of having the tendon above his right knee lacerated by the skate of then-Colorado goalie Jose Theodore on March 6.

Perry returned to play three playoff games and scored two goals, but his leg was still not completely healed. He expects to be fully recovered for training camp.

Scott Burnside covers the NHL for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.