St Louis Blues v Anaheim Ducks

The most coveted UFA-to-be this year was Corey Perry in a landslide, so there’s undoubtedly some disappointed teams today as they found out he signed an eight-year contract extension worth $69 million with Anaheim, an average annual cap hit of $8.625 for the Ducks.

I don’t include that as a negative, I just think it’s interesting.

Anyway, with that, Perry and Getzlaf are taken care of, and everyone else can move on.

A couple weeks ago I wrote a post about why Duck’s GM Bob Murray should trade the two superstars, which essentially made the point that “you can’t lose them for nothing,” but probably could’ve done a better job explaining that if you can keep them, you should. I’ve long been a proponent of the concept of “difference-makers” – they’re tough to come by at the NHL level, these select few humans who can change the course of the game with a single great play, so full credit to the Ducks for doing what they had to do not to lose theirs.

As Bob Murray put it:

“Any time in an organization you’ve got two elite players like this, two winners, and you know they’re winners, God forbid they get away or one gets away,” Murray said during a between-periods meeting with the media. “But they’re going to be here and we’ve got something for us to build around and work towards another Stanley Cup.”

We can argue for days about the value of the deal, but neither side – those who think he’s getting paid too much, and those who think he coulda/shoulda made more – can argue that the contract is too ridiculous in either direction. This is a player, after all, who won a Hart Trophy as the league’s most valuable player just a couple years ago, and has yet to turn 28.

One of the reasons I like Perry’s decision to stay in the face of the opportunity to make more money and move closer to his home on the east coast, is a comment Elliotte Friedman made on his blog today:

When I was 26, Bob McCown told me, “Don’t %&$@ with happy.” He explained that the world is full of people who leave a good situation for a little bit of extra money and later regret it.

People won’t exactly mourn for Perry, who will average $8.625 million US on his deal, but the principle still stands. He could have made more. Good on him for recognizing a good situation.

Don’t f*** with happy. There’s no reason to remove yourself from a good team with good young players in the state of California because what, you can’t live on $8.625M a year?

What this might do, is allow teams who may have been hesitant to add money to their cap at the trade deadline to spend a bit, knowing there’s no real star to reserve room under the salary cap for this summer. Or at least that’s my hope. This trade deadline is shaping up to be a bit of a dud, so hey, a guy can wish.