So it wasn’t all that long ago that I wrote a thing saying the Ducks gave Ryan Getzlaf a silly amount of money for a bad number of years.
Then they gave Corey Perry the same number of years and even more money. I don’t understand it at all, but this time for a very different reason. If you’re going to give Getzlaf $66 million over eight years, then yeah you probably have to give Perry $3 million on top of that just out of consideration for the time he won a Hart Trophy and dragged a crap Ducks team screaming into the playoffs. That just about covers the added revenues from those few extra home dates, doesn’t it?
And the thing is, too, that it always stood to reason that if the Ducks kept Getzlaf, they would likewise keep Perry, considering how long they’ve been running buddies and how valuable they both are to the franchise. But the decision to keep them together also necessitates some sort of trade, doesn’t it?
The cap is coming down hard next season, and given who they currently have on the roster, the Ducks will be spending a whopping $21.975 million tied up in Getzlaf, Perry, and Bobby Ryan. About one-third of the $64.3 million salary cap next year. That’s not counting Cam Fowler’s $4 million, or Jonas Hiller’s $4.5 million (neither of which look like particularly prudent deals), which bumps the total amount being spent on just five players, three of whom are forwards, to $30.475 million, more than 47 percent of the cap.
This says three things:
1) Saku Koivu and Teemu Selanne, both of whom are free agents in July, will not be returning for victory lap seasons unless they come in at significant discounts, which they probably won’t. If you didn’t get out to a Western Conference game to see them live one last time, you blew your chance.
2) Bobby Ryan’s getting traded. He’s affordable, he’s younger than the other two, and unlike Perry and Getzlaf, his deal doesn’t have any restrictions on trades. Add in the fact that he’s been a repeated trade target (or at least is purported to have been) over the last however-many seasons, and it’s looking like he better start going through his house with a label maker.
3) The Ducks are going to be terrible.
Even getting out from under Ryan’s contract and replacing it with a slightly comparable player — the number of players who averaged 30 goals a year in the last four seasons, 11 fewer than Ryan’s total over that span, checks in at 18 — is unlikely; by my count, not one of them has lower cap hit than does Ryan. Having so little flexibility under the cap to sign, take on, or call up about seven guys (Anaheim has 16 signed for next season right this second for $53.484 million) doesn’t speak too well of how all this is going to work out.
Especially when you consider how hard Viktor Fasth is going to regress to the mean either later this season or into the next one. And how they’re going to have to unload Ryan. Or, if they somehow avoid doing that, dealing with the generally low quality of player they’ll be able to squeeze onto the roster will help to ensure a season as bad as this one was expected to be.
The best part about all this, by the way, is that an actual thing Corey Perry said after signing his team-dooming extension was that he was encouraged to stay by the Ducks’ strong performance this year. Yeah, Corey, about that…
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