ANAHEIM, Calif. – Corey Perry is keeping up with Anaheim Ducks teammate Ryan Getzlaf.
Anaheim signed Perry, its second-leading scorer from last season, to a five-year, US$26.6-million contract Tuesday, a deal similar to one Getzlaf – the Ducks’ top scorer – agreed to in November.
“I really wanted to stay in Anaheim, it’s a great place to play hockey,” Perry said during a conference call.
Despite missing part of the season because of a leg injury, the 23-year-old Perry established several career highs. He led the Ducks with 29 goals, and his 54 points was second only to Getzlaf’s 82.
“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, a restricted free agent, had little interest in prolonging contract negotiations as the NHL free-agency period began Tuesday, 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.
“I should be 100 per cent. We have a couple months to keep working at it,” Perry said.
The Ducks were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs last season, one year after Perry and Getzlaf led the team in postseason scoring en route to the 2007 Stanley Cup title.
“It’s one of those things where we’re putting high expectations on ourselves next year, we’re trying to push forward again,” Perry said.