They were born six days apart in 1985, raised in Canada's elite amateur leagues, drafted in the first round in 2003 and grew to become the
Within a 10-day stretch last season, each signed an eight-year extension valued at a combined $135 million — $69 million for Perry, who plays right wing, $66 million for Getzlaf, a center.
"When you're a young guy, to go to a camp where you know someone else — you cling to them like glue," said Coach Bruce Boudreau, whose Ducks visit the
As opening night on Oct. 2 in Colorado nears, their joint effort is to carry the team in pursuit of the
"We're taking that next step to be better as leaders and take this team to the next level," said Perry, the
Getzlaf — the Ducks' captain who tied Perry with a team-high 15 goals in the lockout-abbreviated 48-game season and added a team-best 34 assists — said winning another Cup after doing so at age 22 is "a reasonable goal."
"You look up and down our lineup, it's only about performing," Getzlaf said. "We have the personnel. It's a matter of stepping to the forefront and doing it."
That statement sprouts from the sting of May's surprising first-round playoff exit against the
"We had such a great season that came to a screeching halt," Perry said. "That's hard to swallow. You know if you get by that one team, you never know what can happen. We want to start the same way, continue doing the things, but … we've got to prove ourselves again. Nothing is given."
The Ducks already have a team motto in their locker room and on practice shirts: "Unfinished business."
Perry's hurt goes a little deeper, considering he didn't score a goal in the playoffs.
"If one of those pucks goes in, it's obviously a different story and we could be laughing right now," Perry said. "That's not the way it went, it wasn't meant to be. I had some good chances, some good looks. The puck just didn't bounce the right way. I'm upset at how it ended, but I use that as motivation, as fuel to strive to be better."
Having Getzlaf around enhances that strategy. The captain is prone to displays of emotion and impassioned vocalization on the ice.
"My play and my voice is the way I like to lead in general," Getzlaf said. "I sometimes say things I shouldn't say. Those are things I've learned. Something I've worked toward is that when I do talk, the guys listen. You never want to be that guy that talks all the time and eventually guys tune you out. You let your play and emotion do the talking, and when it's time to say something, you say it."
Perry, a similarly driven player whose motor, skill and shooting can overwhelm opponents, is more of an introvert.
"You know what you're getting every single night when we're together on the ice," Perry said. "We can give each other criticism. I can tell him, 'Let's start playing.' He responds well, and I respond when he tells me. That's something not a lot of guys can do."
After Getzlaf signed his extension with the Ducks, Perry said the bond of friendship "really stuck in my mind," as he considered the Ducks' lucrative offer against the idea of departing for a team like the
"A lot of people don't know how many conversations I had with different people, ex-players, my agent … it was a tough decision," Perry said. "My family's all back in the East, that's home for me.
"But I wanted to stay here. To be somewhere I've grown in this league, to be with Getzy, you don't find someone as good as him on any other team. I knew we could build something good here together."