Ducks have stars Getzlaf and Perry in their sights
At the Ducks’ first organized team practice Sunday at Honda Center, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry were positioned together again on the first line.
The question connected to the 27-year-old stars is whether it’s one more season and done, or if the relationships have staying power.
Ducks General Manager Bob Murray told reporters the day after NHL players officially ratified their new labor deal that he’s planning to meet soon with the respective agents for Perry (the Newport Sports Group) and Getzlaf (Steve Kotlowitz) to attempt to extend the players’ contracts.
Both players will become unrestricted free agents after this season if talks with the Ducks don’t produce a deal.
“It’s my priority,” Murray said. “They’ve been Anaheim Ducks from the start. I love those guys. Both agents will come in during the next two weeks and we’ll do everything we can to sign them.”
Both players saw their point production slump last season, after Perry scored 98 points en route to the Hart Trophy given to the NHL’s most valuable player in 2010-11.
Right wing Perry’s points shrunk to 60, and center-captain Getzlaf’s decreased from 76 to 57, with just 11 goals.
Perry said after Sunday’s skate that he intends to focus more on the season being “fast-tracked” because of the labor stoppage than on his own contract.
The Ducks open Saturday in Vancouver and play nine of their first 14 games on the road, making their home debut Jan. 25 against the Canucks.
“The time frame is whatever happens, happens,” Perry said. “It’s not in the front of my mind. I have a job to play hockey.”
Getzlaf said he has met with Murray “a few times” to discuss the team’s direction.
“It’ll work itself out,” Getzlaf said. “I’ve just got to play my game. We don’t have a time frame. I’d like to get something done if we can. I like the direction it’s moving in. I’d like to be a big part of this team.”
Murray added that past talk of left wing Bobby Ryan being on the trading block is now a “non-issue,” with the team encouraged by the contributions of new defensemen Sheldon Souray and Bryan Allen.
Meanwhile, Coach Bruce Boudreau supervised two practice sessions of 29 players Sunday in front of a crowd of 2,514 that came to watch and enjoy free hot dogs and sodas.
Tim Ryan, the Ducks’ executive vice president and chief operating officer, apologized to fans “for the four months you lost.”
“By no means is there any one thing we can do to regain your trust and loyalty,” Ryan said.
Boudreau drew cheers by saying: “The best way to repay you is to play an extra two months” to reach the Stanley Cup final.
The roster will be pared to 23 players by Friday.
Among those under consideration is right wing Emerson Etem, 29, of Long Beach, who had 107 points in 65 games last season at Medicine Hat of the Western Hockey League.
Boudreau praised Etem’s and forward Devante Smith-Pelly’s skating, adding he believes 18 spots are “etched in stone.”
“It is more about what we know of the guys than what they do here, but someone could step up and surprise us,” Boudreau said. “All the scouts should just hold up those scorecards like in figure skating, a nine or 10, and then we could add them up at the end.
“It’s one day, let’s see how they look” Monday. “And it’s not hard after one or two games if they’re not keeping up to exchange them.”
Boudreau placed Kyle Palmieri on the first line with Getzlaf and Perry on Sunday, and said he anticipates a second line of Nick Bonino, Bobby Ryan and Teemu Selanne to stick.
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