There were rumors the Anaheim Ducks were trying to rid themselves of the remaining years and dollars attached to the contract of former Hart Trophy Winner Corey Perry. Speculation was, if the team couldn’t trade him, they’d consider a buyout. That’s exactly what happened on Wednesday.
The Anaheim Ducks have taken advantage of the buyout window and will pay Perry over the long-term not to play for them any longer. He had two years left on his contract with an annual cap hit of $8.62 million per season.
A 14-year veteran, Perry spent his entire career with the Ducks, recording 776 points in 988 games (372 G, 404 A).
The Buyout Details
The Ducks will have to incur the cost of $2 million per season over the next four seasons with the buyout. Perry’s cap hit will be as follows:
- 2019-20: $2,625,000
- 2020-21: $6,625,000
- 2021-22: $2,000,000
- 2022-23: $2,000,000
As you can see, in the second year, the cap savings is only $2 million and this hit will inevitably mean the Ducks can’t sign a $6 million player in that season.
This was not the first play for the Ducks but it appeared to be the only one.
Anaheim reportedly explored the trade market but only had four-to-six teams to work with because of the no-movement clause in Perry’s contract, according to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun.
The Ducks’ Decision
As is being reported by Chris Johnston of Sportsnet, GM of the Ducks, Bob Murray calls the Corey Perry buyout “one of the most difficult decisions I’ve had to make in my 44 years in the NHL.”
The ownership of the team sent out a statement on Wednesday saying:
“On behalf of the entire Ducks’ organization, we thank Corey Perry for his tremendous contributions to the franchise. For many years, Corey has epitomized what it means to be a Duck, playing an aggressive, relentless game, while being a passionate and giving member of the Orange County community.”
Perry will now become a free agent and that style, could come back to haunt the Ducks who may miss that type of player when he’s not available to them.
What’s Next For Perry
As a free agent, Perry will head towards July 1 ready, and likely willing, to sign a new deal with a competitive team.
He was overpaid for his production but considering the Ducks will still be paying him, he can afford to take somewhere in the neighbourhood of $2-$3 million on a short-term deal. Should he prove he can replicate some of his more productive years, he has a chance to sign a couple of additional short-term contracts as Eric Staal and Joe Thornton have been doing in Minnesota and San Jose.
Perry, 34, has won a Stanley Cup, Olympic gold medal, World Championship, World Cup, Memorial Cup and World Junior title. If nothing else, he’s got leadership skills he can offer to a team that is lacking in that department.
There has been no indication from any particular teams if there is an interest in Perry’s services or if they will be actively seeking him out for conversation come July 1. We will keep you up to speed in our daily rumors posts as we learn more.
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Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”