Maple Leafs need to enter Corey Perry sweepstakes if Anaheim Ducks put him on trade market
We’re waiting for the first big move by Dave Nonis as GM of the Maple Leafs. It might have to be a really big one. See, if it turns out, as is being widely speculated, that the Anaheim Ducks can afford to keep only one their dynamic duo, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, and that Getzlaf is the one most likely to get the new long-term deal from the Ducks, then Perry could be available before the April 3rd trade deadline. If that’s the case and Perry hits the trade market, it’s a competition the Leafs must be in. Perry — who registered a nice three-assist effort in an Anaheim win over Nashville last night - isn’t a perfect fit for the Leafs, a team desperate for a No. 1 centre. But he competes like hell, is a former Hart Trophy winner and the proud owner of a Stanley Cup ring. He’ll be 28 in May, not too old to still be a dominant player for years to come. He’s the kind of player who could transform the Leafs in a way it was once believed Phil Kessel could, but clearly never will. It will be an expensive deal to make, both in terms of players, and in terms of a contract. Perry deserves a sizeable increase on his current $4.875 million salary, and depending how high he wants to drive the price, he could be headed north of $8 million. The Leafs can pay that. They’ll have the room. They surely have the need to bring in a player who has actually accomplished something big in this league. And he’s accomplished a few big things. Assuming the Leafs would be very interested, here’s where it gets really interesting. Ex-GM Brian Burke, as we know, is now a part-time scout with the Ducks. He can supply Anaheim with the inside dope on every single Leaf player and prospect, plus he knows how Nonis feels and thinks about every single Leaf player and prospect, and how he values them. Leaf head coach Randy Carlyle, on the other hand, has intimate knowledge of the Anaheim roster. So that factor is somewhat counter-balanced. Would Burke, who brought Kessel to Toronto and still believes in him, recommend the Ducks look at acquiring Silent Phil as part of a package for Perry? Would Nonis need to be able to have a contract in place with Perry before a trade could be consumated? Lots of moving parts here, and lots of speculation. Heck, Anaheim could sign both Getzlaf and Perry — that seems unlikely — or keep both beyond the trade deadline even if unsigned.
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