The (Dotted) Bottom Line

Scrub over to 0:49 seconds, as the first question is a bit of a throwaway.

 

DANIEL:

This is Anaheim Calling to the hockey world.

Bobby Ryan has been a major producer in the Ducks' recent improved play.  Arthur, Bob Murray has had trouble with contract negotiations before, so is the Bobby Ryan contract something he needs to get done sooner rather than later?

ARTHUR:

It isn't something he needs to get DONE sooner, but he's got to get back to the bargaining table sooner rather than later, and he needs to get it done before the offseason.

Burke left Murray with a lot of leverage on our prized 2nd overall pick.  But we've seen what Murph does with leverage as recently as his non-efforts to sign Francois Beauchemin.  I've frankly never seen the Ducks GM engage in anything remotely identifiable as negotiation for this team, not unless you count bluffing a Wisniewski arbitration before paying through the nose for the young defenseman.  Those 'wait and see wait some more' tactics haven't worked for Murray so far, and they won't work with Ryan.

Bobby has made his position clear by asking for a long-term deal; he wants a contract to carry him to UFA status.  If the Ducks sit down with him right now, they can try to talk him out of it and put an attractive counter offer on the table.  That's what you do when someone wants a long term 3M/yr. deal on his second contract.  If Ryan wanted to bleed us dry on a three-year deal, THEN you say, 'let's see how the season plays out,' because you can use those numbers against him.  But Ryan doesn't want to do that, he wants to be a UFA the next time he negotiates, so his numbers this season don't really matter.

If Murray waits to the offseason, then Ryan can just find a team to offer sheet him a long term 3M/yr deal.  There are plenty of teams willing to do that.  After all, the compensation for such an offer is only a single 2nd Round draft pick.  And the Ducks would have to match that offer, setting a dangerous precedent for Bob Murray, who was already the guy that didn't negotiate with his injured UFA's.  He will then be the guy that lets other GM's negotiate his RFA contracts for him.

 

DANIEL:

I have to disagree that this needs to be done before the offseason. I want Bobby Ryan signed now, but I don't think that Murray CAN sign him now. Not because of any resistance by Bobby, I just don't have faith that Bob Murray can walk and chew gum at the same time. I agree that Beauchemin's extension shouldn't have been put off as long as it was. That might have been a product of his injury or his desire to test the market.  However, Beauchemin later said that he was interested in staying with the Ducks and surprised not to receive an offer.  Murray heard 'test the market' and stopped negotiating.  You can't do that.  You can't let a guy like that just walk away without even an offer.  Especially when you turn around and give his money to James Wisniewski. Sorry...still bitter.

My point is that in Murray's brief tenure, he's given no indication that he has an interest in re-signing players during the season. He instead likes to focus on trades and the season in front of him. This short-sighted approach is going to prove astronomically detrimental in seasons to come. That is, if he's still around, and I hope that Samueli shows him the door this offseason.

I don't know if Bobby's done enough to earn a deal that takes him to UFA status.  I think that's debatable.  If it's a deal breaker for him, however, then Murray should give him what he wants, but on our terms.  Murray should offer him 7 or 8 years at 3M/yr.  That contract would still take him near age 30, where he could sign a big lifetime or afterlife deal (if that loophole is still available), but the Ducks would get a couple extra years at 3M/yr. out of him.  It might be tough to get tied up for so long in a guy who is essentially a 30-goal player, but I think it's safe to say that he'll be at the very, very, least as valuable as that every year of the contract.

I don't see Murray losing on a deal like that.  It would be, at least, closer to his terms.  Bobby wouldn't lose either.  He would still get to his big payday, he would just have to spend a little more time with the Ducks on a discount to do it.  And in that time, we could use the extra money to build a better team around him.

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