Road to the Season: Expiring Contracts

You stay, I stay? YAY! - Jeff Gross

Ready for the biggest rumor-coaster of them all?

Now that the lockout is over, I bet you were thinking that things would just calm down and you could focus on watching some hockey. Ha! Not a chance.

I’m not sure if you’re aware, but there is some HUGE drama about to unfold in Anaheim. The Ducks are currently in possession of two of the biggest names set to hit the UFA list this off season, and if you’ve got any interest in Ducks hockey, or hockey in general, you’ve got their names on your radar.

If you thought last season’s Bobby Ryan roller coaster was big, just wait until you get on the rumor mil of Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. [Ed. Note: Check out Elliott Friedman's 30 Thoughts column for the latest on the Getzlaf and Perry contract drama, also Justin Bourne's take on Backhand Shelf -CK]

The following is a list of players with expiring contracts at the end of this "season". There are plenty of names on the watch list, and with only 13 signed for the 2013-14 season, there are several holes to be filled.

Ryan Getzlaf (UFA):

Current Contract: 5 years (2008-2013), $26,625,000 (cap hit: $5,325,000)
Stats during contract:
2008/09: 81 GP; 25 goals, 66 assists, 91 points, +5, Avg. TOI 20:08
2009/10: 66 GP; 19 goals, 50 assists, 69 points, +4, Avg. TOI 21:40
2010/11: 67 GP; 19 goals, 57 assists, 76 points, +14, Avg. TOI 21:51
2011/12: 82 GP; 11 goals, 46 assists, 57 points, -11, Avg. TOI 21:36

Dude drives me nuts. Unlike his partner in crime, I don’t believe Getzlaf’s stock has risen over the course of the past few years. In fact, it has probably declined. That being said, he’s in the unfortunate position of only having 48 games to make this contract season of his count. If he wants to see a raise, or, at the very least, similar pay to what he’s been collecting, Getzlaf must have the best half season we’ve seen since 2006-07.

Trade bait? Most likely. I have no doubt that any team would love to have him if Anaheim resorts to a fire sale.

Will he sign? With Anaheim – probably. I think he likes it here and, as he once boasted the nickname "The Franchise" (it’s been a long time since you’ve heard that, hasn’t it?), I think he’ll want to find a way to make it work.

I don’t believe he should get the money he got on his last deal, he doesn’t deserve it, but, that’s where the question comes into play…maybe some other team will be willing to offer that. It’ll come down to two things: How badly you want Getzlaf to stay vs. how much you think he’s actually worth. Someone is going to be willing to pay (if they’ve got the cap space) for the CHANCE that he might make it worth their while. I think many of us in Anaheim are still waiting on THAT guy to show up.

Corey Perry (UFA):

Current Contract: 5 years (2008-2013), $26,625,000 (cap hit: $5,325,000)
Stats during contract:
2008/09: 78 GP; 32 goals, 40 assists, 72 points, +10, Avg. TOI 18:36
2009/10: 82 GP; 27 goals, 49 assists, 76 points, 0, Avg. TOI 21:04
2010/11: 82 GP; 50 goals, 48 assists, 98 points, +9, Avg. TOI 22:19
2011/12: 80 GP; 37 goals, 23 assists, 60 points, -7, Avg. TOI 21:23

On the opposite note of Getzlaf, I don’t think Perry has much to prove or worry about in terms of his future contract. I don’t think Anaheim is prepared to lose the recent MVP and, in contrast to Getzlaf, his stock has definitely risen.

Trade bait? His resume definitely makes him a hot target in the cross-hairs of so many teams. I really hope the Ducks aren’t considering losing out on someone who is in the midst of his prime. Then again…sell high? And we’re talking HIGH. There is a good chance that the Ducks might need to be wiling to put these new contract limits to the breaking point for someone like Perry. Of course, that brings a huge debate on possibly paying Perry more than his best bud. Is it worth the chance of creating tension between the two? Will either of them respond to the challenge? Is Perry that honorable of a dude to consider making a deal work so that Getzlaf can stay by his side? [Ed. Note: Or will they pull a Lebron/Bosh/Wade move? -CK]

Will he sign? Recent rumors suggest that Perry might be willing to go elsewhere. Do you want him back? I think you’re crazy if you said no.

Teemu Selanne:

Current Contract: 2012-13, 1 year, $4,500,000 (cap hit: $4,500,000)
Stats during contract (2011-12: 1 year, $4,000,000, cap hit: $4,000,000):
2011/12: 82 GP; 26 goals, 40 assists, 66 points, -1, Avg. TOI 17:53

Of course he’s on the "one more year" recurring plan, which means he’s unsigned for next season. The question is how many more seasons does he have in the tank and will this half season get his juices flowing just enough to encourage "one more". Will the fans want him back? Of course.

Will he be back? Check back in September on that one.

Trade bait? Not a chance. I strongly believe that if Selanne isn’t playing hockey in Anaheim, he isn’t playing hockey anywhere.

Saku Koivu:

Current Contract: 2012-13, 1 year, $3,000,000 (cap hit: $3,800,000)
Stats during contract (2010-12: 2 years, $5,000,000, cap hit: $2,500,000)
2010/11: 75 GP; 15 goals, 30 assists, 45 points, -8, Avg. TOI 19:08
2011/12: 74 GP; 11 goals, 27 assists, 38 points, +7, Avg. TOI 18:08

Probably one of the biggest toss ups for the off season. I wasn’t entirely sure he was going to re-sign with Anaheim the last time his contract was up, and I find it even more questionable this time around. As it has already been pointed out that Anaheim is "soft in the middle," losing Koivu might not hurt so much, but getting someone to fill his shoes and then some, is important to keep in mind.

Trade bait? Hmm, I don’t think so. Koivu is still a quality player, but he’s not the value that he once was. If teams are searching for someone like Koivu, it’s to take a young team in search of leadership in the right direction. I would like to believe that the Ducks aren’t in need of someone like that at this time.

Kyle Palmieri (RFA):

Current Contract: 3 years (2010-13), $2,700,000 Entry Level (cap hit: $1,025,000)
Stats during contract:
2010/11: 10 GP; 1 goals, 0 assists, 1 points, -1, Avg. TOI 8:41
2011/12: 18 GP; 4 goals, 3 assists, 7 points, +3, Avg. TOI 11:31

I mentioned this in the preview I did for Palmieri during the lockout-season, but he’s got a bit of Getzlaf stigma to live up to. I feel like Palmieri is the next "as good as he wants to be" although it’s got a bit of "as good as his ego will allow him to be". I'm still holding out on him.

Trade bait? Who knows. At the end of his entry level deal here, Anaheim has his rights going forward, but he’s a quality talent that just hasn’t broken through yet. His size may always hinder him, but overall, he’s got skills.

Brandon McMillan (RFA):

Current Contract: 3 years (2010-13), $2,062,500 Entry Level (cap hit: $875,000)
Stats during contract:
2010/11: 60 GP; 11 goals, 10 assists, 21 points, -5, Avg. TOI 14:04
2011/12: 25 GP; 0 goals, 4 assists, 4 points, -10, Avg. TOI 11:13

McMillian is one of those guys who can do whatever the Ducks ask of him. He's valuable for filling those 4th line holes, a great forward for the hustle on the PK, and works his butt off if he's thrown in the mix. Given the opportunity to get into the lineup regularly it'll be up to him to keep his job.

Trade bait? Could be a guy that helps a package for something bigger in return.

Matt Beleskey (RFA):

Current Contract: 2 years (2011-2013), $1,475,000 (cap hit: $737,500)
Stats during contract:
2011/12: 70 GP; 4 goals, 11 assists, 15 points, -2, Avg. TOI 10:16

I've always really liked Beleskey and I don't think he got a fair share under Carlyle's rule. Last season he was greatly hindered by the shoulder injury he sustained and that made the flow of his season suffer. I think with a healthy start and a good look under Boudreau we're going to get a good idea of whether or not Beleskey can make it with this Anaheim squad.

Trade bait? Possibly. He's young with a lot of upside.

Toni Lydman:

Current Contract: 3 years (2010-2013), $9,000,000 (cap hit: $3,000,000)
Stats during contract:
2010/11: 78 GP; 3 goals, 22 assists, 25 points, +32, Avg. TOI 22:10
2011/12: 74 GP; 0 goals, 13 assists, 13 points, 0, Avg. TOI 18:54

Lydman is that guy you forgot you had, which is a great thing for a stay-at-home-defensemen. When the Ducks signed him a few years back, I didn't know what we were going to get. A few hundred blocked shots later and I'm not complaining. He had to deal with some injuries last season, but played through them like a champ. Of all the question marks for next season, he's one guy I'd like to see come back.

Trade bait? I hope not, but if there are other teams out there looking for an under the radar and solid defenseman, (Hint: there always are) they should come knocking.

Nate Guenin:

Current Contract: 2 years (2011-2013), $1,050,000 (cap hit: $525,000)
Stats during contract:
2011/12: 15 GP; 2 goals, 0 assists, 2 points, +6, Avg. TOI 11:09

I want to pretend that this matters, but we know it doesn’t. So, I’m not going to fake it.

Trade bait? Probably not. Would it be cool to get SOMETHING in return for this guy? Definitely. Would it be that valuable? Not a chance.

Jeff Deslauriers:

I’m not sure how much this really matters when you’ve got an World Jr. MVP waiting in the wings, but the Ducks are definitely going to need to take a look at their current goaltending situation and work on gearing that up for the next few years until John Gibson is ready for real NHL action

Trade bait options:

The Ducks do have a few guys on the roster that could be offered up in a trade. Andrew Cogliano, for one, has turned out to be a middle of the run guy as many of us expected. Could we see him packaged and sent away? Definitely. Would it hurt? I guess that depends on who's coming back the other way.

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