For the most part, NHL teams and their players are allies. The one notable exception, though, is when a team goes into contract discussions with its players and their agents. It seems like the talks between restricted free agent Bobby Ryan and the Anaheim Ducks are getting a little contentious, as Eric Stephens of the OC Register reports.
Ducks GM Bob Murray has taken the squabbles to the public, stating that Ryan & Co. aren’t making good on their claims that they’d be satisfied making a bit less than the team’s two highest scoring forwards Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry.
“We went to five years at $5 million a year, thinking that after what I heard him say last week that it would be very close,” Murray said. “We offered him a four-year deal at a lower number and they flat out turned that down as quick as you can say whatever you want to say.”
Murray had previously offered five years at an amount between $20-25 million. Ryan, who led the Ducks with 35 goals last season, told the Register that he wasn’t seeking to be paid as much as top point producers Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry.
When asked to characterize the situation going forward, Murray said, “Basically, that situation is nowhere.”
“As you recall, Bobby said he would like to be just under Getzlaf and Perry,” he added. “Well five and five is just under those two guys.”
You might remember that PHT conducted a readers poll to see how much people thought the budding power forward should earn. If the Ducks were to follow readers’ advice, they’d send Ryan the same $5.3 million per year offer that landed Getzlaf and Perry.
When you consider the fact that Phil Kessel – a far less impressive player than the three mentioned above – is making more than that, I think Getzlaf/Perry-money is perfectly reasonable for Ryan.
While Anaheim is well under the cap, they’re one of the NHL’s teams who must deal with a self-imposed budget. The discussions are a little rough right now, but when/if the two sides come to a compromise, the Ducks are in a nice spot to improve their lot in the NHL. Even if they can’t keep up with the Chicago’s of the world when it comes to spending cash.