Ducks counting on big things from Perry, Getzlaf

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There’s no question that Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf are great players that are more than worthy of serving on the team’s top line. Even still, did the Anaheim Ducks overpay to keep them?

The Ducks handed Perry an eight-year, $69 million contract and Getzlaf an eight-year, $66 million deal. That works out to be a combined annual cap hit of just under $17 million for two players.

Only one team in the NHL has allocated more of their cap to their top two forwards. The Pittsburgh Penguins’ Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin will consume a combined $17.4 million in cap space next season. In 2014-15 Malkin’s eight-year, $76 million deal will kick in and that number will jump to $18.2 million.

To an extent, comparing the Penguins’ situation to the Ducks’ is unfair. Sidney Crosby’s contract is heavily frontloaded, and thus a relic of the old CBA where teams could both give players higher salaries in the short term and keep their cap hits manageable. And yet that doesn’t change the fact that by committing to Getzlaf and Perry in this manner, they have essentially said that these are the two guys that must lead their offense to wherever it’s going to go, much like Crosby and Malkin do for Pittsburgh.

That’s where the parallel gets interesting though, because the Penguins’ offense is far deeper than just those two superstars. However, Crosby and Malkin are so good that they have helped build a reputation in Pittsburgh that helps convince other players, like Pascal Dupuis and Chris Kunitz, to take hometown discounts to stay on board.

If you want to take it a step further, you could argue that goaltender Tomas Vokoun was willing to accept a backup role and perhaps less money than he was worth because he believed in the Penguins.

That’s the potential power of superstars in the cap era. They lead their team and through success, they can help create an environment that either lures veterans or convinces the players around them to take a little less than market value.

The burden of Getzlaf and Perry’s contracts will become more apparent as Anaheim’s up-and-coming forward’s contracts expire and naturally, the negotiating process will be easier if they believe more than anything that the Ducks can win the Stanley Cup.

Fight video: Flyers’ Manning vs. Penguins’ Gaunce

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Breaking: the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers don’t like each other.

The stakes might be higher for the Penguins than the Flyers – aside from those who still believe Philly has a shot at a playoff run – their rivalry rarely subsides.

With that in mind, it’s no surprise that Sunday featured at least one fight, with Cameron Gaunce squaring off against Brandon Manning in a pretty spirited bout.

Manning isn’t shy about fighting, by the way; this was his seventh bout of the season, according to Hockey Fights.

Higher on the radar for the Penguins is the situation for Conor Sheary, who has been absent from the ice since about midway through the first period. PHT will keep an eye out for updates on what could be yet another injury for the health-challenged Pens.

Dreading the work week? Watch this dog get ‘ice time’ with puck

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Life is difficult, complex and confusing. Good thing we have dog videos.

Forgive this video being one night late, but for those of us who watch cute animal clips, time is a furry circle. Or something like that.

Anyway, this golden retriever got a little “ice time” before the Washington Capitals’ game against the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday in what would end up being a 4-1 win for the Caps. It’s an excellent video featuring a top-notch, hilarious pooch.

Alternate joke: Now that is some puck retrieval.

Patrik Laine’s out sick for Jets on Sunday

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Patrik Laine and Auston Matthews are locked with identical goals (34), assists (27) and points (61) on Sunday, which is remarkable since Laine has played in 67 games versus 75 for Matthews. He won’t get a chance to beef up his numbers on Sunday, either.

It looks like the high-scoring rookie is missing the Winnipeg Jets’ contest against the Vancouver Canucks because of an illness, according to TSN’s Sara Orlesky.

The Jets are almost assured to miss the playoffs, so seeing Laine lose a chance to bolster his Calder argument adds a little extra sadness to the night.

NHL schedules hearing for Micheal Haley’s sucker-punch on Calle Jarnkrok

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The NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced a Monday hearing for San Jose Sharks tough guy Micheal Haley for his “roughing/sucker punch” on Calle Jarnkrok of the Nashville Predators.

The league didn’t specify if Haley will face a telephone or in-person hearing on Monday afternoon. They did, interestingly, use the phrase “sucker punch” in that official announcement.

Haley received a match penalty during the game. Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer was highly upset about the hit that inspired Haley’s actions.

“When you run someone from behind in a game like that, you probably deserve to get a punch in the mouth,” DeBoer told reporters.

In other bad news for the Sharks, CSN Bay Area’s Kevin Kurz reports that Logan Couture‘s situation isn’t looking promising after he was hurt on Sunday.