Why would the Ducks trade Perry?

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Corey Perry is a pending unrestricted free agent and the Ducks don’t want to watch the 2011 Hart Trophy winner walk away for nothing.

I get that.

Especially since Anaheim lost Justin Schultz for nothing last summer.

But the Ducks are also 16-3-3, second in the NHL behind the undefeated-in-regulation Chicago Blackhawks. Anaheim itself has only lost once in regulation its last 12 games.

In addition to Perry, the Ducks have an elite center in Ryan Getzlaf, plus other talented forwards like Bobby Ryan, Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu.

There’s additional depth down the middle with Nick Bonino. There’s mobility and experience on the back end. And Jonas Hiller is starting to rediscover his form in goal after a rough start, during which Viktor Fasth came out of nowhere to win his first eight starts.

True, some people in the advanced-statistics community think the Ducks are an illusion, but doesn’t the organization owe it to the fans to find out for real?

The whole idea of putting together an NHL team is to take a shot at the Stanley Cup. Perry has helped the Ducks to one before. If they trade him as a rental, they’ll almost definitely be a weaker team heading into the postseason.

Unless things change dramatically between now and April 3 — or maybe unless general manager Bob Murray doesn’t believe the Ducks are for real either — how would trading Perry make sense?

Video: Ducks’ Perry finishes off a pretty passing play