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Ducks Sign Star To Extension

Anaheim, Calif. — The future remains cloudy for one of their two big stars remaining beyond this season, but the Ducks now know they will have the other in the fold to build their franchise around.

The Ducks signed captain Ryan Getzlaf to an eight-year contract extension worth $66 million, announcing the deal early Friday after coming to an agreement with their big center Thursday night.

There is still the thorny issue of getting longtime goal-scoring linemate Corey Perry, the NHL’s most valuable player in 2011, locked up, but the Ducks have taken a potential prized free agent off the market.

It is the largest amount in terms of total dollars that the Ducks have ever committed to a player.

The contract, which has a salary-cap hit of $8.25 million, contains a no-movement clause.

“As we said at the beginning of the season, it was a priority for the organization,” Ducks general manager Bob Murray said. “Obviously it’s a big day for us. Owners Henry and Susan Samueli have made a major commitment to this organization going forward. Getzy’s obviously made a major commitment to us.

“He wanted to stay if we were going to try to compete and win and we promised him we would. It’s a really good step in the right direction for this organization.”

Instead of looking for that big payday he was certain to get on the open market, Getzlaf got the major financial commitment from the only organization he has been with since the Ducks grabbed him with the 19th pick in the 2003 draft.

“That’s all I was really looking for the entire time,” said Getzlaf, who turns 28 in May. “This is a great organization. I’ve been part of it for a long time now and wanted to be for a long time. It was never an option to do anything else.”

The salary breakdown is this: $6.5 million next season (including a $2 million signing bonus paid July 1), $8.75 million in 2014-15, $9.25 million in 2015-16 and 2016-17, $9.025 million in 2017-18, $8.95 million in 2018-19, $8.275 million in 2019-20 and $6 million in 2020-21 - $3 million of which as a bonus.

After the worst season of his career in 2011-12, Getzlaf has bounced back impressively as he leads the Ducks with nine goals, 19 assists and 28 points along with an impressive plus-10 rating.

The Ducks entered Friday night’s game against Calgary with a 16-3-3 record that’s second only to NHL-leading Chicago. In talking about Getzlaf, Coach Bruce Boudreau said “there’s a reason our record is what it is and he’s a big part of it.”

“Here you’ve got one of the premier centers in the National Hockey League and now he’s committed to our team for eight years,” Boudreau said. “He’s just starting to get in the prime of his hockey career at 28 years old.

“I thought it was a great job by Bob and the organization and grateful to Ryan to want to stay here.”

The Ducks, of course, still have work to do with Perry, who shared his happiness over the news of his teammate but stayed true to sharing little about his own contract situation.

“Getzy and I have talked a bunch of times,” Perry said. “I’m not going sit here and say yes or no. It’s one of those things where I’ll wait and see what happens. I’m not going to change my answer just because he signed.”

But the winger did acknowledge that “when you know he’s going to be here for a long time, it could definitely have a factor in my decision.”

Murray remained tight-lipped, only saying that “we’re going to attempt to re-sign him.”

“I understand the questions about Corey,” he said. “I understand you have to ask them. I’ve never commented on negotiations. I never will. Corey’s group, Getzy’s group, none of us want to comment.

“We have been talking and there is nothing. I have no update for you.”

Getzlaf has already done his part in recruiting his sidekick and will continue to do so but ultimately knows it is out of his hands.

“I’ve wanted to be here and I’ve wanted Corey to be here,” he said. “We’ve had lots of conversations and me and Pears will talk along the way here. Hopefully they can get it done.

“I just want to worry about our game now and going forward. What they can do with Pears is up to them.”

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©2013 The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.)

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