The Anaheim Ducks caught the hockey world by surprise Monday evening by re-signing Corey Perry to an eight-year, $69-million contract extension.
Prior to the announcement, Perry was the subject of trade speculation, which escalated shortly after linemate Ryan Getzlaf was re-signed to an eight-year, $66-million deal two weeks ago.
Ducks fans are thrilled their two biggest stars are staying put, but it came at a steep cost. Perry's new contract pushes the Ducks payroll next season above $53.4 million invested in 16 players.
With next season's salary cap dropping to $64.3 million, the Ducks have roughly $10.8 million to re-sign or replace key free agents Teemu Selanne, Saku Koivu, Kyle Palmieri and Toni Lydman.
Depending on what happens with Selanne and Koivu, ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun noted the possibility that Bobby Ryan and his $5.1 million salary could be moved this summer.
Selanne and Koivu earn a combined $8.3 million against the cap this season, so they'll have to accept pay cuts to re-sign. Finding suitable replacements via free agency would prove expensive.
The Ducks don't have to worry about shedding salary before the trade deadline, as the new contracts for Perry and Getzlaf won't begin until next season.
SHARKS SMELL THEIR OWN BLOOD IN THE WATER
The San Jose Sharks’ ongoing struggles has LeBrun believing significant changes will come by the trade deadline or the off-season. He considers Dan Boyle and Martin Havlat as trade candidates.
Boyle, 36, has one year at $6.7 million left on his contract with a modified no-trade clause, but LeBrun suggests he could be the top-four, right-handed defenseman the New York Rangers are seeking. Havlat, meanwhile, has two years at a $5 million cap hit left on his contract, which contains a no-movement clause.
Last summer, ESPN's John Buccigross claimed a trade nearly happened that would've sent Boyle to the Rangers for Marian Gaborik.
With Gaborik's name appearing in trade speculation again this season, that rumor could be resurrected. If the Sharks’ intent is to shed salary to re-sign key players such as Ryane Clowe and Douglas Murray, swapping Boyle's $6.7 million for Gaborik's $7.5 million makes no sense.
As for Havlat, his lengthy injury history will be as significant of a trade stumbling block as the remainder of his contract.
RIBEIRO’S TIME IN WASHINGTON RUNNING OUT?
As the Washington Capitals continue to flounder, Mike Ribeiro is being mentioned more frequently as a trade candidate.
Ribeiro, 33, is eligible for unrestricted free agency this summer, and with $49 million committed to 15 players for next season, there's concern about the Capitals ability to retain him.
The Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch believes Ribeiro will be targeted by the Bruins, Canucks, Senators and Maple Leafs, while USA Today's Kevin Allen feels the Capitals would benefit from the draft pick or prospect they’d get for him.
The Capitals are seven points out of a playoff berth and mired near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings. If they remain out of contention by month's end, Ribeiro will likely hit the trade block.
BRUINS SEARCH FOR BIT PIECES
The Boston Bruins are expected to make a move or two by the trade deadline, but rather than pursue veteran scorers such as Calgary's Jarome Iginla or Ottawa's Daniel Alfredsson, their priority may be checking line depth.
With Chris Kelly sidelined indefinitely because of a cracked tibia, the Boston Globe's Kevin Paul Dupont believes GM Peter Chiarelli is seeking a third or fourth line forward.
Dupont also expects Chiarelli to shop for a puck-moving blueliner, suggesting Ottawa's Sergei Gonchar and Winnipeg's Ron Hainsey as trade targets.
Gonchar and Hainsey are unrestricted free agents this summer and aren't expected to be re-signed by their teams. With the Senators and Jets still in the thick of the playoff race, however, they're unlikely to be available.
Rumor Roundup appears weekdays only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Eishockey News and The Guardian (P.E.I.).