LOS ANGELES -- The Anaheim Ducks have bought out the contract of Corey Perry, a former Hart Trophy winner and Stanley Cup champion.
The announcement Wednesday ended a 14-year relationship with a player considered to be a cornerstone franchise piece early in his career with the Ducks. Along with Ryan Getzlaf, Perry helped the Ducks win the 2007 Stanley Cup and he became the franchise's only Hart winner as league most valuable player with his 50-goal season in 2011.
"On behalf of the entire Ducks organization, we want to thank Corey Perry for his tremendous contributions to the franchise," Ducks owners Henry and Susan Samueli said in a statement. "For many years, Corey has epitomized what it means to be a Duck, playing an aggressive, relentless game while being a compassionate and giving member of the Orange County community."
The Ducks had until June 30 to buy out Perry, who was due to make $8.6 million in each of the next two seasons. The club explored trade possibilities, off a short list of teams, but nothing materialized, and a buyout became the only option.
Perry, 34, has been on a downward trend in the late stages of his career, and his style is not conducive to how the Ducks want to play. He has not reached 20 goals since 2016 and played in only 31 games last season because of injury. The Ducks were hindered by his salary and needed to make his roster spot open for younger, faster players.
The move was done in conjunction with general manager Bob Murray and Perry's camp.
"This is one of the most difficult decisions I've had to make in my 44 years in the NHL," Murray said in a release. "Corey gave everything to this franchise for 14 years, never giving an inch to his competitors. While his scoring touch is undeniable, his will to win became his greatest attribute."
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