Ducks don't have agreement with Bobby Ryan, but they're talking
The Ducks and restricted free agent winger Bobby Ryan have not agreed on a new deal but the resumption of talks Tuesday -- and the likelihood that negotiations will continue this week -- have cast new optimism on a situation that appeared headed for a stalemate.
A mid-afternoon Twitter report by Larry Brooks of the New York Post saying that Ryan and the Ducks had agreed on a deal believed to be for five years at $5.5 million per year was emphatically denied by the Ducks and by Ryan's agent, Don Meehan, who added, "We have no deal in place at all." And there's every reason to believe those denials. The two sides hadn't spoken in weeks before Meehan and General Manager Bob Murray spoke on Friday and again Tuesday and they likely still have differences to resolve.
The Ducks don't want to pay Ryan more than they're paying Ryan Getzlaf, who will have a cap hit of $5.325 million each of the next three seasons (Corey Perry has the same hit each of those seasons). Getzlaf is their acknowledged leader, a franchise center who has a Stanley Cup championship to his credit, so paying another forward more money would be a show of disrespect. Ryan has said he wants to stay in Anaheim, where he has become a fan favorite for the 66 goals he scored the last two seasons and his outgoing personality.
The problems center more on the length of the contract than money. The Ducks offered Ryan a five-year, $25-million deal earlier this summer because they want to keep him long-term and because they don't want him to become a free agent at the same time Getzlaf and Perry can become free agents, after the 2012-13 season. Ryan turned it down because he wants a shorter deal -- and talks stalled.
However, Murray and Meehan talked last Friday and again on Tuesday. They're expected to continue their conversations this week, no doubt spurred into action by the knowledge there's not much time to forge a deal. Players are due to report to Anaheim for training-camp physicals on Sept. 17 and take to the ice the next day.
-- Helene Elliott
Photo: Ducks forward Bobby Ryan. Credit: Christine Cotter / Los Angeles Times