Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf both have contracts that expire at the end of this coming season, and Bobby Ryan has been understandably frustrated by the slew of trade rumors surrounding him over the past couple of years and as a result has been thought to be on his way out of Anaheim.
Perry, who is the team's offensive gold standard and former league MVP, is likely to be re-signed because of his "franchise"-type status. However, Getzlaf and Ryan aren't quite so certain. It's possible that these two players could be looking for something more out of Anaheim both from a management and team caliber standpoint before they commit to staying.
The question then becomes, what would it take to keep Getzlaf and Ryan? There's no question the Ducks need both of them, especially since after their top three and Teemu Selanne, scoring becomes almost non-existent. The bottom line is that GM Bob Murray can't afford to lose any of his offensive stars, thus he should be doing everything he can to keep them in black and orange.
Though Murray's coaxing won't be enough in and of itself. It'll take a little more for Getzlaf to re-sign and for Ryan to forget all about moving back east to Cherry Hill.
First and foremost, Getzlaf and Ryan need to see an offensive spark in the Anaheim lineup when hockey resumes. Both these players have done wonders for the Ducks in terms of goals and point totals, and if they still aren't getting any help in 2013, they could opt out and look for greener pastures.
Which of the big three will stay in Anaheim long term?
Assuming a recharged offense would lead to a competitive Ducks team in terms of playoff potential, you've then solved two problems that have the most potential to discourage Getzlaf and Ryan from returning. They simply need to see a more offensive and competitive Anaheim team moving forward.
In addition to that, and particularly as it pertains to Ryan, Ducks management needs to make sure to keep both Getzlaf and Ryan off of the trading block. Rumors happen and there's nothing that Murray can do about that; however, he can make sure that those rumors never get traced back to him, something that can be accomplished by simply refusing to "listen to offers" regarding some of the most valuable talent on his roster.
Both Getzlaf and Ryan have spent at least some theoretical time on the trading block and truthfully it's not a place either of them should be. If these players feel like the Ducks don't even want them, then no one could blame them if they decide to look for a team that does.
Murray needs to let both these players know that he has faith in them, and if he doesn't, he needs to cut them loose. Further more, I believe he does have faith in them, yet is growing desperate watching the team that Brian Burke built so quickly and so successfully fall apart under his management. It really is the big picture in Anaheim right now.
For Getzlaf and Ryan to stay, the ship that seems to be a multi-year Stanley Cup hangover has got to be turned around this year. If the Ducks can do that, and at least start moving in a positive direction, Anaheim's big three are here to stay.