ANAHEIM, Calif. -- It’s almost inconceivable today to consider Corey Perry as a member of the Edmonton Oilers. But it almost happened in 2003 when the Anaheim Ducks were prepared to deal Perry -- drafted 28th overall by the Ducks in the 2003 draft -- and a first-round pick to the Oilers for disgruntled forward Mike Comrie. But then Edmonton general manager Kevin Lowe insisted that Comrie pay the Oilers $2.5 million out of his own pocket to complete the deal, so the trade was never consummated. Imagine how Perry’s life, the life of longtime linemate and friend Ryan Getzlaf and both franchises would have changed had the deal been completed? It boggles the mind more than a little. Instead, Perry has been a Duck his entire career, won a Hart Trophy, a Rocket Richard Trophy and two Olympic gold medals, not to mention a Stanley Cup. Now he is seven wins from winning a second ring.
Perry took time to chat with ESPN.com about the deal that never happened and his life in Anaheim.
Burnside: Do you remember the first day you met Ryan Getzlaf?
Perry: I think it was at an under-18 in the summer camp and before we went overseas. That was about the only time, then the next time I was at the draft. It was a couple of months later.
Burnside: Do you remember the draft and how it went down and maybe what you thought on that day knowing that Getzlaf had been drafted the same time?
Perry: I was just excited to get drafted. I didn’t care where I went. But I was excited to get drafted and become part of the NHL family. It’s something that every kid dreams about and just the emotions going through your body. Everything that your parents did for you as a kid. You think about it all. It’s definitely a great day.
Burnside: When did the idea come to you that you and Ryan were going to spend a lot of time together? Was there a moment where you were, 'Oh, this is the plan for us here.' That you two were sort of connected?
Perry: You never know what’s going to happen. But I think at that time they had a vision, they had a plan and a long-term plan on what was going to happen and where we were going to fit in this organization. We were excited when we came in. And we’ve pretty much been, everything you can think of, we’ve done together. It’s been a fun experience.
Burnside: That’s kind of an unusual thing. It is kind of a unique thing that’s gone on here. Can you imagine your life without Ryan Getzlaf, or if it had gone a different way?
Perry: I was almost in Edmonton. I remember that I was traded to Edmonton but then the whole Mike Comrie thing, Kevin Lowe thing went through and then I was back to the Anaheim Ducks. You always think about what could have happened if I did get traded, where my career would be right now, where I would and what would be going on. It’s fun to talk about but I’m glad I’m here.
Burnside: In 2006 and 2007, you go to a Western Conference final and then win a Stanley Cup. Does it seem strange that it’s been that long before you got back there? Do you think about the time that’s passed and maybe say geez, where did that time go?
Perry: It definitely goes by quick and it’s been eight years since we’ve been into the third round, out of the second round. It’s definitely been a few years but it’s gone by so fast that everything kind of just bunched together. But we’re excited at this time of year and we want to go out and we want to do what we need to do to get the job done. There’s only one goal in this dressing room.
Burnside: What do you think makes Getzlaf such a good captain?
Perry: He’s a leader on and off the ice. He knows how to control the room. He knows how to communicate with different people and communicate back to the coaches. It’s been a fun experience watching him grow into where he is now.
Burnside: He was telling me that you guys lived together for a little while, ate dinner, everything and you still eat together on the road. He has three kids and you’re engaged, how are you different than you were four or five years ago?
Perry: Nothing’s changed when we’re at the rink. Just when we’re at home and we’re away from the rink. Yeah, he has a family, he has a wife, so that takes up a lot of his time. It’s exciting for him. It’s a great time in his life to have young kids. For myself, my fiancée and a couple of dogs and we go our separate ways.
Burnside: Do you think often about 2007 and is there a moment you take with you?
Perry: That final game when I scored with a couple of minutes left to make it 6-2, you look up at the clock and you realize how close you really are. I think I‘m going to remember that for the rest of my life. Just taking the one-timer from the top of the circle and putting it in, it’s something that’s going to stick with me.
Burnside: Where do you keep the ring?
Perry: It’s at home. It’s in a safety deposit box.
Burnside: Do you ever take it out?
Perry: I have had it out but only maybe a handful of times. To show people if I’ve got people coming over and they want to see it. I’ve got a few rings, so I like to show them.
Burnside: You’ve got room for another?
Perry: I believe I do. There’s always room for more.