Surely, there was more to Bryan Murray's master plan than meets the eye.

When the Senators GM convinced owner Eugene Melnyk to keep him around for a rebuild three winters ago, he had to have whispered something to go along with "we'll just dump salaries, make good draft picks and ride our promising young players."

He must have also mentioned the name Corey Perry.

Knowing when Perry's contract was up, Murray had to believe he could convince the star winger to make Ottawa his next home. As the GM in Anaheim, Murray took Perry with the 28th overall pick in the 2003 draft. The two have a good relationship despite the fact that Perry, who is from Peterborough, scored six points when the Ducks beat the Murray-coached Senators in the five-game 2007 Stanley Cup final.

If Melnyk wants a championship as much as he lets on, he must still toss and turn with nightmares of how Perry played such a large role in keeping him from one that spring. If he wants to sip from the Cup as he says, he must be prepared to offer Perry a deal he can't refuse when he becomes an unrestricted free agent this July.

Don't for a minute think that Anaheim is going to trade Perry at next month's deadline, and that his new team will lock him up with a long-term contract. The Ducks can win it all this season -- unless they deal Perry.