The Anaheim Ducks issued some bad news today, with GM Bob Murray revealing that star forward Corey Perry has suffered a major knee injury. Perry reportedly damaged the meniscus and MCL in his right knee during warm-ups ahead of the Ducks’ last preseason game. The team diagnosed the injury and Perry underwent surgery today. The expected recovery time is upwards of 20 weeks, close to five months. Murray said that they hope to have Perry back before the NHL Trade Deadline at the end of February.
This is a major blow for the Ducks, who have had terrible luck with injuries lately. The team is already dealing with the recoveries of Ryan Kesler and Patrick Eaves and now another top-six forward has been lost. Although Perry struggled last season by his standards with just 17 goals and 49 points, he was still Anaheim’s third-highest scorer and trailed only Rickard Rakell and Jakob Silfverberg in total ice time among forwards. The Ducks were hoping to get a bounce back season from Perry with Ryan Getzlaf, Kesler, and Eaves closer to full health, but now lose perhaps their most dangerous scorer. A Hart Trophy and Richard Trophy winner, Perry is one of the league’s best power forwards when healthy. However, his skating has become a concern as he’s aged and a major knee injury will not help get him back up to speed. Even after that, the 33-year-old may not be the same player he once was following this latest injury.
For all intents and purposes, the Ducks cannot rely on Perry at all this season. Even if he is able to make it back before the end of the year, it will take time to get him back to full strength. The top-six of Getzlaf, Rakell, Silfverberg and – if healthy – Kesler and Eaves will have to be at their best, while the likes of Ondrej Kase and Troy Terry will have to step up. This predicament could also heat up negotiations with Anaheim’s other power forward, unsigned RFA Nick Ritchie, or could also ramp up expected interest by the Ducks in acquiring a winger, perhaps even making an offer on another unsigned RFA, William Nylander. A lot could change for the Ducks this season as they work to replace on of the best players in franchise history.