06/30/23, 9:30 AM: Chicago has now officially announced that they’ve signed Perry to a one-year, $4MM deal.
06/30/23, 7:30 AM: Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports that the Blackhawks have reached an agreement on a one-year contract extension with the Blackhawks. The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun confirmed that the deal is a one-year, $4MM pact, an identical deal to what Nick Foligno received from Chicago just a few days ago.
While $4MM is likely quite a bit more than what most teams would bid on Perry’s services, the Blackhawks aren’t in a similar financial position to most teams. With Perry signed to this deal they’re still projected to have over $20MM in cap space by CapFriendly, meaning they’re in a perfect position to pay veteran players high sums of money in order to convince them to play for a team barely anyone expects to make the playoffs.
More than anything else, this type of cap space allows the Blackhawks to pay higher prices for free agents in order to secure them on one-year deals, thereby saving their financial flexibility in future years where the team might have plan on making a playoff run.
This deal seems to fit the Blackhawks’ recent strategy of targeting respected veterans to support their growing crop of impressive prospects. Perry, 38, is a veteran of nearly 1,300 NHL games and numerous long playoff runs. While his skating ability has largely evaporated, he still has soft hands and some offensive skill, along with the edge he plays with that has become his trademark. He can still provide some value as a net-front player on a power play, and just a year ago he scored 19 goals and 40 points.
Even if Chicago gets production more in line with what Perry did this past season (12 goals, 25 points) that’s still a decent player to have on any team. The Blackhawks still need to sign Perry, of course, and Perry could always prefer to sign with a contender.
But the Blackhawks have a stockpile of cap space and the ability to offer Perry a deal he can’t refuse, meaning he’s likely to end up in Chicago, one would assume. For Tampa Bay, getting a pick (even a very late one) for a player they were not planning on extending is impossible to argue with.