There have been plenty of questions when it comes to Corey Perry’s situation in Chicago. He has missed the last two games due to what head coach Luke Richardson termed an organizational decision although he declined to provide more information than that. Today, GM Kyle Davidson met with reporters including Charlie Roumeliotis of NBC Sports Chicago and said that the veteran would be away from the team for the foreseeable future.
While Davidson failed to provide more specifics than that regarding the nature of Perry’s absence, the GM reiterated that this is a team decision, not Perry’s to be away from the team. When pressed about possible reasons by reporters, he stated that it would be irresponsible to rule anything out so he wouldn’t comment on any scenarios.
However, following the press conference, Perry’s agent Pat Morris of Newport released the following statement to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman (Twitter link):
Corey Perry has stepped away from the Chicago Blackhawks to attend to personal matters. Corey and his family appreciate privacy at this time.
Chicago acquired Perry’s negotiating rights back at the draft from Tampa Bay and quickly signed him to a one-year, $4MM deal. While that’s not a typical move for a rebuilding team to make, the Blackhawks clearly identified that they wanted some quality veterans on a young roster, one that added Connor Bedard with the top pick back in June.
While Perry has been more of a supporting cast type of player in recent years with Tampa Bay and Montreal, the 38-year-old has logged a little under 15 minutes a night so far this season and has been relatively productive, collecting four goals and five assists in his first 16 games. With nine points, he sits fourth on the team in scoring.
With the team already missing Taylor Hall – whose ACL surgery is set for Monday – and Perry, that’s a decent chunk of their scoring depth on a team that’s the third-lowest-scoring group in the league. However, Davidson indicated that going and adding a replacement is not something he is looking into right now, suggesting that there are other teams that are far more aggressive in trying to add to their rosters at the moment. At this point, getting into any sort of bidding war for one of those players wouldn’t make sense for the Blackhawks who are still clearly in a rebuilding situation but now will be without another key veteran in Perry for a while yet at least.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.