Just before last Wednesday’s game in Columbus, newly acquired veteran Corey Perry was a late, healthy scratch. Perry had been one of the team’s top scorers up until that point, so it was initially a surprising move that head coach Luke Richardson labeled an “organizational decision.” Last Saturday, Perry’s agent, Pat Morris, released a statement saying that Perry had stepped away “to attend personal matters”.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Blackhawks finally released an official statement sealing Perry’s fate.
The statement reads that the team had conducted an internal investigation and found that Perry had “engaged in conduct that is unacceptable, and in violation of both the terms of his Standard Player’s Contract and the Blackhawks’ internal policies intended to promote professional and safe work environments.” The team has placed him on unconditional waivers, and given the apparent severity of the issue, his contract will likely be terminated. That contract, which was signed back in June, was for one year at $4 million.
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The press release didn’t clear up the conduct that resulted in Perry’s release, and it’s unclear when we’ll learn more information. GM Kyle Davidson is expected to speak with the media at 4 p.m. CST today, and he may have more answers.
The Blackhawks had come under fire over the past few days for not handling the situation correctly. While some wanted complete transparency, that simply wasn’t an option given the nature of Perry’s absence, as his privacy takes precedence over the team’s promise to provide more details. A silver lining to the situation is that Chicago seemed to have handled it as swiftly as possible. When the team was alerted to possible inappropriate behavior, they immediately removed Perry and launched an investigation, and are now taking swift action. It’s a great sign of a changed organization after they made a promise to do so.
After being brought to Chicago as more of a veteran presence than a scorer at age 38, Perry was more productive than anyone could have hoped. In 16 games this year, he notched nine points and spent time on the first power-play unit, as he thrived close to the net. He’s enjoyed a terrific career with 892 points in 1273 games.
While Perry’s offensive production will be missed, the Blackhawks took a step in the right direction by handling the situation correctly. It’s unclear what Perry’s future holds, and we’ll likely find out more details sooner rather than later. But one thing is certain – Perry’s stint in a Blackhawks sweater has come to a swift end.