It’s been almost two months since the contract of veteran forward Corey Perry was terminated for conduct that the Blackhawks determined “unacceptable”. A nightmare situation for Chicago ended with Perry becoming a free agent. But after meeting with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman a few weeks ago, Perry finally made a decision on where he’ll finish out the season – with the Edmonton Oilers.
Perry was acquired by the Blackhawks back in June via trade, after which he signed a one-year, $4 million contract with the team. That deal was a great value through the first month of the season, as the veteran tallied nine points in 16 games as a solid bottom-six option.
That success came to a screeching halt in mid-November when Perry was pulled from the starting lineup moments before a game in Columbus without explanation. After a week that saw nasty rumors run rampant and Connor Bedard in an uncomfortable interview, the team announced it would be terminating Perry’s contract without giving too many specifics.
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With Perry looking for any chance to get back onto an NHL team, the Oilers seemed to like what they saw in his first month of play. The two sides agreed to a contract Sunday with details expected to be confirmed Monday.
Perry’s decision to sign with Edmonton is certainly an interesting one. As the hottest team in hockey, the Oilers set a new Canadian record Saturday with their 13th straight win. After a slow start before the firing of head coach Jay Woodcroft, the team is obviously a Cup favorite, and that’s no secret to Perry, either. Additionally, the Oilers already skate a player on their forward lines with more than a few questions of character. With Evander Kane on the team, Edmonton now doubles down on the “All-Character Team”, as Bleacher Nation’s Tab Bamford put it.
Nevertheless, a change of scenery is a good opportunity for Perry to turn a new leaf while continuing his strong production. Since being removed from the Blackhawks, he’s since apologized to the team and begun working with mental health professionals.
It isn’t clear when Perry will be ready to play in Edmonton, but it’s worth noting that the Blackhawks will be stopping there on Thursday as part of a four-game road trip, so he’ll certainly have a target date in mind. The 38-year-old will look to get the second ring of his career with one of the league’s best teams, and his first since 2007.