Andy Strickland of The Fan 590 St. Louis reports that Blues forward David Perron is cleared for contact and now considered a regular practice player. That’s huge, exciting news for both the organization and Perron himself, who has been out of action since last November after suffering a concussion on this hit from San Jose’s Joe Thornton:
Perron’s road to recovery has been a long and arduous one. It took two full days following the Thornton hit for Perron’s concussion symptoms to set in — he began feeling dizzy, suffered headaches and couldn’t watch television or drive his car. (And remember, he actually returned to the San Jose game and scored a goal 10 minutes after getting hit.)
The concussion cost Perron 72 games last season and 18 this year, which is a massive amount of time lost for a 23-year-old about to hit restricted free agency (Perron’s in the final year of a deal with a $2.15 million cap hit.)
While there’s still no timetable for Perron’s return to game action, the ability to receive contact has to be an exciting development for the Blues. St. Louis is 4-0-1 under new head coach Ken Hitchcock and given its strength down the middle (David Backes, Patrik Berglund, Jason Arnott), there’s no shortage of places to play Perron, who can play both wings.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.