Perry talks buyout, longing for another Stanley Cup

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Sometimes, the best players in any sport are the ones playing with a chip on their shoulder.

That might make adding Corey Perry as an unrestricted free agent a mouth-watering proposition for several teams come July 1.

Left stinging after getting bought out by the Anaheim Ducks earlier this week, Perry spoke with TSN about the situation he finds himself in.

“It was just one of those things,” Perry told Frank Seravalli. “When I was told, I didn’t expect that to come out of their mouths. I respect their decision. It’s tough when you’ve been there for so long, it’s all you know. But I don’t have a bad word to say about the Ducks and how they’ve treated me over the years. Everyone in the organization was good to me.”

Perry’s got enough money coming from the Ducks, who owe him $11 million over the next four seasons, that he can take a much friendlier (perhaps bonus-laden) contract and still laugh all the way to the bank.

But the 34-year-old isn’t worried about his bottom line, it appears. He wants to win a Stanley Cup again after tasting its sweet nectar with the Ducks in 2007.

“This has definitely lit a fire in me,” Perry said. “I want to win again. I’ve felt that feeling at every level and I want to feel it again. I watch teams win the Stanley Cup every year and I see how much emotion comes up when they win. It’s the hardest trophy to win and you need on-ice leadership and experience. I will get back to the player I used to be.”

How much Perry can contribute is an argument worth having. He’s fallen off a cliff in terms of production, but he’s also battled injuries for a while now.

Perry told Seravalli that he’s 100 percent now, admitting he came back too early from knee surgery last September. And Perry said he’s training in a new way, including working with a power skating coach and not waiting until August to get back onto the ice.

“I’m doing a lot more already than in previous years,” Perry said. “When you go in to a new team, you want to go in at your best. You have to make your own way, new teammates, new coaches, and earn your respect. I’m going to go in with a purpose.”

Seravalli’s story suggests that several teams will be interested in Perry, and some already are according to an unnamed NHL general manager.

“He’ll have no problem finding a job,” that GM told TSN.

And why would he? Despite his age and his slow down, Perry has Stanley Cup-winning experience and a bevy of other successes on his resume at all levels of the game.

And it’s likely that he’ll be available at a bargain, even if there’s a bidding war.

Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck.

Canucks’ Ilya Mikheyev to have season-ending knee surgery

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Vancouver Canucks right wing Ilya Mikheyev is set to have season-ending surgery on his left knee.

Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin said Friday night the 28-year-old Russian forward tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the team’s first preseason game Sept. 25. Mikheyev will undergo surgery next week and is expected to be ready for training camp in the fall.

Mikheyev was originally listed as week-to-week with the injury and played 45 regular-season games, finishing with 13 goals and 15 assists. He scored in his final appearance Friday night, a 5-2 home victory over Columbus.

Mikheyev signed a four-year, $19 million contract as a free agent last summer.

Maple Leafs’ Matthews out at least 3 weeks with knee injury

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Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews will miss at least three weeks with a sprained knee.

The team announced the reigning MVP’s anticipated absence Friday, two days after Matthews was injured in Toronto’s victory against the New York Rangers.

Matthews is expected to miss at least six games and could be out for a few more. The timing of the injury coinciding with the NHL All-Star break and the Maple Leafs bye week prevents this from costing Matthews more time out of the lineup.

After being voted an All-Star by fans, Matthews is now out of the event scheduled for Feb. 3-4 in Sunrise, Florida. The league announced Aleskander Barkov from the host Florida Panthers will take Matthews’ place on the Atlantic Division All-Star roster.

Matthews, who won the Hart Trophy last season after leading the NHL with 60 goals, has 53 points in 47 games this season.

Caufield opted for surgery with Habs out of playoff race

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MONTREAL — Montreal Canadiens winger Cole Caufield said Friday he wouldn’t be having season-ending surgery on his right shoulder if the team were in playoff contention.

But with the Canadiens near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, the 22-year-old Caufield said he decided to have the surgery to protect his long-term health. The procedure is scheduled to be performed by Dr. Peter Millett on Wednesday.

“I didn’t want to stop playing,” Caufield said. “I had a couple tests done to look at it more clearly but, in the end, like it could’ve been one more fall and it could have been even worse.”

Caufield, who leads the Canadiens with 26 goals in 46 games, had three different medical opinions on his shoulder before concluding that his season was over.

“I think they’ve seen a lot more than I have and they know the differences and what they like or don’t like about it,” he said about the medical opinions. “Long term, I think this is what’s best but for sure it was tough to sit out that game against Toronto on Saturday night.”

Caufield initially felt the injury in an awkward fall during Montreal’s 4-2 loss at Dallas on Dec. 23. He said his right shoulder popped, and he replaced it himself.

Caufield felt it again in the Habs’ 4-3 loss at Nashville on Jan. 12. The club announced on Jan. 21 that Caufield would miss the rest of the season.

Caufield is nearing the end of his three-year, entry-level contract and will be a restricted free agent this summer.

All-Star Matty Beniers to miss next 2 games for Kraken

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SEATTLE — Seattle Kraken rookie All-Star Matty Beniers will miss the team’s final two games before the All-Star break after taking a big hit from Vancouver’s Tyler Myers earlier this week.

Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said after morning skate Friday that Beniers would not play Friday night against Calgary or Saturday against Columbus. Hakstol did not speculate on Beniers’ availability for next weekend’s All-Star Game in Florida.

The team has not specified what kind of injury Beniers sustained from the hit. He was barreled over by Myers away from the play early in the second period in Wednesday’s 6-1 victory over Vancouver. Myers was penalized for interference on the play. Beniers returned briefly for one shift later in the period but did not play in the third period.

Beniers is Seattle’s lone All-Star selection this season. He leads all rookies in goals (17) and points (36), and is fifth in total ice time for rookies.

Seattle also placed defenseman Justin Schultz on injured reserve and recalled forward Max McCormick from Coachella Valley of the AHL. Hakstol said Schultz is improving but there’s no timeline on his return.