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.
“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.