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Monday Musings: Corey Perry a Free Addition for the Edmonton Oilers

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Photo credit:Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports
Jason Gregor
5 months ago
Corey Perry signed a one-year contract and will be on the ice with the Edmonton Oilers this morning. He produced four goals and nine points in 16 games with Chicago earlier this season before the Blackhawks terminated his contract.
The Hawks terminated his contract on November 29th and released this statement:
“After an internal investigation, the Chicago Blackhawks have determined that Corey Perry has engaged in conduct that is unacceptable, and in violation both of the terms of his Standard Player’s Contract and the Blackhawks’ internal policies intended to promote professional and safe work environments. As such, Corey Perry has been placed on unconditional waivers. In the event Mr. Perry clears waivers, we intend to terminate his contract effective immediately.”
Perry made this post the following day, admitting he erred and he would be seeking help with mental health and substance abuse officials:
My understanding is that Perry did nothing illegal, however, he said and/or did some inappropriate things while intoxicated. He will discuss them, though I’m not sure in how much detail, after practice today, and then be given a second chance to repair his image.
He can be agitating on the ice, but prior to the Blackhawks terminating his contract, this was the first off-ice incident we’ve heard about regarding Perry during his 19-year NHL career.
Perry was never deemed unable to play. He did meet with Gary Bettman a few weeks ago, and it was Perry who initiated that meeting. He was ready to return to the NHL, but it’s important to point out he didn’t get reinstated because he was never actually barred from playing.
Many teams, including the Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning, and the New York Rangers (among others) were interested in Perry, but he chose Edmonton. The Oilers have won 13 games in a row and are 21-3 in their last 24. It isn’t difficult to figure out why he opted to sign with Edmonton. He feels they have a good chance to go deep in the playoffs.
He brings loads of experience and a long resume of success.
He is 84th all-time in regular season games played with 1,273, is 89th in goals with 421 and 127th in points at 892. He ranks much higher in playoff stats. He is 22nd with 196 GP, is tied for 49th in goals with 53 and ranks 59th in points with 124.
He won a Stanley Cup in 2007 and lost in the Stanley Cup Final in 2020 with Dallas, 2021 with Montreal and 2022 with Tampa Bay. He played the most playoff games in the NHL during those three seasons. He is the only player on the Oilers roster with a Cup. The 1989 Calgary Flames were the last team to win the Cup without a previous Cup winner on the roster. Having a veteran in the room with Cup experience to voice concerns or calm players down has proven to be beneficial. Perry won’t be the leader on the ice, but his experience could be invaluable.
I don’t expect he will stand up regularly and speak. It is more about sharing his experiences at key times in a series. Connor McDavid spoke often about Duncan Keith speaking up at the right time and being able to put the heightened playoff pressure into a better perspective in 2022. Management is hoping Perry can bring that, but he also provides more skill on the roster than they had yesterday.

Nov 2, 2023; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Dylan Holloway (55) tries to carry the puck around Dallas Stars defensemen Miro Heiskanen (4) during the first period at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

In the past 48 hours, the Oilers have added Dylan Holloway and Corey Perry in place of James Hamblin and Adam Erne. These two swaps cost them no assets, and a small increase in cap hit from Hamblin ($807.5K) to Holloway ($925K), while Perry and Erne have the same cap hit — although Perry does have some bonuses, which will count against the cap next year if he hits them.
Holloway is bigger and faster than Hamblin. In the first 12 games of the winning streak, the Oilers outscored opponents 2-1 with Hamblin on the ice, but they were outshot and out-chanced, and he had no points. On the season Hamblin’s GF-GA was 9-5, so he was much more a positive than a negative in actual goals, however, Holloway has a larger toolbox. The 22-year-old played very well in Calgary and picked up an assist on Sam Gagner’s game-winning goal.
In 23 games with the Oilers, Erne’s had a positive impact in games. The Oilers outscored teams 6-4 when he was on the ice and his xGF% and SCF% were above 50%. He produced 1-1-2, but not being outscored was the key. He could help out on another NHL roster, especially teams not in the playoffs, but Perry is a much more proven point producer. He also knows how to agitate the opposition and his competitiveness helps bring his team into games more often.
I view Holloway and Perry as upgrades over Hamblin and Erne. The goal is to improve your team and the Oilers are better today than they were on Friday. I don’t expect Perry to play tomorrow, but he might make his debut on Thursday.

Nov 18, 2023; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov (86) passes the puck to ]Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (91) as he scored a goal against Edmonton Oilers during the third period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

AROUND THE NHL…

  • Nathan MacKinnon is having an outstanding season. He leads the NHL with 77 points. In his last 31 games he’s had a 19-game point streak with 36 points, went pointless on December 29th, and now has 21 points in his current 11-game point streak. He has 57 points in his last 31 games.
  • Nikita Kucherov is second in the league, scoring 76 points. He has 54 points in his past 31 games. It is shaping up to be a great race for the Art Ross and the Hart. David Pastrnak is third in scoring with 66 points. McDavid is ninth in points with 66, but he is tied with Pastrnak in points/game. McDavid has five games in hand on MacKinnon and Kucherov, but he’s 17 and 18 points behind them. He will need an unreal final 40 games to get in the race for the Art Ross and the Hart. I don’t think it matters though — he’d rather be winning with good team defence.
  • Since the NHL expanded in 1967-68, we’ve seen 10 teams allow two goals or fewer in 11+ consecutive games. The Oilers (11) and Jets (14) are now in the top 10, and both streaks are active. The NHL record is 26, set by Montreal in 1928, but the modern-day record is 18, by the 2012 Kings. The Oilers and Jets have been very good defensively. The Jets haven’t allowed more than three goals in 34 consecutive games.
SEASONTEAMWLOTLTSTREAK 
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2010-11NJ1520017
1998-99PHO (ARI)1410217
2003-04CGY1030215
2023-24 WPG1211014
2003-04MIN630312
1993-94BUF830112
1974-75PHI910212
1970-71NYR1010112
2023-24 EDM1100011
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  • The race for the best odds in the draft lottery is down to three teams: Anaheim (31 points), Chicago (30) and San Jose (26) will battle it out in the second half. It is wide open, and the Sharks just got Logan Couture back, so that might hurt their chances.
  • Jack Campbell has a .921 Sv% in his last 11 starts in the AHL. He has allowed two goals in each of his last four starts while posting a .939 Sv% and 2.00 GAA. He has found some consistency, and when I combine that with the play of Calvin Pickard in Edmonton, and Oliver Rodrigue in Bakersfield, I think the odds the Oilers add a goalie at the deadline are decreasing every day. Do you see a potential backup who is clearly better and worth giving up assets for?
  • With the Islanders hiring Patrick Roy on the weekend, that means there are 12 coaches hired within the last 12 months. The shelf life for most NHL coaches has dropped recently. Only 10 coaches have been with their current team for more than 24 months. Marty St. Louis will be the 11th on February 9th.

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