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NHL Notebook: Alleged ‘alcohol-fueled incident’ led to Corey Perry’s termination from Blackhawks and WHL set to name new commissioner

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Photo credit:Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
2 months ago
The events that led up to Corey Perry’s contract being terminated by the Chicago Blackhawks stemmed from an alleged “alcohol-fueled incident,” a report Wednesday stated.
It happened during an event that included corporate partners and team employees, according to Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli, who reported the happenings.
“It remains unclear what allegedly took place, who witnessed it, and who reported it to the team,” Seravalli added.
The Blackhawks front office learned of the allegation, and removed Perry from the lineup ahead of a Thanksgiving eve game against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
In a statement, the Blackhawks said Perry was “in violation of his Standard Playing Contract and the Blackhawks’ internal policies intended to promote professional and safe work environments.”
What lingers, Seravalli said, is “whether Perry’s alleged misconduct has risen to the level of a material breach of his contract,” given the typically ironclad agreements NHL player contracts are.
“It is impossible to know whether Perry’s conduct met that mostly unprecedented level of material breach,” Seravalli wrote. “Teams have previously sent players home and continued to pay them until the expiration of their contracts, but there does not appear to be one example in recent NHL history of an active player’s contract being terminated for conduct that may be inappropriate but not illegal.”
The termination of Perry’s contract, Seravalli said, has sparked concern among agents and players, highlighting how there have been players who have “run afowl of the law” and never had discipline rise to the levels of termination.
Perry, 38, signed a one-year, $4-million contract with the Blackhawks this past offseason, scoring four goals and nine points in 16 games before his termination.

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WHL set to name new commissioner

According to Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek, the Western Hockey League is set to name its new commissioner Thursday.
With this year being previously announced as longtime commissioner Ron Robison’s last, Marek reported Wednesday that the league will announce Dan Near as their 10th head of the WHL.
Near, as Marek noted, previously worked as the head of Adidas hockey, a role his LinkedIn profile states he took on in 2016. In January 2023, he added the role of Global Senior Director for the company.
Prior to his roles with Adidas, Near worked as the interim managing director of Five Ten, a footwear brand Adidas purchased in 2011, and as the senior director of consumer products licensing for the NHL between 2006 and 2016.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@oilersnation.com.

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