Photo credit:© Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Seravalli: Corey Perry had options but chose the Edmonton Oilers
29 days ago
The news broke on Sunday but the Edmonton Oilers made it official on Monday morning that Corey Perry was the newest member of the Copper and Blue. Perry signed a $775k deal for the rest of the season with a performance bonus of $225k, if he plays ten or more games for Edmonton this season, among two other playoff bonuses.
Perry had his contract terminated by the Chicago Blackhawks in mid-November for reasons unknown to the public. Since then, Perry has been away from hockey, but his desire to get back on the ice emerged a few weeks ago after meeting and clearing the air with NHL Commissioner Gerry Bettman. While he had his contract terminated by the Blackhawks, Perry was never suspended by the NHL.
In 16 games for Chicago this season, Perry scored four goals and nine points. The Oilers desperately needed an upgrade in the bottom six, and Perry’s skills became a need, not a want, in Edmonton.
“It’s a big boost stylistically,” said Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli on The DFO Rundown. “People keep saying bottom six add but I think they’re going to try him in a bunch of different roles. I think he’ll get some opportunities on the second-line right wing and even on the power play wreaking havoc in front of the net.
“Whenever you get to playoff time, you can never have enough Corey Perry’s on your roster. I think it’s an outstanding fit for both sides.”
When talking about the addition of Perry, Kris Knoblauch mentioned that Perry likely won’t play until Saturday versus the Nashville Predators. Before that game, the Oilers take on the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday and then the Chicago Blackhawks, Perry’s former team, on Thursday.
Adding Perry’s style of game brings a different flavour to a bottom six that has done a great job of contributing lately. Over this last stretch, Edmonton has had positive contributions from their bottom six. Ryan McLeod scored the game-winner versus Toronto, along with assisting on Derek Ryan’s game-tying goal. On Saturday night, Sam Gagner and Dylan Holloway returned to the lineup and contributed to the game-winning goal. While Mattias Janmark has scored a goal, he’s playing a huge role on an Oilers penalty kill that is playing at over 90 percent during this win streak.
“The one other place he was seriously considering was Florida,” said Seravalli on other possible landing spots for Perry. “A bunch of teams had been in the discussions. The LA Kings had an initial conversation with him but they knew Viktor Arvidsson was coming back. The New York Rangers made a play. The Tampa Bay Lightning, where he spent some time and went to the Stanley Cup final, they’re a team who really recognized they could use a player like him. I think maybe Toronto had a conversation but it didn’t go too far.”
“He had a choice, but watching this Oilers team win 13 games in a row, the top-end talent, and the need of him, it made too much sense. It’s not forever and he’s bounced around a bunch of different teams, he’s perfectly comfortable being in a temporary spot,” continued Frank Seravalli.
No assets besides the cap were spent on Perry filling a huge for Edmonton. He makes the team tougher to play against, adds a layer of offence in the bottom six, and more leadership to an already strong locker room. It’s a move that Ken Holland should be praised massively for. Now it’s time for Holland to continue to build on this strong roster as they push for a Stanley Cup.
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