On Monday afternoon, Corey Perry and GM Ken Holland sat down with the Edmonton Oilers media. Perry detailed his decision to sign with the team and Holland spoke on what the plan moving forward will be. The GM says they hope is that Perry will play Saturday, but they aren’t going to rush him into the lineup. That said, the organization is looking forward to what he can bring.
During the press conference, the Edmonton Oilers confirmed the Perry signing was meant to address various aspects of their team dynamics. The focus was largely on the acquisition of a player who can play up and down the lineup, add playoff experience, and bring an edge on the ice, while bringing leadership off of it.
What Role Will Corey Perry Play?
In discussing Perry’s role on the team, Holland emphasized the forward’s versatility and ability to contribute and acknowledged Perry’s history as a frontline player early in his career. Suggesting he might not be that player today, there is a lot Perry can still offer. He expressed optimism about how he could complement different lines and highlighted Perry’s hockey sense and playmaking skills. He underscored the importance of having players who can carry and transport the puck effectively, meaning they are confident Perry will find chemistry with some of the Oilers’ most talented forwards.
Perry himself spoke about his decision to join the Edmonton Oilers, citing the team’s positive trajectory and the direction they are headed. The forward noted the team’s mindset, vision, and the desire to win as key factors that influenced his decision. He joked that the presence of star player Connor McDavid and the team’s recent 13-game winning streak also contributed to Perry’s choice to don the Oilers’ jersey. Perry also noted that when you have a six-year-old son, you kind of follow a team that has McDavid on it.
What About That Thing With Perry In Chicago?
Addressing the elephant in the room, Perry candidly discussed his recent struggles with mental health and substance abuse. He emphasized the importance of seeking help when needed, highlighting his journey over the past few months and the pride he now takes in his personal growth.
Regarding his previous contract termination with the Chicago Blackhawks, Perry clarified that he had spoken with relevant parties, including his agent and Blackhawks management. While not disclosing every detail, Perry conveyed that he received their blessing to return to professional hockey, indicating a level of understanding and support.
When asked if he was appealing his contract termination or could provide more insight as to what happened, he declined comment.
Perry Is Expected to Provide Additional Support and Depth for Oilers
Holland noted that any contending team needs depth. Accepting they won’t win every game and that there could be injuries as the club approaches the post-season, having extra bodies like Perry is never a bad thing. He also noted that other areas of need are starting to turn around.
Looking ahead to the trade deadline, the Oilers management acknowledged the team’s strong performance and the challenge of making decisions with so many players excelling. The focus was on maintaining a winning streak and solidifying a playoff position. The coach discussed ongoing discussions with other teams’ general managers, emphasizing the importance of depth and having multiple skilled players. This includes in goal, where Stuart Skinner is playing well, Calvin Pickard has been excellent and Jack Campbell is starting to find his game in the AHL.
The press conference shed light on Corey Perry’s arrival, his personal journey, and the Oilers’ strategic considerations as they navigate a successful season and approach the trade deadline. The team remains focused on maintaining their winning momentum while carefully assessing their roster for potential improvements. Perry should be a big part of that and no one is concerned he’ll be a distraction.
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