Oilers and Corey Perry agree to deal to move to

Oilers and Corey Perry agree to deal to move to Edmonton for remainder of year: sources – The Athletic

By Chris Johnston, Mark Lazerus and Daniel Nugent-Bowman

The Oilers and Corey Perry have agreed to a deal that sends the free agent to Edmonton for the remainder of the year, league sources said.

The Chicago Blackhawks terminated Perry's contract in November after the team said it determined through an investigation that Perry had engaged in “unacceptable” behavior. In a press conference at the time, Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson was asked whether there was a criminal aspect to Perry's firing. “This was a workplace matter,” Davidson said.

The exact details of why Chicago cut ties with Perry remain unknown.

Davidson said that while he could not reveal the details of the team's investigation, the matter “does not involve any players or their families, and anything that suggests otherwise or anyone claiming otherwise is completely inaccurate and, frankly, disgusting.” This was a difficult situation. I understand that you want answers. It was important that we took all necessary steps before sharing more.”

Davidson added that the NHL and NHLPA were notified, but it was a team incident and a team decision. Asked whether the league was investigating the incident or whether it was a team matter, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said via email: “The club has been open and transparent with us about what the relevant circumstances are.”

Perry met with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman earlier this month to discuss his recovery from alcohol problems and would be eligible to return to the league, two sources previously briefed on the matter confirmed. Perry did not need to obtain formal permission from Bettman and initiated the meeting himself.

Perry scored nine points (four goals and five assists) in 16 games for Chicago this season, his first with the team. The Blackhawks acquired him in a deal with the Tampa Bay Lightning in June, and he signed a one-year, $4 million contract with Chicago through the 2023-24 season.

What does Perry have left in the tank?

Perry isn't a great skater at age 38, but he still has the size, skill and nose for the net that made him such a productive player with the Anaheim Ducks. The Blackhawks signed him both as an experienced role model for Connor Bedard and for his on-ice skills, but until his release he served as a net forward on the top power play unit.

He was a popular player in the room and spoke up after heavy defeats in at least two all-player meetings. Perry's themes were “responsibility” and “brotherhood,” so his departure came as a shock to his teammates, many of whom claim they still don't know exactly what happened. — Mark Lazerus, Blackhawks senior writer

Perry is finally an Oiler

The Oilers have been looking for more size and skill in their bottom six, and veteran Perry should fit the bill, even if he won't get the power play time with the Oilers that he got in Chicago. Perry has been a thorn in the side of the Oilers and their fans for years, as evidenced by Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals when he scored the game-winning goal in double overtime. Old wounds will certainly heal quickly.

More than two decades after they almost traded him for Mike Comrie from Anaheim, Perry is finally an Oiler. — Daniel Nugent-Bowman, Oilers staff writer

Required reading

(Photo: Michael Reaves/Getty Images)