The Chicago Blackhawks announced Tuesday that they have placed veteran forward Corey Perry on unconditional waivers for the purpose of terminating his contract, citing “unacceptable conduct” that violated team policies.
BREAKING: #Blackhawks have placed Corey Perry on unconditional waivers and plan to terminate his contract, effective immediately.
Team statement: pic.twitter.com/5cQQlEYHpM
— Charlie Roumeliotis (@CRoumeliotis) November 28, 2023
Perry, 38, had been mysteriously absent from the team since last Wednesday when he was a surprise healthy scratch against the Columbus Blue Jackets. General manager Kyle Davidson said Saturday that Perry would be away from the team for the “foreseeable future” but declined to provide details.
However, on Tuesday the Blackhawks released a statement saying their internal investigation found Perry engaged in unacceptable conduct that broke the terms of his contract and the organization’s internal policies “intended to promote professional and safe work environments.”
The team did not disclose the nature of Perry’s conduct. If he clears waivers by Wednesday, the Blackhawks said they intend to immediately terminate his one-year, $2 million contract.
Perry’s agent, Pat Morris, previously said the forward was stepping away from the team to deal with personal matters. Morris has not commented on the contract termination.
The right winger had played in all 16 games for Chicago prior to his sudden absence, tallying 4 goals and 5 assists. His veteran presence was seen as key for the young Blackhawks squad centered around 18-year-old phenom Connor Bedard.
Bedard declined to comment much on Perry’s initial absence, saying only “it sucks he can’t be here.” Rumors had swirled on social media about the reason for Perry’s departure, but none were confirmed.
Blackhawks GM Davidson is expected to address Perry’s termination in a press conference Tuesday afternoon. The team said its decision came following an internal investigation into the player’s conduct.
Perry is a 19-year NHL veteran who won the Stanley Cup with the Anaheim Ducks in 2007. He signed a one-year deal with Chicago this past offseason after two years in Tampa Bay.
The Blackhawks have faced heavy scrutiny since 2021 over their handling of sexual assault allegations from 2010. Perry’s situation has raised new questions about accountability and transparency for the struggling franchise.
Tuesday’s announcement signals the imminent end to Perry’s tenure in Chicago after just 16 games. If he goes unclaimed on waivers as expected, one of this season’s veteran additions will abruptly depart a Blackhawks team striving to set a new course under Davidson’s leadership.