The Chicago Blackhawks have made a surprising addition to their lineup, signing veteran forward Corey Perry to a one-year contract on Friday. Perry, 38, was acquired from the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for a 2024 seventh-round pick. The contract is reported to be worth $4 million.
It's official 👊 pic.twitter.com/6srPfw2KXl
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) June 30, 2023
This move comes as a surprise to many Blackhawks fans given Perry’s history as a rival player during the 2010s. However, Perry brings a wealth of experience to the team, having played for the Anaheim Ducks, Dallas Stars, Montreal Canadiens, and Tampa Bay Lightning. Perry won the Stanley Cup with the Ducks in 2007 and has competed in the Stanley Cup Finals for three consecutive years with three different teams, a first in NHL history.
Despite his age and recent performance, Perry is expected to bring a new dynamic to the Blackhawks’ attack, especially on the power play where his ability to screen the goalie and capitalize on rebounds should prove invaluable. Perry’s performance last season with Tampa wasn’t outstanding, but he still managed to contribute 25 points (12 G, 13 A) in 81 games, with nearly half of those points (6 G, 6 A) coming on the power play.
Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson expressed optimism about the signing, emphasizing Perry’s experience and potential influence on the team’s younger players. “Been in the League quite some time, knows what it takes to win, knows how to be a great professional,” Davidson said. “We’re going to try to extract some of that benefit as well.”
The signing comes on the heels of the Blackhawks’ recent draft of Connor Bedard as the first overall pick, a move that signals a new era for the team. The addition of Perry could provide much-needed mentorship for young talents like Bedard.
The Blackhawks are betting on Perry’s experience and grit to boost their offensive potency next season. Whether this gamble pays off remains to be seen.