In a surprising turn of events, veteran forward Corey Perry’s absence from the Chicago Blackhawks lineup has stirred speculation and contradiction between the team’s official statement and Perry’s agent, Pat Morris.
NHL insider Elliotte Friedman shared a statement from Morris, who represents Perry, on Twitter:
“Corey Perry has stepped away from the Chicago Blackhawks to attend to personal matters. Corey and his family appreciate privacy at this time.”
The 38-year-old forward was scratched for two consecutive games, including a 7-3 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets and a 4-3 overtime win against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Perry’s absence extended beyond game time, as he missed team practices.
Perry, a seasoned player with a prolific career spanning 1,273 NHL games, was acquired by the Blackhawks in a trade with the Tampa Bay Lightning in June. He subsequently signed a one-year, $4 million contract with Chicago. In his first season with the Blackhawks, Perry has contributed four goals and five assists in 16 games.
The veteran winger’s absence and the conflicting statements have created uncertainty around the Blackhawks’ forward lines and strategic plans.
Blackhawks GM’s statement on Corey Perry contradicts agent’s words
Blackhawks’ general manager Kyle Davidson offered a different perspective, stating that Perry would remain away from the team for the foreseeable future. The Blackhawks GM said,
“He’s away from the team and will remain so for the foreseeable future.”
Davidson mentioned that the organization decided for Perry to be sidelined. Davidson further added,
“I’m unable to provide any further update on that front. … It’s been a team decision so far to hold him out, and that’s all I can provide. It is coming from the organization’s end, yes.”
Head coach Luke Richardson also reiterated Davidson’s statement:
“That’s just going to be kept internal for now in the organization. Hopefully, we’ll be able to give updates soon, but we can’t give a timeline.”
As fans await further updates, the team should navigate this unexpected situation and adjust their roster accordingly, hoping for a swift resolution to Perry’s matters. So far, the Blackhawks have performed below average and placed last in the Central Division.
They have lost 12 games this season and have only secured six wins in 18 games, making their total points 12. However, Bedard performed well for the team in the Blackhawks’ 2023 number-one overall draft.