Corey Perry’s Focus Shifts to Family and Health after Contract Termination with Blackhawks
The Chicago Blackhawks terminated veteran forward Corey Perry’s contract for a material breach, making it clear that Perry’s priority is to focus on his family and health during this period of being unemployed by an NHL team for the first time since 2004.
In a statement released Thursday, Perry mentioned that he is working with experts in the mental health and substance abuse fields to address his struggles with alcohol and to take necessary steps to prevent it from happening again. He expressed his desire to regain the trust and respect of those who have believed in him.
The specifics of what caused Perry’s termination remain unknown, and Blackhawks’ General Manager Kyle Davidson characterized it as a “workplace matter” that did not involve criminal activity.
While the termination of a contract involving a former Hart Trophy winner like Perry is rare in the NHL, history suggests varied examples of contract terminations based on different circumstances, ranging from criminal charges to lesser transgressions involving bottom-of-the-roster players.
Perry, despite being an important player for the Blackhawks, found himself placed on unconditional waivers for the purpose of contract termination, prompting potential reverberations far beyond his removal from the lineup. The termination was based on Perry’s engagement in unacceptable conduct that violated the terms of his standard player’s contract and the Blackhawks’ internal policies.
Perry still has 60 days to decide whether to file a grievance via the NHL Players’ Association, which could potentially help him preserve his earning power and receive the entire amount of remaining salary owed on his contract.
As an unrestricted free agent, Perry has all the rights to sign with another NHL team. However, at this time, there is no indication that a return to the NHL is a priority for him. Instead, his focus is on addressing his remorse and starting treatment for his struggles with alcohol.