Today the Anaheim Ducks bought out the contract of one Corey Perry, officially ushering us in to a brand new era of Ducks hockey.
First let’s get this out of the way… NOOOOOOOO!!!! PERRY, WHY? NO, DAMNIT.
Ok now let’s talk about this like adults.
In case you didn’t know, Corey Perry, 34, had been with the Ducks since he was drafted by the team in 2003. Since then he was a 4 time all-star, 50 goal scorer, Rocket Richard winner, Hart Trophy winner and a Stanley Cup champion. Perry left his mark on the franchise in the best way possible in his 14 years with the team. He was a fierce competitor and incredible goal scorer that was an absolute joy to watch.
Perry has been on a downward slide since the 16-17 season where he scored 19 goals and 56 points, noticeably lower than his 34 goals the year before. Still slumping, Perry suffered a knee injury last pre-season that knocked him out for most of the year and only managed 6 goals and 10 points in a very short 31 games.
After missing the playoffs last season and being in a major goal scoring slump, we all knew changes were coming. I was hoping to see the Ducks give Perry another shot this year to recover from his knee surgery. But clearly the possibility of another down year mixed with the insanely high cap hit of 8.625 million dollars for two more seasons was too much for Bob Murray to look past.
Personally, I am still in the grieving process of losing a franchise player like Perry. All the good memories are rushing back to me so let’s have a wake if you will and discuss some of the feisty wingers best moments.
Game 5 Stanley Cup Final Goal
With the Ducks already winning 5-2 late in the third period of the eventual Stanley Cup clinching game 5 at Honda Center, Perry capitalized on a bad turn over in the high slot and ripped a slap shot home to make it 6-2 and seal the deal for the Ducks to win the first Cup in franchise history.
Perry scores the hat-trick for 50th goal of the season
I remember being at this game, knowing Perry needed 3 more to get to 50, and looking at my girlfriend (now wife) and saying, “he’s getting the hat-tick tonight”. Sure enough he didn’t let me down. It was an insane moment to be at live and something I will never forget.
In case you did, here is a video:
Perry Wins First Hart Trophy In Franchise History
At the end of the 2010-2011 season we all knew Perry would have a shot to win the Hart Trophy. He scored the most goals in the NHL and was clearly the main reason the Ducks made the playoffs. But in Vancouver there was Daniel Sedin, the Art Ross Trophy winner. I remember most people were predicting Sedin to win, but in a great moment in Ducks history, Corey Perry’s name was announced. What a moment. Something Selanne, Kariya, Niedermayer or any other Duck has ever accomplished.
Perry Extinguishes Flames
Game 5 of the 2nd round series of the 2015 playoffs saw the Ducks taking on the Calgary flames. The Ducks held a commanding 3-1 lead in the series with the opportunity to finish off the flames on home ice in game 5. It wouldn’t be easy though, as the game headed to over time. Early in the OT session there was a mad scramble in front of the flames net off a point shot from Fowler. Bodies everywhere and sticks flying Perry was the one to bang home the loose puck and take the Ducks to the Conference Final for the first time since 2007. It was a fantastic moment for a team great team, led by Perry and Getzlaf. Unfortunately, this was also the year where the Ducks missed their best opportunity to get a cup under the Getzlaf, Perry regime. Damn you, Chicago.
Comeback On Katella
Maybe because it is the most recent Corey Perry moment but this one is my favorite. I don’t think anyone needs a recap on the greatness that happened May 6th, 2017 but in case you do here is the scene. With the Ducks down 3-0 late in game 5 in their series with the Oilers, the Ducks score 3 unanswered goals with the goalie pulled to tie the game late. In the 2nd OT off a great pass from Getzlaf, Perry dekes the pants off Talbot and slides home the game winner, capping of the greatest comeback in Ducks history. Still get chills thinking about it.
There is no doubt that Corey Perry was one of the greatest Ducks to ever put on the sweater. Soon enough his number 10 will join 8, 9, and 27 in the rafters of Honda Center. Until then, us fans are left with a sinking feeling of losing a player that has been with us for over a decade. This feeling will subside and eventually be filled with new moments from some of the great young players that will now get their shot with team. Where this team will be and who will be on it next season has yet to be seen. However, I think I speak for all fans with I hope the team makes the most of this situation and can get us back to the top again.
Best of luck Perry wherever you end up and hopefully you take it easy on us this season.