For the first time since the Chicago Blackhawks terminated his contract due to "unacceptable" conduct, Corey Perry has broken his silence. On Thursday, Perry released a statement in which he apologized for his "inappropriate and wrong" behavior.
The Blackhawks put Perry on waivers for the purposes of terminating his contract on Tuesday, after he had been away from the team for roughly a week. Two days later, Perry addressed the situation in a lengthy statement. Perry apologized for the behavior that led to his release and dispelled any notion that the incident had anything to do with a teammate's family member.
"As a result of my actions, there has been speculation and rumors," Perry said in a statement. "I am sickened by the impact this had on others, and I want to make it clear that in no way did this situation involve my teammates or their families. Most importantly, I want to directly apologize to those who have been negatively affected and I am sorry for the additional impact to others it has created. My behavior was inappropriate and wrong."
Perry, who signed a one-year deal with Chicago in the offseason, had his contract terminated by the Blackhawks after passing unclaimed through waivers. Chicago released its own statement explaining the decision at the time.
"After an internal investigation, the Chicago Blackhawks have determined that Corey Perry has engaged in conduct that is unacceptable, and in violation both of the terms of his Standard Player's Contract and the Blackhawks' internal policies intended to promote professional and safe work environments," the team said in a statement. "As such, Corey Perry has been placed on unconditional waivers. In the event Mr. Perry clears waivers, we intend to terminate his contract effective immediately."
That ended an odd saga that has lasted since Perry was a healthy scratch for the Blackhawks' game against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Nov. 22. Perry wasn't at practice the next day and hasn't been with the team at all since then.
On Saturday, Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson announced that Perry would be stepping away from the team for the "foreseeable future." Davidson also noted that the franchise chose to initiate the separation.
However, a statement from Perry's camp seemed to contradict the idea that it was the Blackhawks' decision. Pat Morris, Perry's agent, released a statement saying Perry was taking time away from the team to deal with "personal matters."
Perry played just 16 games with the Blackhawks, tallying four goals and nine points in that time. Now, Perry's NHL career could be in jeopardy after 19 years and 1,273 career games.
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