CHICAGO (CBS/AP) -- The Chicago Blackhawks are cutting ties with veteran winger Corey Perry, citing undisclosed unacceptable conduct.
The Blackhawks said Perry is being placed on unconditional waivers, and if another team doesn't claim him off waivers, they will terminate his contract effective immediately.
Perry hasn't played in a game since Nov. 19 against the Buffalo Sabres. He was a surprise healthy scratch in their next game against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday, and hasn't been back on the ice, as the Blackhawks have remained silent on the reason for his absence until now.
"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 environment," the Blackhawks said in a statement Tuesday afternoon.
General manager Kyle Davidson provided no specifics on the allegations against Perry when he met with reporters Tuesday afternoon, other than to say it did not involve criminal conduct, and did not involve any teammates or their families
"As this is an individual personnel matter, I will not be able to disclose any details related to the initial reporting, investigation, or the findings," general manager Kyle Davidson told reporters Tuesday afternoon. "It's obviously been very tough. Yeah, it's been a tough couple of days."
With the Blackhawks not releasing information about the allegations in recent days after scratching Perry from the lineup, false rumors began spreading on social media, speculation Davidson said was completely unreliable.
"This does not involve any players or their families, and anything that suggests otherwise, or anyone that suggests otherwise is wildly inaccurate, and frankly it's disgusting," he said.
Davidson acknowledged that the lack of information the team has released regarding what happened with Perry helped fuel false insinuations online.
"Over the last 24 hours, what's gone on has been very disturbing, and I feel like I'm wearing it. I'm carrying that," he said. "It's just tough to see."
Davidson said Perry was taken out of the team's lineup as soon as management was made aware of his conduct last week, and they decided to cut ties with him as soon as an internal investigation was completed.
"The most that I can disclose is that we learned about it while we were in Columbus," he said.
He said both the players' union and the league have been made aware of the allegations against Perry.
The Blackhawks have faced intense criticism for a lack of transparency in the aftermath of the Kyle Beach scandal, after an independent investigation in 2021 determined former general manager Stan Bowman and other team executives failed to promptly investigate claims former video coach Brad Aldrich had sexually assaulted Beach and other players in 2010.
While the team is not disclosing exactly what Perry is accused of doing, Davidson said he believes the team's swift actions in this case "reinforces the resolve we have to change the culture, and make sure we're doing the right things, and upholding our values, and making sure that we continue to build a culture of accountability."
Agent Pat Morris did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment on the Blackhawks' intent to terminate Perry's contract. Over the weekend, he said in a statement that Perry had stepped away to attend to personal matters.
Perry, 38, signed a $2 million contract with Chicago for this season with $2 million in potential incentives. An 18-year veteran known for his leadership, the Peterborough, Ontario, native won the Stanley Cup with Anaheim in 2007 and became the first player in league history to reach the final three consecutive years and lose each time with Dallas, Montreal and Tampa Bay from 2020-22.
Perry was expected to serve as a veteran mentor who could set a professional example for rookie phenom Connor Bedard and other young prospects on the Blackhawks roster. Davidson said that makes the decision to cut ties with Perry all the more disappointing.
"Obviously, yeah, it's tough. It adds another layer," Davidson said. "Certainly it didn't mesh with the background we received [about Perry]."
Davidson said Perry's teammates don't have any more details on the allegations against Perry than have been made public. Nonetheless, Davidson said he's confident in the team's resilience and ability to move forward with him gone.
"Obviously, it's a tough day, but we'll continue to communicate with our players, and we'll go forward from there," Davidson said.
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