Oilers sign Corey Perry less than two months after Blackhawks terminated his contract

Forward Corey Perry found a new NHL home less than two months after having his contract terminated for "unacceptable" behavior.

The Edmonton Oilers, who are on a team-record 13-game winning streak, announced Monday that they signed Perry, 38, to a one-year, $775,000 contract. It also has up to $325,000 in performance bonuses, according to Cap Friendly.

Oilers general manager Ken Holland said he had unsuccessfully pursued Perry in 2019 and had done his due diligence before signing him on Saturday.

Perry was waived and cut by the Chicago Blackhawks in late November. He and the Blackhawks never gave details on what he did to lead the team to release him, but both sides said it didn’t involve any players or their family members.

"I have started working with experts in the mental health and substance abuse fields to discuss my struggles with alcohol and I will take whatever steps necessary to ensure this never happens again,” Perry said in a Nov. 30 statement in which he apologized for his "inappropriate and wrong" behavior.

Chicago Blackhawks forward Corey Perry apologized for his "inappropriate and wrong" behavior.
Chicago Blackhawks forward Corey Perry apologized for his "inappropriate and wrong" behavior.

He didn't elaborate further Monday on what happened in Chicago.

"Over the last two months, I really had a chance to reflect and get the help and take full responsibility for what happened in Chicago and try to better myself," he said.

Coach Kris Knoblauch said Perry won't be a distraction.

"I know Ken did his homework, due diligence, talked to a lot of people, found what was going on, what the situation is and I absolutely trust Ken's judgment," he told reporters.

Perry was a free agent eligible to sign with any other team. He met this month with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.

The Oilers host the Blackhawks on Thursday, but Holland said the team was shooting for Saturday as Perry's Edmonton debut.

Perry won a Stanley Cup with the Anaheim Ducks in 2007 and was league MVP in 2010-11. He went to the Final in three consecutive seasons with the Dallas Stars (2020), Montreal Canadiens (2021) and Tampa Bay Lightning (2022). He has 53 goals and 124 points in 196 career playoff games, plus has won Olympic gold medals with Canada.

That history will be important to an Oilers team that hasn't been to the Stanley Cup Final since 2006.

"Come playoff time, you think of blue-paint goals and greasy goals, and that's what Corey stands for," Holland said.

The gritty forward had nine points in 16 games this season with the Blackhawks, who had acquired him from the Lightning and signed him to a one-year, $4 million contract.

In a corresponding move, the Oilers placed forward Adam Erne on waivers.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Corey Perry signs with Oilers after Blackhawks cut him