Blackhawks Say Corey Perry Engaged in Unacceptable Conduct and Move to Terminate His Contract

Chicago Blackhawks right wing Corey Perry (94) warms up before an NHL hockey game against the Nashville Predators, Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023, in Nashville, Tenn. (George Walker IV / AP Photo)Chicago Blackhawks right wing Corey Perry (94) warms up before an NHL hockey game against the Nashville Predators, Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023, in Nashville, Tenn. (George Walker IV / AP Photo)

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Blackhawks are cutting ties with Corey Perry. The franchise is still answering questions about the culture of the organization.

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The Blackhawks say Perry engaged in unacceptable conduct, and they are moving toward terminating his contract in the latest twist involving the veteran winger who was sent home last week without explanation.

The team said Tuesday in a statement that an internal investigation showed Perry acted in violation of his NHL Standard Player Contract and club policies “intended to promote professional and safe work environments.” Chicago put Perry on unconditional waivers and said his deal will be terminated as long as he clears Wednesday.

The team has not given any indication as to what Perry did to warrant these actions.

“As this is an individual personnel matter, I will not be able to disclose any details related to the initial reporting or the findings,” general manager Kyle Davidson said Tuesday.

“However, I do want to be very clear on this point. 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.”

Pat Morris, Perry's agent, did not respond to messages seeking comment. Over the weekend, he said in a statement that Perry had stepped away to attend to personal matters.

The Blackhawks have revamped many of their policies and reporting procedures since an October 2021 report detailed how the organization badly mishandled a player's allegations that he was sexually assaulted by an assistant coach during the team’s 2010 Stanley Cup run.

In the wake of the scandal, the franchise's top leaders have talked repeatedly about the culture within the organization. While Davidson repeatedly declined to offer any specifics on what happened with Perry, he touched on its connection to the franchise's ongoing work.

“I think more than anything, it reinforced 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,” he said.

Asked if new reporting processes for misconduct made a different in this case, Davidson responded: “I believe so.”

Perry hasn’t played since he skated for almost 15 minutes during a 3-2 loss to Buffalo on Nov. 19. He was scratched for Chicago’s past three games before Tuesday night’s 4-3 victory over Seattle.

Davidson said the team learned about an issue involving Perry while it was in Columbus a week ago. The GM met with the players on Tuesday to inform them of the decision to cut ties with Perry.

Davidson also said he has been in contact with the NHL and NHL players' association.

“The league was understanding of the situation, as was the players’ union,” he said. “All parties were informed, but again it was a team incident.”

The 38-year-old Perry was acquired in a June trade with Tampa Bay. He then agreed to a $4 million, one-year contract with the Blackhawks.

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.

The Blackhawks brought in Perry and fellow forwards Taylor Hall and Nick Foligno to surround No. 1 pick Connor Bedard with experienced players who could show the 18-year-old center the ropes in professional hockey. Perry is on his way out of the organization after 16 games, while Hall is out for the season after undergoing surgery to repair a torn ACL in his right knee.

Chicago got some help Tuesday night, sending a conditional fifth-round pick in the 2024 draft to Vancouver for veteran forward Anthony Beauvillier. The 26-year-old Beauvillier has two goals and six assists in 22 games this season.

Beauvillier, a first-round selection in the 2015 draft, was traded from the Islanders to the Canucks in the Bo Horvat deal in January.

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