Corey Perry said Thursday he has begun working with mental health and substance abuse experts to discuss his struggles with alcohol after the Chicago Blackhawks terminated his contract for engaging in “conduct that is unacceptable” and against team policies.
Perry emailed a statement to The Associated Press and other outlets apologizing for behavior he called “inappropriate and wrong.” Perry’s longtime agent, Pat Morris, confirmed by text message that his client sent the statement.
The 38-year-old NHL veteran said he hopes to regain the trust of those who believed in him throughout his career.
“I would like to sincerely apologize to the entire Chicago Blackhawks organization, including ownership, management, coaches, trainers, employees and my teammates,” Perry said. “I would also like to apologize to my fans and my family. I am embarrassed, and I have let you all down.”
Echoing what general manager Kyle Davidson made abundantly clear at his news conference Tuesday, Perry said the situation had nothing to do with teammates or their families.
“I am sickened by the impact this has had on others,” Perry said. “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.”
Perry ended the statement, “Once again, I am deeply sorry.”
Neither Perry nor the team would say exactly what occurred, other than Davidson calling it a workplace matter that did not involve law enforcement. He was suspiciously scratched from a game at Columbus on Nov. 22, before Davidson said Perry would be away from the team for the foreseeable future.
After an internal investigation, the team said earlier this week that Perry’s actions violated his contract, putting him on unconditional waivers to terminate his $4 million deal for this season. Perry cleared Wednesday, and his contract was terminated.
Perry, through the NHL Players’ Association, has 60 days to file grievance if he so chooses.
His apology came two days after Davidson was visibly shaken up talking about Perry in the latest off-ice development for the franchise still scarred by scandal. The organization has revamped many 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.
Davidson said Perry’s situation “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.”
Asked if new reporting processes for misconduct made a different in this case, Davidson responded: “I believe so.”