Corey Perry apologizes to the Blackhawks and seeks professional help
Corey Perry has apologized for the “inappropriate and wrongful” behavior that led the Chicago Blackhawks to terminate his contract this week.
“I would like to sincerely apologize to the entire Chicago Blackhawks organization, including the owners, management, coaches, trainers, staff and teammates. I would also like to apologize to my fans and family. I am embarrassed, and I let you all fall,” Perry said in a statement released to the media on Thursday.
Perry, 38, was granted an unconditional waiver on Tuesday for the purpose of terminating his contract. Blackhawks called Perry’s behavior “unacceptable” and said it violated the terms of his contract and internal organizational policies that are “intended to promote professional and safe work environments.”
Chicago Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson said the decision to terminate Perry’s contract was the result of an internal investigation into a “workplace matter” involving the veteran forward.
Perry said he is seeking professional help for his substance abuse.
“I have begun working with experts in the fields of mental health and substance abuse to discuss my struggles with alcohol, and I will take every step necessary to ensure it never happens again. I hope to regain the trust and respect of everyone who has believed in me,” said Perry, now an unrestricted free agent. “Me throughout my career.”
Davidson said the team was first notified of the allegations last week when the Blackhawks were in Columbus, Ohio, to play the Blue Jackets on Nov. 22.
Sources told ESPN’s Emily Kaplan that Perry traveled with the team to Columbus last Tuesday, the day before the game, and an incident occurred that day involving a team employee. Perry was scratched from the game and an investigation into the incident was launched.
Both the NHL and NHLPA have been informed of the incident and investigation. The NHLPA is looking into whether a grievance should be filed regarding the termination of Perry’s contract.
Speculation surrounding Perry’s status with Chicago led to rumors on social media that an incident may have occurred with a family member of another Blackhawks player. The rumor spread well outside the hockey bubble and was picked up by one of the major gossip sites in North America.
Davidson strongly denied that the situation involved another player or his family members.
“Anything that suggests otherwise or anyone that suggests otherwise is wildly inaccurate and, frankly, disgusting,” Davidson said.
In his statement, Perry acknowledged the “speculation and rumors” that resulted from his actions.
“I am disgusted by the impact this has had on others and want to make it clear that in no way has this situation extended to any of my teammates or their families. Most importantly, I want to directly apologize to those who have been negatively impacted,” he wrote. “I am sorry for the additional impact this has had.” I brought it up on others. “My behavior was inappropriate and wrong.”
The Blackhawks signed Perry over the summer to a one-year, $4 million contract, looking for veteran leadership on a young rebuilding team.
Perry, a 19-year veteran, has scored 421 goals and provided 471 assists in 1,273 games between the Anaheim Ducks, Dallas Stars, Montreal Canadiens, Tampa Bay Lightning and Blackhawks. He won the Stanley Cup in 2007 with the Ducks and won the Hart Award as the NHL’s Most Valuable Player for the 2010-11 season.