The Winnipeg Jets and their fans have a long history with Corey Perry and let’s just say that the Jets faithful are not the biggest fans of the Ducks franchise player. After facing off with the Jets in the first round of last year’s NHL Playoffs, the Ducks forward heard taunts, chirps, and was even referred to as a pop sensation when the crowd in Winnipeg reigned “Katy Perry” chants at him. It may not have been the classiest chant, that I can submit, but Perry is not the most classy player on the ice. A simple Youtube search of Perry shows numerous examples of dirty or unsportsmanlike plays.
What may be most infuriating for fans across the league, however, is his skill. He has found success at nearly every level he has played. Many Championships, medals, and league titles that he can add to numerous personal awards and successes. This has made him a fan favorite in Anaheim, but public enemy number one in many other cities.
Once again today the two-time Olympic Champion drew the ire of Jets fans who were given another reason to put him at the top of their hate list. Canada and Finland faced off in an IIHF World Championship Round Robin game, and it was a collision between Perry and a top upcoming star that has fans around the league, especially in Winnipeg, irate.
Since the Jets won the second overall pick in the 2016 Draft Lottery earlier this month, the fanbase, as well as the media, has been enthralled with Patrik Laine. The Finnish forward who will almost certainly go second overall to the Winnipeg Jets has grabbed the spotlight and ran with it. Laine has six goals and 10 points so far the World Championships and has been proving to everyone watching that not only can he dominate the Juniors, but he is just as much a force playing against men. This made Laine a target today when Canada and Finland faced off in the final Round Robin match up. With both teams going in undefeated, the game would decide who would win the group and get the most favorable matchup in the quarterfinals.
Laine vs. Perry
Laine took punishment throughout much of the game, hacks to the ankle, cross checks after the whistle, and many whispers and taunts directed at him throughout, normal stuff. However, things may have crossed the line near the end of the second period. Laine was on his way to the bench, far out of the play, when he crossed paths with Corey Perry also on his way to the bench.
— theScore NHL (@theScoreNHL) May 17, 2016
Perry appears to target Laine’s left leg with his own shin. Laine finished his change and was clearly in pain on the bench. He did not play the rest of the period but did return for the third. TSN analyst Ray Ferraro picked up on it immediately and did not mince words on Perry’s attempt to take out Laine calling it a “Garbage play.” Ferraro was not the only one who noticed the play and Perry has already picked up a lot of flack online. Some are even calling for a Perry suspension like Ken Campbell of the Hockey News. There is no doubt this was a dirty play and the Finns were clearly upset. As were many Jets fans watching the game who have already adopted the young Fin. There is no doubt Perry will continue to hear it from Jets fans in the future, and may hear some more from Laine before the tournament is over. Quarterfinals start May 19th.
Born and raised Winnipeg sports fan and contributor with The Hockey Writers.