Scorey Perry. Pears. The Worm. He’s known by several affectionate—and sometimes unaffectionate—nicknames around the league. But Corey Perry hasn’t earned these nicknames without any merit, they showcase the kind of player he’s become since he made his NHL debut in 2005.
Currently 36-years-old, he is far from the player who scored 50 goals and won the Hart trophy during the 2010-11 season. But he’s shown that he still has the ability to get under the skin of his opponents and cause havoc in the crease.
After recently embarking on his second consecutive trip to the Stanley Cup Final, Perry is also once again a free agent for the second consecutive season. After spending last season with the Dallas Stars, Perry signed with the Montreal Canadiens and played an influential role in their Cinderella run to the Cup Final. But it remains to be seen whether Perry’s hometown team is keen to retain him for another season.
One team that should be interested in the former London Knight is an old friend, the Anaheim Ducks. Perry was drafted by the then Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in 2003 and spent 14 seasons with the Ducks prior to signing with the Stars in 2019, and was a popular figure among both fans and teammates.
Nostalgia Is One Hell of a Drug
Maybe there doesn’t need to be a logical reason. Perry is one of the most beloved Ducks players from this era and a chance to see him don the black and orange one last time would bring a smile to many fans’ faces.
He has been part of some of the most iconic moments in Ducks’ history. His booming slap shot in the Cup Final clincher against the Ottawa Senators in 2007, the aforementioned 50 goals and winning of the Hart Trophy and of course his game-winner in the infamous “Comeback on Katella.”
Fans haven’t seen Perry take the ice at Honda Center—for both the home or opposing team—in two years. His return to the place formerly known as Arrowhead Pond was slightly marred by the five-game suspension he was serving due to a high hit on Ryan Ellis during the 2020 Winter Classic. Thus, fans could only honor Perry from his spot in the stands instead of on the ice.
A chance for Ducks fans to give Perry their full appreciation while he is still playing is something that has been robbed from them up to this point. Seeing him finish out his career as a Duck, regardless of how poorly the team performs, just feels right.
Longtime teammate Ryan Getzlaf is a free agent this summer and there’s a relatively slim chance that the captain will be switching teams. What better way for “The Twins” to finish out their careers than to play together for one final season before riding out into the sunset?
Power Play Resource
One aspect where the Ducks have failed to improve much since Perry’s departure is net-front presence. Max Jones and Max Comtois seem to be the only players capable of regularly going to the net, suffering whatever punishment they receive in order to reap the rewards.
Parking oneself in the crease is Perry’s bread and butter, and having someone like him to teach Jones, Comtois and the rest of the forwards how to become a net-front nuisance is something that would greatly benefit the Ducks.
The days of double-digit power-play goals are long gone, but Perry can still play a valuable role in the man advantage. The Ducks’ special teams contributions have been far and few for several seasons now, with this past season resulting in the worst power-play percentage in NHL history, a meager 8.94%.
Even if Perry himself is not on the power-play unit, his expertise and experience are still something that he can instill in those who would be part of it.
Perry proved most valuable during his time with both the Stars and Canadiens by simply having experience. Over 1,000 games played is certainly nothing to scoff at and the veteran has also played well over 100 playoff games (167 to be exact).
Perry has also been a winner at every course of his hockey career. Part of the esteemed Triple Gold Club (Olympic gold medal, World Championship gold medal, Stanley Cup), Perry has done it all. Not only has he won all three, but he’s also won gold at the World Juniors, won the Memorial Cup and won the World Cup of Hockey as well. He’s just the second player to have accomplished winning all of these accolades, behind former teammate and Hall of Famer Scott Niedermayer.
As a former MVP of the league as well, Perry has proven that he can be a player that can be relied on at any time. He was one of the leaders during his time with the Ducks and that role continued while playing for both the Stars and Canadiens. Even now, in his older age, there is plenty of wisdom that Perry can instill into the younger players on the Ducks.
Perry’s resume speaks for itself. Though there may be some hard feelings given how his departure was engineered, he’s one of the most accomplished and decorated players to ever pull on the Ducks sweater. A return to Orange County isn’t out of the question, but it will be up to the player to decide whether it’s a return that he wants to make.
Derek has been a hockey fan for almost a decade and has been a sports fan in general for more than two decades.
He graduated from UCCS in Colorado Springs, CO in May 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in Sports Communication. He spent the last several years as part of UCCS’ on-campus student newspaper staff (both as a reporter and editor) and is now creating Ducks-related content from his home in Southern California.