Perry is coming off a league minimum, $750,000 contract which he signed with the Montreal Canadiens just prior to the start of the 2020-21 campaign. The 36-year-old veteran, a former Stanley Cup champion and Hart Trophy winner, put up nine goals and 21 points in 49 games this season. He advanced to his second straight Stanley Cup Final with the Habs after also playing for hockey’s ultimate prize in 2019-20 with the Dallas Stars, losing both times to his new team in Tampa.
A True Leader
Adding Perry to the Canadiens last year was one of general manager Marc Bergevin’s best decisions in an offseason filled with a lot of good moves for the Canadiens.
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Beyond the goals and the assists, he brought tremendous leadership, a burning desire to win and an enviable passion for the game to the dressing room. He served as a mentor to the team’s young players including Cole Caufield, Nick Suzuki and Jesperi Kotkaniemi. On the ice, he played with an edge that was desperately missing from the roster.
Perry also made the power play better thanks to his net-front presence and creativity. Let’s not forget that he started his tenure with the Habs on the waiver wire and then on the taxi squad for opening night before becoming a permanent fixture in the lineup.
How Perry Will Fit In
Perry may have lost a step, but he can still thrive in an effective role that allows him to showcase his impressive skillset. A fourth line including Perry, newly acquired Pierre-Édouard Bellemare and Patrick Maroon would certainly be tough to play against, especially in the playoffs.
Since having his contract bought out by the Anaheim Ducks a few years ago, Perry has had one clear objective in mind and that is to win another Stanley Cup. He has come close to accomplishing his goal the past two seasons and the two-time defending champion Lightning will certainly give him more opportunities to achieve it.
Melissa has been covering the Montreal Canadiens for The Hockey Writers since March of 2020. She is also THW’s Social Media Community Manager and a co-host of Chicks & Sticks, a weekly show produced by THW. In 2006, she spearheaded the social media initiatives for Tennis Canada and Rogers Cup and was the primary person responsible for their upkeep for over 10 years. She has written articles for multiple tennis websites and interviewed the likes of Roger Federer and Serena Williams. While her career in sports started in tennis, her first love has always been hockey. She has a journalism degree from Concordia University.