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Why isn’t Corey Perry with the Chicago Blackhawks?
The organization has preached transparency under the new regime headed-up by front office leaders Danny Wirtz, Jaime Faulkner, Kyle Davidson, and head coach Luke Richardson. We’ve seen it in practice on a number of occasions since the four of them have been in their current positions.
And that’s why the lack of information and comments regarding Perry’s absence these past few days has been so mystifying.
On Tuesday, before getting on the plane to head to Ohio and face the Columbus Blue Jackets, the 19-year veteran Perry was playing on the top powe rplay unit for the Blackhawks along with Lukas Reichel, Philipp Kurashev, Connor Bedard, and Kevin Korchinski. There was at least some optimism and excitement to see what the four kids could do with their “hockey dad” and the team’s third-leading scorer playing on the man advantage.
Richardson said that there were no expected lineup changes heading to Columbus and Perry even took time after practice to come off the ice and talk with a big group of kids who were at the Fifth Third Arena and sign anything they put in front of him.
Then, minutes prior to Wednesday’s game against the Blue Jackets, we learned that both Taylor Hall (later learning he required season-ending knee surgery) and Corey Perry wouldn’t be available for the game and that scratching Perry was an “organizational decision.” If Corey Perry had played poorly, you’d believe the decision would be merit-based. But since Perry has been one of the most effective players the Blackhawks have had to begin this season, none of it made sense.
To add to the confusion, it appeared even players were in the dark on the situation when they were asked about it after Thursday’s practice.
Between Wednesday afternoon and Friday morning, there has been no further information given into the “organizational decision” to have Perry not only out of the lineup, but also not around for the Thursday morning practice.
Prior to Friday afternoon’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Luke Richardson still had no further information or comments on Perry not being around the team.
With no further information coming from the club, the speculation over Perry’s absence has run rampant across the league. The made-up trade rumors and scenarios that may or may not, could or could not surround the situation don’t help either. It could largely be avoided with even a small bit of information.
Maybe we’re not entitled to that bit of information. If this is a personal matter for Perry, one would think the verbiage would reflect that like it did earlier this month when Nikita Zaitsev was away from the team.
This is also a side of Luke Richardson that we haven’t seen since he took over as head coach in Chicago. Usually full of very honest and open answers to pretty much any question given to him, this is the least information Richardson has been able to give on a topic. Which feels extremely out of character in this scenario. Again, if it was related to on-ice performance, no one would bat an eye. But the non-comments about the situation are, at the very least, extremely odd from the Blackhawks standpoint.
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