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Corey Perry apologizes after his ouster from Blackhawks and refutes speculation: 'I have let you all down'

Phil Thompson, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Hockey

CHICAGO — A day after the Chicago Blackhawks formally cut ties with Corey Perry, the NHL veteran issued a statement Thursday apologizing to the team, fans and others, and acknowledged “I am embarrassed and I have let you all down.”

The former Hawks winger, who had been placed on unconditional waivers after an internal investigation found “unacceptable” conduct, cleared waivers Wednesday, and his contract was terminated.

“I would like to sincerely apologize to the entire Chicago Blackhawks organization, including ownership, management, coaches, trainers, employees, and my teammates,” Perry said in his statement. “I would also like to apologize to my fans, and my family. I am embarrassed and I have let you all down.

“As a result of my actions, there has been speculation and rumors. I am sickened by the impact this has had on others, and I want to make it clear that in no way did this situation involve any of my teammates or their families. Most importantly, I want to directly apologize to those who have been negatively affected and I am sorry for the additional impact to others this has created. My behavior was inappropriate and wrong.

“I have started working with experts in the mental health and substance abuse fields to discuss my struggles with alcohol and I will take whatever steps necessary to ensure this never happens again. I hope to regain the trust and respect of everyone who has believed in me throughout my career.”

Perry likely was addressing speculation that grew after a social media post linked a teammate’s family member. Sources within the Hawks organization told the Chicago Tribune last week that the speculation was “100 percent false.”

 

General manager Kyle Davidson said Tuesday during a news conference: “I will not be able to disclose any details related to the initial reporting, investigation or the findings. However, I do want to be very clear on this one point: This does not involve any players or their families, and anything that suggests otherwise, or anyone that suggests otherwise, is wildly inaccurate, and frankly, it’s disgusting.”

The Hawks this summer acquired Perry’s rights from the Tampa Bay Lightning in a trade for a 2024 seventh-round pick and signed him to a one-year, $4 million contract.

Before his ouster, Perry played 16 games into his 19th NHL season before the Hawks — after learning about an incident involving him — made him a healthy scratch before the Nov. 22 game against the Blue Jackets in Columbus, Ohio.

After a four-day investigation, the Hawks said in a statement Tuesday that it “determined that Corey Perry has engaged in conduct that is unacceptable and in violation of both the terms of his Standard Player’s Contract and the Blackhawks’ internal policies intended to promote professional and safe work environments. As such, Corey Perry has been placed on unconditional waivers. In the event Mr. Perry clears waivers, we intend to terminate his contract effective immediately.”


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