34 year old, 14-year veteran Corey Perry has seemingly hit the end of his time with the Anaheim Ducks. With the rumor mill overflowing with possible destinations, I’ve decided to throw my two cents into the mix.
Corey Perry has been on a downward slide since the 2013-14 season when he posted a 43G/39A/82P stat line. Since that season, it’s been a rough and quick decline. He was able to top 30+ goals the following two years, but injuries added up and his age started to show. His last three seasons combined couldn’t match his goal total from that 2013-14 year. After appearing in only 31 games, due to knee surgery keeping him out the first five months of the season, Perry wasn’t able to get his game back on track. Putting up an anemic 10 points in those 31 games, his name was on the top of the wish list of the Anaheim fans to be traded or bought out. His contract carries a NMC (no movement clause), which will make facilitating a trade tough, but a buy-out would save $4 million over the next 4 years.
Cap space and Buy out info via CapFriendly
I’m a little hesitant to believe there is an actual market for a player of Perry’s age, injury history, and obvious decline in play. But if I’ve learned one thing in life, it’s that anything can happen.
With 2 years remaining, at $8.63 million per year, that’s a sizable contract to take on. I took a look at the teams that are built to win now and could afford to give him a shot. One team, in particular, stood out.
New York Islanders
$27.7 million in cap space
The Islanders looked revitalized as a team, even after John Tavares left for Toronto. It got them into the playoffs and saw them stun the Pittsburgh Penguins with a first-round sweep. Unfortunately, Carolina returned the favor, sweeping them right out of the second round of the playoffs.
Depending on how that Clutterbuck-Cizikas-Martin line is deployed, I can see Perry being a solid player on the 2nd or 4th line. Putting him alongside Ladd & Komarov, or Lee & Nelson could give them that little extra spark they were lacking against Carolina. Perry is proven to be a tough player that doesn’t have an issue throwing hits. Couple that with his scoring ability, he could find a small renaissance playing in New York, a possible high note to go out on.