Blackhawks GM Davidson's update on Perry's absence? 'There's no update'
While Kyle Davidson broke his silence Saturday morning on why Corey Perry has been away from the Blackhawks, the general manager was unable to provide any specifics on the situation.
"There's no update on that end," Davidson said as practice began at Fifth Third Arena. "He's away from the team and will remain so for the foreseeable future."
About 90 minutes later, Perry's agent released a statement that said his client has "stepped away from the Chicago Blackhawks to attend to personal matters. Corey and his family appreciate privacy at this time."
Perry practiced Tuesday at Fifth Third Arena, but has not been involved with the team since.
Davidson said this was team decision, although when asked how much coach Luke Richardson knows, Davidson would only say: "I don't want to get into specifics into who knows what, or what's going on. I'll just leave that internal for now."
No timeline was given for how long Perry might be away.
"We're taking it just like any other roster move, whether it be injury or trade or whatever," Richardson said. "That's the coach's duty is to make adjustments on the fly. I thought last night (a 4-3 OT win over Toronto) was obviously a great showing by our team."
Perry, who won a Stanley Cup with Anaheim in 2006, was acquired from Tampa Bay during the off-season for a seventh-round pick and signed to a one-year, $4 million contract. He has six 30-goal seasons during an 18-year career, including a career-high 50 in 2010-11 when he was named MVP.
In addition to Taylor Hall and Nick Foligno, Perry was expected to help guide a young roster that includes Connor Bedard, Lukas Reichel, Kevin Korchinski, Alex Vlasic and Wyatt Kaiser.
Now, Perry and Hall - who will have season-ending surgery to repair a torn MCL on Monday - are not around.
"(Perry) just carries so much weight with the experiences he's had in his career," Foligno said. "He's kind of done it all. He's been the top-line guy, he's been the role player, he's won awards. He's well decorated in a lot of ways.
"So when he speaks it carries a lot of weight, and guys really gravitate to him because he's a great guy to be around. ... It's gonna be hard not having him around."
Asked if he might look to add another forward, Davidson said it's unlikely in the short term. He'll look to see how Cole Guttman and Joey Anderson "assimilate" to the group. Both played well in the victory over the Maple Leafs at the United Center on Friday.
"Obviously that's just one game, but we're hopeful that they can jump in and fill some roles," Davidson said. "Also, hopefully we can get some players back at some point."
Forward Colin Blackwell practiced Saturday and could return soon. Andreas Athanasiou remains week-to-week.
The veteran leadership core now consists of forwards Foligno, Tyler Johnson, Jason Dickinson, Ryan Donato, defensemen Connor Murphy, Seth Jones and Nikita Zaitsev, and goaltender Petr Mrazek.
"There's been a significant growth in the group," Davidson said when asked if he was worried about the loss of Perry and Hall. "We did bring some players in, but we had some strong leaders already here. ...
"I've been really happy with how the collective has been led so far, and I trust that they will do so moving forward. You look to some of the older veterans that have been around and have been added that are in that locker room right now, and I have no fear that there's enough quality leadership to carry this forward."