Montreal Canadiens: Corey Perry Was Nearly Given Away For Nothing

Jun 2, 2021; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Montreal Canadiens Corey Perry Mandatory Credit: James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 2, 2021; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Montreal Canadiens Corey Perry Mandatory Credit: James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports /

Montreal Canadiens winger Corey Perry has been a terrific piece for the Habs in their current postseason run.

The Canadiens signed the veteran on the eve of training camp to a league minimum contract of $750,000 for one year. He started the season on the team’s taxi squad and had to wait before being given a chance to enter the lineup.

Once he got in, he never allowed the coaches to take him out again.

The 35 year old winger brought tremendous depth to the Canadiens lineup. He played a gritty, physical, forechecking and cycling game like he always has his whole career and put up decent offensive numbers as well.

The former Anaheim Ducks star performed well in a depth role for the Habs, scoring nine goals and 21 points in 49 regular season games. He has been ever better in the postseason, combining with Eric Staal and Joel Armia to give the Canadiens a reliable fourth line and a well balanced forward group.

Signing him was a stroke of genius by general manager Marc Bergevin. The problem was, he almost lost Perry for nothing before he ever suited up in a Canadiens jersey.

The Canadiens were tight up against the salary cap and didn’t have the space to carry an extra forwards. Since Perry was signed so late he wasn’t in the opening night lineup. To save a few dollars and get under the cap, Perry was put on waivers on January 11th.

According to a report yesterday, two teams were very interested in claiming Perry, but were talked out of it by the player’s agent.

Perry’s agent, Pat Morris called around to teams he thought would have interest in claiming Perry at the beginning of the season. He essentially asked them politely to respect the fact Perry wanted to play in Montreal and two different organizations told him they were going to put in a claim on Perry but they decided against it since Perry didn’t want to play elsewhere this season.

With three goals, including the winning goal in Game 7 against the Toronto Maple Leafs, and nine points in 16 games, Perry has been a big part of this Canadiens run. It’s hard to say where the Habs would be right now if Perry was claimed on waivers way back in January.

Next. Should Habs bring back Galchenyuk?. dark

Luckily, we don’t have to wonder what would have been, because the Canadiens are in the midst of a tight third round series.