Stu Cowan: Corey Perry finds perfect fit with Canadiens

“Some belongings you simply have to attend your flip and good issues occur to individuals who wait,” he says about signing late with Habs as free agent.

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It’s a must to surprise if the Canadiens could be within the Stanley Cup semifinals towards the Vegas Golden Knights with out Corey Perry.

You additionally must surprise the place Perry could be with out the Canadiens.

They’ve turned out to be an ideal match after Perry signed a one-year, US$750,000 contract with the Canadiens lower than three weeks earlier than the beginning of the common season.

“I didn’t have something and didn’t know what was going to occur, didn’t know the place the longer term was going to go,” Perry recalled on Friday. “Some belongings you simply have to attend your flip and good issues occur to individuals who wait. I used to be lucky sufficient to get the decision.

“I used to be instructed immediately I’d in all probability begin on the taxi squad and work my means up,” the 36-year-old added. “I stated: ‘No drawback. I’ll are available and do no matter I’ve to do.’ It’s only a matter of ready your flip.”

Perry spent the primary 5 video games on the taxi squad, then performed eight straight earlier than being made a wholesome scratch for 2 of the subsequent three video games. Since then he has performed each recreation, ending the common season with 9-12-21 totals in 49 video games and he has 3-3-6 totals in 11 playoff video games forward of the Stanley Cup semifinal sequence that can begin Monday in Las Vegas (9 p.m., CBC, SN, TVA Sports activities, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM).

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What Perry has delivered to the Canadiens goes far past his stats. He has develop into a frontrunner and a veteran the younger gamers can look as much as. Jesperi Kotkaniemi referred to as it “an honour” to be on the identical crew as Perry.

Most significantly, Perry is aware of what it takes to win. He’s a member of the Triple Gold Membership, profitable gold medals with Canada on the 2010 and 2014 Olympics, on the 2016 IIHF World Championship and the Stanley Cup with the Anaheim Geese in 2007. Perry and Scott Niedermayer are the one two members of the Triple Gold Membership who’ve additionally received on the world junior championship, the Memorial Cup and the World Cup of Hockey.

Final season, Perry helped the Dallas Stars advance to the Stanley Cup last, beating the Golden Knights within the semifinals earlier than dropping to the Tampa Bay Lightning. However loads of NHL groups clearly thought Perry was carried out after that. Canadiens captain Shea Weber famous lately that GM Marc Bergevin referred to as him earlier than signing Perry.

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“I used to be excited,” stated Weber, who received gold with Perry on Group Canada on the 2005 world junior championship and once more on the 2010 and 2014 Olympics. “I used to be tremendous completely satisfied that he had that in thoughts and we had been going to do it.”

Bergevin initially tried to signal veteran ahead Wayne Simmonds, who as a substitute determined to play for his hometown Toronto Maple Leafs, agreeing to a one-year, US$1.5-million contract. Perry turned out to be a blessing in disguise after that — and for half the worth.

At this level, it’s a must to suppose Bergevin will wish to deliver Perry again subsequent season, however it may cost him more cash.

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Interim head coach Dominique Ducharme was requested Friday at what level this season he realized he needed to hold Perry within the lineup.

“I’m unsure when,” Ducharme stated. “However simply taking a look at him and watching what he’s doing daily and particularly when video games had been on the road and him making a giant play on the proper time or getting a giant objective. He’s an actual gamer. There’s a motive why he’s been a part of so many groups that received championships. He was a giant think about these issues as a result of he is usually a distinction maker on the proper time and he’s bought that within him. It’s nice to see a man like him bringing his ardour to the group daily. He’s bringing lots.”

Perry credit the Hunter brothers for instructing him what it takes to win throughout his 4 seasons with the London Knights, the OHL junior crew they personal and function with Dale as head coach and Mark as GM. The Knights received the Memorial Cup throughout Perry’s last yr there in 2005 and two years later he received the Stanley Cup with the Geese.

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Perry constructed his household dream dwelling in London, Ont., the place he lives through the offseason together with his spouse and their son.

“The Hunters meant lots in my improvement,” Perry stated. “Helped me get to the subsequent degree. They run their group in London like a professional crew. So that you be taught from Day 1 what it means to be a professional. They train you a large number, they’re fiery. These two guys, they competed they usually instilled that in you. I nonetheless see them, I nonetheless speak to them within the offseason and we’re all the time speaking hockey and all the time speaking store. They’re all the time desirous to be taught as nicely they usually’re all the time asking questions. It’s an incredible relationship.”

Identical to the one between Perry and the Canadiens.

scowan@postmedia.com

twitter.com/StuCowan1

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