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Blackhawks Column: Continuing The Curious Case of Corey Perry

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It was barely an hour after Chicago Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson addressed questions surrounding Corey Perry that his agent, via Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman dropped this:

The news that Perry stepped away after Davidson reaffirmed it was a team decision only cast a denser fog around whatever is going on.

With all of this, though, what is one supposed to make of it?

The Blackhawks Side Of Things

After it was thought to be simply a team declarative, it turns out that perhaps Corey Perry stepped away on his own terms.

From Davidson:

“There’s no update on that end,” Davidson said. “He’s away from the team and will remain so for the foreseeable future. I’m unable to provide any further update on that front.”

Okay, so he’s away from the team. Got it. But then when asked if it was the team’s decision, he indicated he “understood” why more questions were being asked.

“It’s been a team decision so far to hold him out and that’s all I’m able to provide,” Davidson said. “It is coming from the organization’s end–yes.”

When asked for more, Davidson declined to add beyond it.

“I don’t want to get into specifics on, ya know, who knows what, or what’s going on,” Davidson said. “We’ll just leave that internal for now.”

It was next asked if a trade could be involved. To which Davidson replied:

“To start ruling anything out is irresponsible so I’m just not gonna comment on any possible outcome of this.”

Just over an hour later, Perry’s agent responds by saying that it’s a personal matter and all but says the polar opposite of what Davidson had finished saying.

So Now What?

From Wednesday now through to today, the Blackhawks have been mum. Is it because they’re trying to cover something up?  Davidson’s dealings in the past have been very much whole-person, which was the development camp’s purpose. It really doesn’t feel like that would be the case. More on that in a moment.

Now a guy in Corey Perry who you brought in to be a leader specifically for this team is gone indefinitely per the team’s choice–well, that’s definitely going to raise some red flags.

But now with Perry’s agent coming out and releasing the statement on Twitter (X) that he did, it has the conversation ratcheted up to a whole new level along with confusion clouding it all.

There are factors beyond that, too. There is an element of the hockey world seething that the Blackhawks have Connor Bedard after everything that happened. Any issue-big or small–is one where they will leap and point indicating the Blackhawks aren’t truly repentant for what happened.

There’s another side disgusted by what the previous regime did and is in a ‘you’ve got to be kidding me’ phase of thinking. Many, if not all, are currently Blackhawks fans who were angered by what transpired, and with time and the words that accompanied it–willing to give a second chance.

Then this all happens.

Confusion is justified here and so is some irritation. Objectively then without emotion–what could be going on?

So What is the Objective Side?

To be honest, even I’m befuddled by all of it. On the one hand, you have the Blackhawks calling it their decision and then an agent–after the GM speaks–saying the opposite.

The truth is often in the middle and there’s a variety of things that could potentially be in play. My line of thinking–especially knowing everything the Blackhawks brought upon themselves in the past–leans to thinking that if it were a serious scandal, it would all have come to light by now. With the scrutiny and certainly a much harsher penalty coming in light of what happened before–why would they choose to obfuscate when they could simply come out and say from the beginning that he chose to leave to attend to personal matters?

Why, then, would they say it was their decision only to have Corey Perry’s agent claim the opposite?

Perhaps, as Davidson seemingly didn’t elaborate, and has been speculated on, that a trade is in the works. Maybe Perry has no desire to pick up and go somewhere like an Edmonton–especially after just signing with the team in July. Was he angered by this and told to cool off, with the team taking responsibility for it?

From a business perspective–they wouldn’t want to show their hand if a trade is indeed being worked on. In the meantime, you read his agent’s words and go to the human side of things. At the end of the day, a personal matter can mean a number of things. As a human being, you see that and essentially respect his space.

But it really doesn’t calm the storm of confusion.

Until then, we’re all here to wonder as this has seemingly been put to bed until Corey Perry is skating for the Blackhawks again, somewhere else, or sitting out for some time.

Things seemed resolved until they weren’t. But if there’s anything that was learned the last few days, it’s that all the answers have been given for now, and that a resolution doesn’t seem any more clear after those answers were provided.

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