Rarely has domestic competition been so important for the Canadiens for many years. But while veteran Corey Perry appreciates the depth of the team, he’s going to fight to be in uniform game after game.
“As an athlete, you want to play every game and you have to prove yourself every day,” he agreed Thursday during a press briefing with Montreal journalists. You have to improve every day. There are a lot of good players on this team and positions are limited, but that’s a good thing. “
Hired on December 28 for a whopping $ 750,000, or minimum wage, Perry has mostly been employed with Michael Frolik and Ryan Poehling since training camp began. A battle is announced with three other players excluded, for the moment, from the first three lines on attack: Paul Byron, Jake Evans and Arturri Lehkonen. To those, Jordan Weal’s name should not be automatically dismissed either.
On leave this Friday, the day after an intra-team game, the Canadiens’ players will return to training camp on Saturday.
“There’s speed and a lot of skill on the team and once on the ice you notice that speed,” added Perry. With what I’m seeing so far in the early days of training camp, it’s exciting. “
Byron and Lehkonen are among the Canadiens’s frequently used shorthanded forwards while Evans has the advantage of being a natural center. All of these factors could tilt against Perry for the start of the season. The general manager Marc Bergevin will nevertheless have to maneuver with the payroll which, on the contrary, could smile on Perry.
Help young people
Experienced, Perry doesn’t get overly concerned with the current situation and avoids making waves. The forward knows full well that a season is often fraught with injuries and that the busy 2021 schedule risks giving way to a rotation of used players.
Despite his ardent desire to play, Perry also guesses that his role with the Canadiens will be to surround the younger ones, whether in practice or in games.
“I talk to them, I observe them and I help them with little games, little advice,” said Perry, who will be in his 16th season in the National Hockey League. I will try to use everything I have learned to pass it on to them. ”
Sooner or later, on and off the ice, Perry could prove very useful to the Canadiens, who have 1,045 regular season experience games and 145 more in the playoffs. The 2007 Stanley Cup winner with the Anaheim Ducks, the forward was also a member of the Dallas Stars, who lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the final last September.
Of the Canadian’s top three lines:
- Josh Anderson
- Joel armia
- Phillip danault
- Jonathan drouin
- Brendan Gallagher
- Jesperi Kotkaniemi
- Nick suzuki
- Tomas Tatar
- Tyler toffoli
Fighting for the last positions on the attack:
- Paul Byron
- Jake evans
- Michael frolik
- Artturi Lehkonen
- Corey perry
- Ryan poehling
- Jordan weal