Chicago Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson said the decision to release Corey Perry was “a workplace decision,” but he declined to disclose any specifics about the incident that led to that decision.
Davidson did say that the Perry situation did not involve any other players or their families, calling any suggestion to the contrary “disgusting.” When asked for more specifics, he repeatedly said it was “an internal matter.”
“It’s been a tough couple days,” Davidson said.
The Blackhawks placed Perry on waivers for the purpose of terminating his contract on Wednesday, one week after making the veteran forward a healthy scratch for undisclosed reasons.
Davidson said the club learned of an incident last Wednesday ahead of a game against the Blue Jackets. Perry was pulled from the lineup immediately and the decision to waive him came after an internal investigation.
“After an internal investigation, the Chicago Blackhawks have determined that Corey Perry has engaged in conduct that is unacceptable, and in violation of both the terms of his Standard Player’s Contract and the Blackhawks’ internal policies intended to promote professional and safe work environments,” the club said in a statement after Perry was placed on waivers.
“As such, Corey Perry has been placed on unconditional waivers. In the event Mr. Perry clears waivers, we intend to terminate his contract effective immediately.”
Perry joined the Blackhawks on a one-year, $4 million contract this summer to provide veteran leadership for a rebuilding club.
When contacted by Sportsnet, a spokesman for the NHLPA said, “We are reviewing the matter.” The union has 60 days from when the contract is terminated to file a grievance.
Davidson said he spoke to the other players on the Blackhawks roster Tuesday but added that none of them know any specific details about the incident.
The Blackhawks culture has been an important topic in recent years after a report by Jenner and Block disclosed failures by the organization in handling sexual assault allegations made by two players against former coach Brad Aldrich.
Davidson, when asked about the team’s culture, said the handling of the Perry situation shows an improvement in that area.
“I think more than anything, it reinforces the resolve we have to change the culture and make sure we’re doing the right things,” he said.