Canadiens’ Perry intends to play next year, wants real Montreal experience

Corey Perry weighs his options for next season and talks returning to the Montreal Canadiens after coming up big in the playoffs.

Corey Perry got a taste of what it’s like to be professional hockey player in Montreal, and now he wants more.

In his season-ending availability on Friday, two days removed from a Game 5 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning that put an end to the Montreal Canadiens’ Cinderella Stanley Cup run, the soon-to-be free-agent forward expressed his desire to return to la belle province.

“Yes, I intend to play hockey next year. There’s still a lot of good hockey left in me, and I would love to come back to experience Montreal for what it’s like really being in Montreal,” said the 36-year-old, per Sportsnet’s Eric Engels.

Perry’s season in Montreal was far from the norm, played in front of an empty Bell Centre until Game 6 of their first-round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Perry, though far from the player he was in his heyday in Anaheim, put his blood (literally), sweat and tears into the Canadiens post-season push, putting up 10 points in 22 playoff contests en route to his second appearance in the Cup Final in a row.

After making headlines for getting placed on waivers to start the season, Perry, the 2011 Hart Trophy winner, carved out a niche in Montreal’s lineup, recording 21 points in 49 regular-season games.

Perry has signed back-to-back one-year deals after getting bought out by the Anaheim Ducks in the 2019 off-season.

Over the course of his 16-year NHL career, Perry has also won the Maurice Richard Trophy, a Stanley Cup, made four all-star game appearances and is a member of the exclusive Triple Gold Club.

In 1094 NHL games, he’s notched 386 goals and 432 assists for 818 points.

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