June 16, 2024

On November 18, 2023, in Nashville, Tennessee, right winger Corey Perry (94) of the Chicago Blackhawks plays during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Nashville Predators. After the Blackhawks cut Perry’s contract for the current season due to unacceptable behavior, Perry is free to seek an NHL contract with any team. GEORGE WALKER IV PHOTOGRAPHY/The Associated Press, file

The hottest club in hockey seems to be adding more misery to its arsenal in hard-edged winger Corey Perry, after ripping off a record 13 wins in a row.

Perry and the Oilers have reached a deal, and an announcement is expected soon.

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A notoriously difficult opponent to play against, the 38-year-old veteran has developed a reputation as one of the league’s least favorite opponents. Perry could make a significant contribution to an Oilers squad that could need more toughness and playoff experience. Perry has played in 196 postseason games in his career.

The six-foot-three, 208-pound player is a fierce, adversarial character who enjoys playing hard, getting close to his opponents, and turning up the heat during a match. Additionally, he consistently scores double-digit goals.

The elements are coming together for the Oilers, who already have elite skill, a strong defensive structure, excellent goaltending, and strong special teams. Add that element to the mix.

In the spring, Perry advanced to the championship game with three separate clubs in three different years—Dallas in 2020, Montreal in 2021, and Tampa Bay in 2022—proving his worth. He also won a Stanley Cup with Anaheim in 2007.

In 1,273 NHL games, he has amassed 421 goals, 471 assists, and 1,392 penalty minutes.

The Oilers recent success is anchored not by offence and a historically-good power play, but rather a foundation of defence and goaltending that’s been very difficult to penetrate. When you haven’t allowed more than two goals in a game for 11 straight games, you’re doing something right and it’s becoming a habit.

“We’re playing well defensively, Skins (Stuart Skinner) is playing well, we’re getting contributions from all over,” said captain Connor McDavid. “The D men have played great. We’re just playing good, solid hockey.”

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