Anaheim Ducks: Comeback of the Year— Corey Perry

VANCOUVER, BC - MARCH 26: Corey Perry #10 of the Anaheim Ducks congratulates teammate John Gibson #36 after winning their NHL game against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena March 26, 2019 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Anaheim won 5-4. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)
VANCOUVER, BC - MARCH 26: Corey Perry #10 of the Anaheim Ducks congratulates teammate John Gibson #36 after winning their NHL game against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena March 26, 2019 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Anaheim won 5-4. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images) /

The Anaheim Ducks have become acquainted with the injury bug, and this season, there were several comebacks we were anxious to see.

Injuries are one of the most unfortunate parts of hockey. They are often times unavoidable and can sometimes be career altering or ending. The Anaheim Ducks are no stranger to the injury bug and unfortunately, it struck hard this year. Nevertheless, there were several comebacks we were able to witness this season.

Comeback of the Year— Honorable Mentions

Kevin Roy (2% of the vote): Last year, the Anaheim Ducks signed Kevin Roy to a one-year two-way deal. During the 2017-18 season, he succeeded at both the NHL and the AHL level. While he may have only registered 7 points in 25 games with the big club, his game has everything the Ducks were looking for to make the transition into the new style of hockey. He has speed, skill, and is a scoring threat. Nevertheless, a one-year contract normally means one thing, prove it.

The unfortunate news is that Roy sustained an injury during training camp that would keep him out for a majority of the season. His change to “prove it” grew smaller the longer he was kept on the sidelines. However, after what they had seen last season, Ducks Nation wanted to see what Roy had to offer and whether he could make a difference in the line up after spending some time in San Diego last season.

Roy ended up playing only 14 regular season games this year between the Anaheim Ducks and the San Diego Gulls. While he was unable to register any points during his 3 games with the Ducks, his return was exciting and intriguing. The Ducks have the change to extend him once again, and hopefully, they see past his injury and give him one more shot at making the leap into the NHL full time.

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Patrick Eaves (16% of the vote): The story of Patrick Eaves is one that inspires hope. His exit last season left all of us feeling heavy of heart when it was announced that he was suffering from Guillain-Barre Syndrome. While the prognosis didn’t look good, a diagnosis that severe would most likely mean he would not be returning to the ice. At least, not at any professional level.

Just when it looked like his days in the NHL were up, doctors discovered that their diagnosis had been wrong from day one. Instead, he was suffering from a post viral syndrome, something that was much more manageable and would give him the opportunity to return to the Anaheim Ducks sometime during the 2018-19 season.

During the offseason in 2018, Eaves had shoulder surgery to repair a lingering shoulder ailment. After his 14 point season in 20 games with the Ducks near the end of 2017, plus his 4 points in 7 playoff games, his presence on the ice would add much-needed leadership and possibly a scoring touch. He returned to the ice on November 11, 2018, after a year-long battle.

Unfortunately, he would only play 7 games with the Ducks before his season was, again, ended prematurely. It seems like it could possibly be the end of the line for the veteran winger, Patrick Eaves, but his story will always be an inspiration for Ducks Nation.

Ryan Kesler (22% of the vote): Ryan Kesler is a warrior through and through. Questions surrounded his return to the point that many rumors and reports said he would sit out the 2018-19 season. Nevertheless, his 1,000th game was so close he could taste it.

Over the past several years, Kesler has been a staple of the Anaheim Ducks lineup, serving as their shut down center. His gritty passion was missed on the ice and something that could not be replaced easily. Throughout the offseason, he worked tirelessly to figure out how to play without his hip getting in the way.

After being spotted in a no-contact jersey at practice, Ducks Nation began to get antsy for his return. Finally, on October 10, 2018, after a last minute decision, Ryan Kesler made his triumphant return against the Arizona Coyotes and he did so in typical Ryan Kesler fashion. Just moments into his second shift on the ice, at 5:52 of the first period, Kesler scored the first goal of the game after digging the puck off of Antti Raanta‘s pads in the midst of heavy traffic.

He may have only registered 8 points in 60 games. However, his determination to get to 1,000 is a testament to his strength and integrity. His recent hip surgery will more than likely see him sidelined for the entirety of the 2019-20 season, but we could see him return once again in 2020-21.

Comeback of the Year— Corey Perry (60% of the vote)

Many criticized Corey Perry for his decline over the past few seasons. Once a Rocket Richard recipient, his point production slowly began to slip down a slippery slope. It was often attributed to his age; Father Time is no respecter of persons and Perry is at the tail end of his career.

2018-19 was the season Ducks Nation expected him to make a comeback or they were fully prepared to move on. The prospect of Corey Perry finishing his career in something other than a Ducks sweater would have been a tough pill to swallow, but the weak links needed to be weeded out of the team, even if they’ve been with the team since their career began.

During practice in September, prior to a pre-season game against the Arizona Coyotes, Corey Perry was helped off of the ice. He was missing from the lineup, but our worst fears were confirmed when it was announced that he had undergone surgery to repair a torn meniscus and MCL in his right knee.

The injury to his knee would keep Perry sidelined until February at the latest. It was later revealed that CP10 had been dealing with knee issues for the past few years. While that news was good, especially concerning his “comeback, it was uncertain how the injury would affect his future in the NHL.

After months on the sidelines, Corey Perry made his return on February 2, 2019, at the tail end of the Anaheim Ducks third and final losing streak. He would register his first point just three games later, and assist on Ryan Getzlaf‘s goal against the Montreal Canadiens. He scored his first goal against the Washington Capitals just a few nights later.

While 10 points in 31 games is slightly underwhelming for the likes of Corey Perry, we still saw flashes of the old CP10 we know and love. With his knee completely healed up, and many changes coming to the team, a new coach, new players, and more, we can only hope that Perry will make an even better comeback next season.

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