Anaheim Ducks 2018-19 Grades: Corey Perry Didn’t Have the Comeback We All Hoped For

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - MARCH 14: Corey Perry #10 of the Anaheim Ducks awaits a face-off during the first period of the NHL game against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on March 14, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, ARIZONA - MARCH 14: Corey Perry #10 of the Anaheim Ducks awaits a face-off during the first period of the NHL game against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on March 14, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Corey Perry spent most of the Anaheim Ducks 2018-19 season on the sidelines. We hoped surgery would encourage an eventual comeback, but he didn’t quite have the comeback we hoped for.

Over the past few seasons, Corey Perry has gained criticism from the Anaheim Ducks fanbase for his slow, but steady, decline. The former 50 goal scorer hasn’t been the same steady and dependable player we’ve all come to count on since he dipped below 60 points during the 2016-17 season and progressively got worse from there.

No one could really pin down exactly what had happened to “Scorey Perry” and why he was declining. His age was thought to be a significant factor. He had never been the fastest player and made up for it with his skill. Besides, Father Time is currently the only one in the NHL who is undefeated. Answers, unfortunately, came when he was laid up for a majority of the 2018-19 season due to a knee injury.

During a pre-season warm-up, Perry left the ice with a pretty significant injury, having torn his meniscus and MCL. Surgery was inevitable, but according to General Manager, Bob Murray, these were issues that CP10 had been dealing with for quite some time, which could be a reasonable explanation for his decline.

"“He was doing the normal things he does at the end [of the warmup] and he pushed off hard on the right leg and it popped. Obviously, that’s because the MCL wasn’t tight. He’d been fighting that even though he wears braces on both knees. Maybe, as I tried to say to him [Tuesday], in this dark cloud maybe the silver lining is he gets it corrected. Let’s face it, Corey is a competitor and he wouldn’t come out of the lineup. He just keeps coming back. Maybe we should have fixed it a long time ago.” -Bob Murray, General Manager of the Anaheim Ducks"

Fans were given a timeline of 5 months, which would have put him back on the ice around the trade deadline, early March at the latest. Many really hoped that knee surgery would spark a comeback in Perry, slightly similar to that of Teemu Selanne. Nevertheless, we knew better than to get our hopes up.

Did Corey Perry Come Back Too Soon?

It was a surprise to everyone when Corey Perry re-entered the lineup on February 2, 2019, almost a full month before he was projected to come back. This allowed him to play 31 games with the Anaheim Ducks. However, it is quite possible that he came back from his injury way too soon.

Even though Perry’s production has stalled over the past few seasons, he has never dipped below 49 points. While we know Perry can do much better, these aren’t horrible point totals for a player who is 34-years-old and was dealing with knee issues.

When he came back from his injury, however, the veteran winger posted a season total of 10 points. If he would have played for the entire season, he would have been on pace to post only 26 points, the lowest of his entire career, aside from his first season with the club.

Perry has mentioned in several interviews that it was difficult to come back in February. The main reason being that his teammates were already several steps ahead of him, having been playing from the beginning of the season. However, it is important to note that he hasn’t been shy about the fact that he didn’t feel quite confident on his knee when he first returned to the lineup.

Although that changed as his short season went on, it definitely hindered his progress in the long run. Skating has never been his strong suit and playing alongside teammates, as well as opposing teams, that play a faster game than he does was a huge pitfall for him while he was adjusting to the game after an injury as significant as the one he had.

Farewell Corey Perry

While I am still a firm believer that Corey Perry is still a great NHL player, Bob Murray no longer felt like CP10 was a good fit for the team as they moved in a new direction going into 2019-20. This lead to one of the most heartbreaking moments of the Anaheim Ducks offseason.

More from Ducks News

After waiving his No Movement Clause, the Anaheim Ducks made the bold decision to buy out the contract of Corey Perry. Hockey is a business, yes, and things like this do happen. However, another chapter in the Anaheim Ducks history books came to a startling close.

The Dallas Stars were quick to make a move and sign Corey Perry in Free Agency. He is determined to make that comeback we all hoped he would make. After last season, the Stars could very well be contenders in 2019-20, especially after several incredible offseason moves, which gives Perry a good shot at winning the Stanely Cup once again.

Although we’d love to see him raise Lord Stanely in a Ducks sweater, there are a lot of fans who are willing to support him no matter what (as long as he isn’t competing against Anaheim.) Saying farewell is never easy, but I have a feeling this isn’t the last the Anaheim Ducks organization will see of Corey Perry.

He is, and always will be, an Anaheim Ducks legend. However, due to his poor performance this past season, due to no fault of his own, we must grade him fairly. While our grade may seem a bit harsh, we only have a small sample size to analyze his overall performance during the 2018-19 season.

Final Grade: D+

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Do you think we were too harsh on Corey Perry or spot on? Let us know what grade you would give the veteran winger by leaving a comment for us in the comment section down below.