Sunday, April 18, 2021

Corey Perry Swatch Card

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Let me preface this by saying that Corey Perry's production this season with the Montréal Canadiens has exceeded expectations for a banged-up 35-year-old, for a player signed to $750K for a single season and for a player who had to go through waivers to be put on the taxi squad to start the season, as a healthy scratch for the opening game. Just like Michael Frolik.

He's had games where he's been a game-breaker, but he's also had games where he's been largely invisible, tired.

After stepping in to help a struggling powerplay under former head coach Claude Julien, Perry pretty much just stayed on despite the team middling in 21st position in that regard, an accepted fact like Daylight Savings Time. What should have happened before the Habs blew their allocated post-trade deadline call-up limits was alternating him and Frolik so whoever slotted in would give it their all knowing they didn't have to keep any energy for the next game.

Interim head coach Dominique Ducharme is on a tight leash: he doesn't have a contract for next season, but he also doesn't owe his veterans anything. He should have the leeway to make bold moves and think outside the box, unlike Julien, who has historically preferred benching and punishing his rookies and sophomores for every minor mistake they made while giving older guys the benefit of the doubt, usually with disappointing results.

And yet there are Perry, Jonathan Drouin, Shea Weber, Carey Price, Eric Staal et al., getting their regular shifts in despite younger players outperforming them, in the hopes that they'll turn their season around at some point.

Considering the team was the last one invited to last season's post-season play-in and had missed out on the playoffs the previous three seasons, it's a trend you would have hoped would have been bucked with a new coach, a fresh face, a new message. So either Ducharme's been told directly by GM Marc Bergevin to toe the company line or he feels it's his best bet for an extension; either way, it's short-sighted, and he's not showcasing anything special for any of the other 30 (soon to be 31) teams to keep him in mind for their future vacant coaching jobs.

And I mean all of that specifically out of respect for the former Hart and Rocket Richard Trophy winner, as attested from this card commemorating his heyday:
That's card #1 from the Banner Season sub-set of Panini's 2011-12 Limited collection, featuring a two-colour stitch from a game-worn jersey swatch.

Perry has won a Stanley Cup with the Anaheim Ducks, played in a Final with the Dallas Stars last season, and has two Olympic gold medals with Team Canada (2010 and 2014), World Championship gold (2016, as captain), a Canada Cup (2016), World Juniors gold (2005) and a Memorial Cup (2004-05).

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