Corey Perry released a statement regarding his mysterious contract termination Thursday, apologizing to his fans, teammates and family, but failed to shed any more light on why he was dropped from the Chicago Blackhawks.
“I would like to sincerely apologize to the entire Chicago Blackhawks organization, including ownership, management, coaches, trainers, employees, and my teammates. I would also like to apologize to my fans, and my family. I am embarrassed and I have let you all down,” Perry wrote in his statement, which was shared to X by Hockey Night in Canada‘s Elliotte Friedman.
“As a result of my actions, there has been speculation and rumours. I am sickened by the impact this has had on others, and I want to make it clear that in no way did this situation involve any of my teammates or their families. Most importantly, I want to directly apologize to those who have been negatively affected and I am sorry for the additional impact to others it has created. My behaviour was inappropriate and wrong.”
On Tuesday, a startling revelation was made that Perry had been placed on waivers by the Blackhawks with the purpose of terminating his contract. The news came more than a week after Perry had mysteriously disappeared from the Blackhawks lineup.
“After an internal investigation, the Chicago Blackhawks have determined that Corey Perry has engaged in conduct that is unacceptable, and in violation of both the terms of his contract and the Blackhawks’ internal policies intended to promote professional and safe work environments,” the statement read.
“As such, Corey Perry has been placed on unconditional waivers. In the event Mr. Perry clears waivers, we intend to terminate his contract effective immediately.”
On Wednesday, he cleared waivers and his one-year, $4 million contract came to an end.
The circumstances surrounding Perry’s alleged “unacceptable” conduct have not been made public. In the absence of more information, one unsubstantiated theory involving a teammate’s family member has gripped hockey fans.
Perry did, however, admit to struggling with substance abuse in Thursday’s statement.
“I have started working with experts in the mental health and substance abuse fields to discuss my struggles with alcohol and I will take whatever steps necessary to ensure this never happens again. I hope to regain the trust and respect of everyone who has believed in me throughout my career. Once again, I am deeply sorry.”
In a Tuesday press conference, Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson slammed a salacious dominating theory involving a teammate’s family member as “wildly inaccurate.”
Davidson characterized Perry’s case as an “individual personnel matter” and said he wouldn’t be able to disclose any information about the findings of the Blackhawks’ internal investigation.
“However, I do want to be very clear on this one point: this does not involve any player or their families, and anyone that suggests otherwise is wildly inaccurate and it’s frankly disgusting.”
Perry’s last game with the Blackhawks was on Nov. 19. He is now an unrestricted free agent.
— with files from Global News’ Kathryn Mannie