There aren’t going to be many tears shed outside of Anaheim if Corey Perry is indeed on his decline. At the age of 32, he certainly is at the back of his peak at best. Perry’s on-ice habits, politely described as “ludicrously assholic,” combined with regularly scoring tons of goals haven’t won him many friends who don’t support the….well, whatever the fuck colors the Ducks claim to be other than black. Whatever they are, they look like shit-assed Running Man outfits. So there will be a large crowd waiting to have a good, soul-defining chuckle if Perry is going to be something of an anchor heading out from here. And given his mobility these days, anchors might take that personally.
Perry has only four goals this season, putting him on pace for 16 for the year. This follows a season in which Perry notched just 19 goals, the first time he didn’t mange 20 in ten seasons. Much as the Hawks saw with Marian Hossa for a few years, there’s been a decline in Perry’s shooting-percentage. The path has been 17.1%, 15.8%, 8.8%, and this year’s 8.2%. Of course, there is plenty of time for that to rebound this season, but the pattern is clear.
What has some eyebrows being raised in Orange County, at least the ones that aren’t drawn in and for those who are still able to actually manipulate the muscles in their face, is that Perry isn’t getting anywhere near the attempts he’s used to. He’s only managing 11.4 attempts per 60 minutes, which is down from 14.7 last year and the fifth consecutive season that number had dropped.
All of that adds up to Perry not getting the quality of chances as often as what made him one of the league’s most dangerous snipers. He’s individual expected goals per 60 is 0.5, a career-low by some margin. As you might imagine, Perry’s possession numbers have gone into the toilet along with his scoring metrics. Then again, everything is in the toilet with Perry as that’s his “special place.”
Clearly, Perry has struggled without Ryan Getzlaf, only totaling 60 minutes together so far this season. As we all know, living without your soulmate is tough, even if the higher connection is between two demented lizards like these two. With Getzlaf so far this season Perry’s possession numbers are almost break-even, which on this current iteration of the Ducks would be pretty high, as the Ducks can’t find their dicks with both hands at the moment. Perry is probably trying to heal Getzlaf’s broken face with his own hands, coming up with whatever eye-of-newt stew he has in the cauldron in the basement of the abandoned construction site he assuredly lives in.
Being 32 doesn’t mean it’s over, of course. Jarome Iginla, whose style Perry’s closely resembles in some ways, had three 30+ goal-seasons after the age of 32. Hossa managed a 30-goal season, a 29-goal one, and 26 last year after the age of 32. But what does appear to be clear is that Perry is going to need a playmaker of Getzlaf’s level to open him up, as he doesn’t quite get to the spots in the same way that he used to.
Perry is signed for three more years after this one, at a hit of $8.6 per season. Even if the Ducks hit the button on a rebuild after this season, no one’s going to rush to take that number unless Perry proves he’s going to have a revival in the sunset. The Ducks only have 10 skaters signed beyond this season, and Silfverberg is UFA after next season. There are going to be some hard decisions coming for GM Bob Murray.
Still, if the Ducks were to eat a portion of Perry’s salary and were determined to start over, Perry can probably still provide second-line scoring for three or four more years. That might be valuable enough to get someone to bite. But the Ducks aren’t there yet. They just might get there sooner than they thought.
Game #23 Preview