Corey Perry has broken his silence on the rumors surrounding his contract terminationhad .
The NHL veteran addressed the issue in a statement Thursday night, just days after the Chicago Blackhawks announced he had been placed on “unconditional waivers.” 38-year-old Perry—who signed a one-year, $4 million deal with the team in June—didn’t provide details on what led to his dismissal, but made it clear it had nothing to do with Melanie Bedard, the mother of Blackhawks rookie Connor Bedard.
“I would like to sincerely apologize to the entire Chicago Blackhawks organization, including ownership, management, coaches, trainers, employees, and my teammates,” Perry said in a statement. “I would also like to apologize to my fans, and my family. I am embarrassed and I have let you all down.”
He continued, “As a result of my actions, there has been speculation and rumors. 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 behavior was inappropriate and wrong.”
The Blackhawks also kept details to a minimum, saying that Perry had been terminated after he engaged in “unacceptable” behavior and violated “the terms of his Standard Player’s Contract and the Blackhawks’ internal policies.” The lack of information led to a salacious online rumor that Perry had been cut after he hooked up with Melanie Bedard. The allegation became so prominent that Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson felt it was necessary to address.
“Last week, management was notified of possible misconduct by Corey Perry,” Davidson said during a press conference. “We pulled him from the game and conducted an internal investigation. Upon learning the findings of that investigation, we made the decision to terminate his contract. I will not be able to disclose any details.”
The GM did, however, say that Perry’s actions didn't "involve any players or their families, and anything that suggests otherwise, or anyone that suggests otherwise is wildly inaccurate. And frankly, it’s disgusting.”
TMZ later reported that Perry’s termination was a result of an “alcohol-infused incident” with Blackhawk staffers and sponsors. The athlete said he is now receiving treatment for substance abuse and mental health issues.
“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,” Corey Perry said in his statement, available in full below. “I hope to regain the trust and respect of everyone who has believed in me throughout my career. Once again, I am deeply sorry.”