Corey Perry meets with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, AP source says

Corey Perry #94 of the Chicago Blackhawks stretches on the ice prior to the game against the Arizona Coyotes at Mullett Arena on October 30, 2023 in Tempe, Arizona. (Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images) / Getty Images)

Corey Perry met with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman this week and remains eligible to sign with any team, according to a person with knowledge of the meeting.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday on condition of anonymity because the private meeting did not have anything to do with Perry’s eligibility.

Perry requested the meeting, roughly six weeks after the Chicago Blackhawks terminated his contract, citing inappropriate conduct. He was never banned or unable to sign with any of the league’s other 31 teams since becoming a free agent.

Multiple messages sent to Perry’s agent, Pat Morris, seeking comment were not immediately returned.

Chicago put Perry on unconditional waivers and then terminated his $4 million deal for this season, saying he acted in violation of his Standard Player Contract and club policies "intended to promote professional and safe work environments." The Blackhawks did not go into any further detail about what Perry did, other than general manager Kyle Davidson calling it a workplace matter that did not involve law enforcement.

Perry said after being released he had begun working with mental health and substance abuse experts to discuss his struggles with alcohol. In an email to several media outlets, Perry apologized to the organization, teammates, coaches, fans and his family, saying, "I am embarrassed, and I have let you all down."

The Peterborough, Ontario, native was in his 19th NHL season and on his fifth organization after stints with Anaheim, Dallas, Montreal and Tampa Bay. He won the Stanley Cup with the Ducks in 2006 and was MVP in 2010-11 when he led the league in goals.