Corey Perry said he hopes to finish his contract with the Dallas Stars by helping them challenge for the Stanley Cup.
“I feel really good,” the forward said in remarks published by the Dallas website this week. “I’ve been working hard. I’m not getting any younger, so I have to work hard. Some things you can’t control, so you adjust to whatever comes, and have fun with it.
“I know there’s more hockey left in me, and I’ll be ready when the time comes.”
The 35-year-old can become an unrestricted free agent after his one-year contract expires. He did not address his plans after this season, which was paused by the NHL March 12 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus and has no timetable to resume.
“I know where I am in my career and what the impact this would have,” Perry said. “I don’t want to lose this opportunity.”
Dallas (37-24-8) is third in the Central Division, behind the St. Louis Blues and Colorado Avalanche. Perry won the Stanley Cup with the Anaheim Ducks in 2006-07 and has played 118 Stanley Cup Playoff games.
“I look at our team and we’re a veteran team, but we also have a lot of youth in our lineup,” Perry said of the Stars. “I look at how [the St. Louis Blues won the Stanley Cup last season], how [the Boston Bruins] got to the [Final], and they played heavy games, and I see our team being like that. You need to have some grit in the playoffs, because the ice feels like it gets smaller out there, there’s not a lot of room. I feel our team is definitely built for the playoffs.”
Perry scored 21 points (five goals, 16 assists) in 57 games this season, and played his 1,000th NHL game on Nov. 13. He missed seven games with a foot injury and served a five-game suspension for elbowing Ryan Ellis of the Nashville Predators in the NHL Bridgestone Winter Classic.
“It’s been a bit of a roller coaster,” Perry said. “It was tough at the start to break my foot the day before camp. It was a freak accident and I had to work hard to come back. I started to get my feet under me, and then the suspension stopped that. But I really felt I was starting to play some good hockey and play more consistently and that was a good feeling. Now I need to try and get back to that.”