Star seeks cup with former team
By Rachel Mangan
After spending three years on teams like the Edmonton Oilers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Anaheim Ducks, David Perron has finally returned to where it all started in 2007.
Perron was drafted by the St. Louis Blues back in 2007 , and he has spent the majority of his career in St. Louis thus far. However, he did take a few detours before returning to the starting place of his NHL career.
Perron was one of the more productive forwards on the Blues, scoring 20-plus goals in two out his first three seasons with the team.
However, Perron was traded to the Edmonton Oilers in 2013 in exchange for a bigger, younger forward in Magnus Paajarvi. According to Kevin Allen of USA Today Sports, it is likely the Blues made the trade due to the young players size and speed as cap space was not an issue with Perron’s contract .
In 2015, Perron was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins following Edmonton’s last place season finish in 2014-15 season. The Oilers were a struggling team needing to rebuild, and Perron wanted out of the last place franchise to somewhere he could win.
Perron said of the trade at the time (h/t Josh Cooper of Yahoo Sports):
“At the stage I’m at in my career, I think the first few years you’re just happy to be in the League and to get more ice time and more opportunities. After a few years you just want to win. Obviously it’s not going to happen this year in Edmonton. It’s nice to get an opportunity in Pittsburgh and to have that kind of trust they did to acquire me.”
Another positive note of Perron being traded to Pittsburgh was he didn’t have to hear about the promise of center Connor McDavid every few seconds. That’s one of the big problems with a last place team – when beliefs arise of one player fixing the team in one season’s time . And, spoiler alert, Connor McDavid gets hurt and misses most of his first season with the Oilers.
They were without McDavid after the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft fractured his left clavicle against the Philadelphia Flyers. An injury which required surgery and months of off-ice rehabilitation.
But David Perron escaped the rebuilding of the Oilers team in his trade to Pittsburgh when the Penguins obtained Perron in exchange for Rob Klinkhammer and a first round draft pick.
Perron filled a gaping void in Pittsburgh’s lineup, as the team was riddled with injuries and the mumps. Perron started out with a bang in Pittsburgh, but things quickly started to head south for both Perron and the Penguins as a whole with an early 2015 playoffs exit.
In January 2016, the Penguins shipped Perron and Adam Clendening to Anaheim for Carl Hagelin. This trade was a win for the Pittsburgh Penguins, as with Carl Hagelin added to the roster they were able to win the Stanley Cup. For Perron, the trade didn’t turn out nearly as well as it did for Hagelin.
Perron was not a good fit for the Anaheim Ducks either, as they are a team made up of large build players and a physical play style contrasting with Perron’s fast and skill-oriented style. It was no surprise that Perron would be signed to play elsewhere. What came as a surprise was the team that he got a contract with was the St. Louis Blues.
Per Pinkert of NHL.com, Perron said going home “feels natural .”
“I was here six years and I was only gone for three seasons. It’s nice to be back, just driving around town and seeing familiar faces. In that regard, it’s still the same. Same management, same head coach. I played with six or seven of these guys, and then there are other guys I played with in other organizations like Robert Bortuzzo. It’s nice, for sure.”
There are high hopes for the Blues entering the 2016-17 season after regaining Perron and newly acquired Nail Yakapov, while Alex Petriangelo being named the new captain after David Backes was picked up by the Boston Bruins.
Perron also mentioned, according to Pinkert of NHL.com, that he wants to get to know his teammates the team philosophy as well as he can.
“For myself, I just want to join the group and make it a seamless transition as far as how much success they had last year. I want to be a teammate where guys feel when I’m on the ice, I can make a difference. I won’t put any numbers or stats out there, because that depends on a lot of things. But for me, it’s to have success on the power play, have success on the team and everything else will fall into place. That’s my biggest goal. The team had a lot of success last year and you want to join the group and you don’t want people to realize there wasn’t that many changes. Just keep growing as an organization.”
Last season, the Blues made it to the conference finals before losing out on a chance for the Stanley cup to the San Jose Sharks. Could these changes to the roster lead to the franchise’s first ever Stanley Cup? We’ll have to wait and see.
The Blues have started the season hot, as they own a 3-0-1 record,after losing in overtime to Vancouver 2-1 on Tuesday.