On Tuesday, the Blackhawks announced the termination of Corey Perry's contract, effective immediately if he clears waivers, on account of workplace misconduct with the Blackhawks.
Here's how it all unfolded.
Nov. 22: Perry became a late, healthy scratch for the team's game on the road against the Columbus Blue Jackets. After the game, head coach Luke Richardson said it was an "organizational decision" to scratch Perry. He participated in the morning skate but did not partake in warm-ups.
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Davidson said Tuesday the team found out about a "possible misconduct" while in Columbus. He said the investigation launched immediately, leading the organization to its decision to terminate Perry's contract.
Nov. 25: Davidson told the media Perry would be away from the team for the "foreseeable future." He did not disclose details about his absence but mentioned the decision stemmed from the organization to keep Perry away from the team.
On the same day, Perry's agent released a statement on his behalf:
"Corey Perry has stepped away from the Chicago Blackhawks to attend to personal matters," Pat Morris of Newport Sports Management told Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet. "Corey and his family appreciate privacy at this time."
Nov. 28: The Blackhawks announced their decision to place Perry on unconditional waivers. In the event he clears waivers, the Blackhawks said they would terminate Perry's contract regardless.
The team released a statement in the afternoon:
"After an internal investigation, the Chicago Blackhawks have determined that Corey Perry has engaged in conduct that is unacceptable, and in violation of both the terms of his Standard Player’s Contract and the Blackhawks’ internal policies intended to promote professional and safe work environments.
"As such, Corey Perry has been placed on unconditional waivers. In the event Mr. Perry clears waivers, we intend to terminate his contract effective immediately."
Later in the day, Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson spoke on the organization's decision to cut ties with Perry, without delving into details about the reasoning for his dismissal.
"First and foremost, I want to start off by reiterating that the organization is committed to a culture of accountability," Davidson said. "Last week, management was notified of possible misconduct by Corey Perry. 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."
Davidson also dismissed online rumors about Perry's conduct, saying it did not have anything to do with another one of his teammates.
"I do want to be very clear: this does not involve any players or their families, and anything that suggests otherwise is wildly inaccurate, and frankly, it’s disgusting," he said.
Davidson was asked if the matter involved law enforcement and emphasized that it was a "workplace matter" while declining to offer further details.
Perry had been scratched from the team's lineup in Columbus on Wednesday, with Davidson saying the team learned of the allegations while the club was in Ohio. He said the investigation began immediately, and culminated Tuesday with the decision to terminate Perry's contract.
He said that the rapidly evolving investigation shows the organization's commitment to accountability
"I think more than anything, it reinforces the resolve that we have to change the culture and make sure we’re doing the right things and upholding our values and making sure that we continue to build a culture of accountability," he said.
Davidson said the team had been informed of the decision, but they were not made aware of details involving the allegations against Perry.
"They just kind of listened," he said of the meeting.
Davidson said that the NHL and the NHL Players' Association had been kept up-to-date with the progress of the investigation, and was informed of the team's decision before it was announced Tuesday.
A visibly emotional Davidson said that he had been struggling with the fallout from the allegations, but said that it reinforced his resolve to continue improving the organization's culture.
"I think it’s so fresh that we’ll get through today, and we’ll always evaluate," he said. "It goes without saying, after something comes up, you’re always trying to get better. I don’t see why that wouldn’t be the case. We’re always looking to be better than we were the day before."