When the Chicago Blackhawks acquired Corey Perry's negotiating rights from Tampa Bay during the 2023 NHL Draft, Chicago fans on social media reacted just how you imagined they would.
And when Perry officially signed his one-year, $4 million contract, it became real. Perry in a Blackhawks sweater? Huh?!
The main reason why it's been hard for fans to think about Perry in a red and white jersey is because of the heated 2015 Western Conference Final between Chicago and Anaheim, where the Blackhawks rallied from 2-1 and 3-2 series deficits to advance and ultimately win their third Stanley Cup in six years. Perry was a villain in that series, a role he's very good at playing.
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On the latest Blackhawks Talk Podcast, Perry acknowledged the Blackhawks-Ducks series from 2015 remains one of the most competitive he's ever been a part of.
"There were some tough games in that series," Perry said. "It felt like the ice got a little bit smaller and that's what happens in the playoffs, the ice does get a little bit smaller, it's a little harder of a game. At the end of the day, we didn't get the job done. We were up 3-2 going into Chicago.
"I still remember Antoine Vermette scoring the overtime winner in Game  and then going home for Game 7. It could have went either way and unfortunately we were on the losing end of it."
There was pure hatred on both sides, which is what made the series so epic. Every game felt like an absolute battle.
"It's exciting," Perry said. "When you're going toe to toe with guys, you know them personally because you've played with them in the Olympics or World Juniors or World Championships, but you put all that and you're out to win. You're playing for a Stanley Cup and that's what you dream of as a kid, is winning a Stanley Cup, and so you'll do anything to win. That's kind of what that series was all about."
Perry said he hasn't gotten any jabs from his former Ducks teammates about now playing for the Blackhawks, but he did laugh when he saw former captain Ryan Getzlaf's comments about it.
"I heard Getzy on a podcast or something or an interview, he said it was hilarious that I was going there," Perry said smiling. "But it is what it is. You put everything behind you and you just go out and you just keep playing, and that's what I'm doing."