Forward Corey Perry was not with the Chicago Blackhawks for the second day in a row on Thursday, which didn’t worry his teammates.
Luke Richardson left the highly regarded veteran out of the lineup for yesterday’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, which the Illinois team lost 7-3. The head coach said after the meeting that the Hawks made an “organizational decision.”
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After Thursday’s practice, the former Montreal Canadiens assistant coach was equally cryptic about the reason for Perry’s absence, which did not fail to provoke reactions.
“I know you have questions about Corey Perry not playing last night and not being at practice today, but we’ll keep all of that in house. I’m not going to take any more questions about that,” Richardson said, according to NBC Sports Chicago.
In a team where experienced players are few and far between, especially in the absence of Taylor and Andreas Athanasiou due to injuries, Perry’s absence is unbelievable.
“Obviously it’s a shame that he’s not here, but we don’t really have any information on that. He’s an important player for this team and I don’t like him not being there,” admitted Connor Bedard.
“We have a lot of young players, so it’s a shock,” said 36-year-old forward Nick Foligno. But we have to be professional. (…) It is external noise that you have to push away, be it this or something else that is happening in your life. There’s work to do when you get to the arena.”
The Blackhawks – with or without Perry – will face the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday afternoon at the United Center.