Corey Perry was not on Canada’s initial roster for the World Cup of Hockey, which – despite the country’s abundance of star talent – came as a surprise to many hockey fans at the time.
The Anaheim Ducks winger was, however, recently named as Jeff Carter’s replacement when the Los Angeles Kings forward sustained a lower-body injury while training.
“It was very difficult when I called him in June and told him the direction we were going with our initial group,” described Team Canada general manager Doug Armstrong during a Tuesday afternoon appearance on Toronto’s Sportsnet 590. “And then I asked him if he would consider being on that list of players if we needed to call. He said, ‘I’m a hockey player. Of course I’d love to represent my country.’
“So when we called him, he was all-in. I think it’s sort of a tiger by the tail right now. I think we’re going to get the best Corey Perry has to offer. He’s a competitive and proud player. He’s on the stage he wants to be on. I think he’s going to have a great tournament.”
Near the end of the 12-minute interview, co-host Jeff Marek offered a simultaneously subtle and not-so-subtle question that has been a talking point among fans.
“Doug, I’m going to ask you a question about P.K. Subban, indirectly, without using the name P.K. Subban. Considering this is a short tournament, how crucial is it to have safe hockey players – knowing that one mistake could be the end of your tournament.”
“I’m not sure safe is the correct word,” replied Armstrong. “We have explosive players. I think what Mike, when we put this team together – you look at the right side, the right side all played in Sochi. They were very good in Sochi, the top three guys. P.K. is a hell of a player. But hard decisions had to be made. Mike likes predictability, for sure, but it’s not predictability where there’s not creativity.”
Source: Sportsnet 590/ Transcript: Nichols