QUEBEC CITY – When he signed his new contract, on the occasion of the opening of the free agent market, David Perron was in no rush to grant interviews to RDS and TSN as we see regularly during special broadcasts.
To be sure, Perron needed time to take the hit. The blow was to leave the St. Louis Blues where he imagined his third bout would continue by virtue of his compelling performance.
Shocked at not getting a really serious offer from the Blues before autonomy was triggered, Perron retired to the Detroit Red Wings option with a 9.5 million two-year deal.
Quebecer took a few days to hand over his thoughts to Jeremy Rutherford, the reporter in charge of covering the Blues Atletico. He needed time because he was shaken and convinced to find common ground with the management of the Missouri club.
Perron also revealed that his children cried when he told them that a move was needed and that the family would be leaving the city of St. Louis.
On Tuesday, as part of the Gagné-Bergeron Pro-Am, Perron agreed to return to this unexpected change.
“Of course it was disappointing compared to the fact that I spent several years of my career with the Blues, 11 seasons out of 15. My kids grew up there, we got used to it and we loved it. On this point it is really difficult, ”said the 34-year-old right-handed who found a serious offer useful.
“The seasons and my performances meant that I deserved, I think, to have a contract that made sense to be with the team. It’s been a few weeks, so I think it’s time to move on and be excited about going to Detroit.
Above all, Perron does not want to complain, he knows he is among the privileged of society. He has come a long way to reach it better than many other players.
Plus, he joins the organization led by Steve Yzerman who stands out as he did on the ice. It comes when the Red Wings aspire to warm up the teams fighting the playoffs.
A hockey fanatic, Perron has chosen not to gorge on videos or information about his new and young teammates.
“Honestly, I don’t know the team very well. I want to go free and give everyone a chance to have a first impression. I know we have good young people, I always hear about them from my friends or in interviews, “Perron explained on an interesting note.
If he was still among the Blues top scorers last season – and the most productive in the playoffs – Perron will need to show his leadership skills more than ever.
“I will try to have a leadership role. I am among the oldest or even the oldest. I am very proud of this, I have been the youngest for a few years and now I can experience the other side of the coin. I consider myself lucky, several players don’t go there, “she testified.
Particularly in St. Louis, Perron was able to prepare for this phase.
“I’ve been a leader with the Blues for several years. Maybe more behind the scenes without having a letter on the sweater. But for matches with five or six players, I was in the group. I was also involved when it was necessary to talk to the coach for a day off, for example. I should still be a part of it in Detroit. But I also want to be a leader on the ice. When you play well on the ice, your word carries more weight in the locker room, “described the author of 665 points in 973 regular games.
With Lucas Raymond, Moritz Seider and company, Perron could forget the disappointment of the divorce with the Blues. He also says he is fascinated by what Yzerman is orchestrating in Detroit.
“It is impressive and interesting. With what she built in Tampa, you see the culture she is trying to replicate in Detroit. I am happy to be part of this group. If you look at the rest of the organization, there’s (Nicklas) Lidstrom, (Niklas) Kronwall, (Kirk) Maltby, (Kris) Draper, (Shawn) Horcoff and (Dan) Cleary, “he targeted Perron as those ex pillars of the Wings have been hired in the hockey department, a role that already seems to attract him for his second career.
Perron then sees himself becoming, in turn, a mentor in Detroit with a uniform he will get used to wearing.
“I had several, but I think of (Keith) Tkachuk. He was tough, but fair to me. The way of approaching young people is now different. Today we know that young people play video games more, stay more in their hotel room. It will be my role to create a team spirit, bring the boys together and create an identity, “said the Sherbrooke skater.