Corey Perry's contract was bought out by the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday.
"This has definitely lit a fire in me," the 34-year-old forward told TSN on Thursday. "I want to win again. I've felt that feeling at every level and I want to feel it again. I watch teams win the Stanley Cup every year and I see how much emotion comes up when they win. It's the hardest trophy to win and you need on-ice leadership and experience. I will get back to the player I used to be."
Perry had two seasons remaining on an eight-year contract he signed March 18, 2013; it contained a no-move clause. He had 10 points (six goals, four assists) in 31 games this season after missing the first four months following surgery to repair injuries to the medial collateral ligament and meniscus in his right knee.
"It was just one of those things. When I was told, I didn't expect that to come out of their mouths," Perry said. "I respect their decision. It's tough when you've been there for so long, it's all you know. But I don't have a bad word to say about the Ducks and how they've treated me over the years. Everyone in the organization was good to me."
Perry scored at least 30 goals six times in 14 seasons with Anaheim, including an NHL-leading 50 in 2010-11, his NHL career high. He won the Hart Trophy voted as the NHL most valuable player that season.
"This is one of the most difficult decisions I've had to make in my 44 years in the NHL," Ducks general manager Bob Murray said. "Corey gave everything to this franchise for 14 years, never giving an inch to his competitors. While his scoring touch became undeniable, his will to win became his greatest attribute.
"We thank Corey for everything he's meant to the Ducks organization. No matter what he elects to do from here, Corey, his wife, Blakeny, and his son, Griffin, will always be part of the Ducks family."
Perry, who won the Stanley Cup with the Ducks in 2007, ranks first in Anaheim history in games played (988), second in goals (372) behind Teemu Selanne (457 goals), and third in assists (404) and points (776). He was third on the Ducks in scoring in 2017-18 with 49 points (17 goals, 32 assists) in 71 games.
"It stings," Perry said. "How many guys have played 1,000 games with one team? Not many. I sit here and say, well, with some of the injuries, I would've already been there. I was so close."
Perry was selected by the Ducks in the first round (No. 28) of the 2003 NHL Draft.
"On behalf of the entire Ducks organization, we want to thank Corey Perry for his tremendous contributions to the franchise. For many years, Corey has epitomized what it means to be a Duck, playing an aggressive, relentless game while being a compassionate and giving member of the Orange County community," owners Henry and Susan Samueli said in a statement.
"While today is a difficult day, we celebrate and recognize Corey's outstanding Ducks career. He played the most games by any player in club history and is the only Hart Trophy winner in the history of the franchise. He represented the Ducks at four NHL All-Star Games, and of course, played a pivotal role on the 2007 Stanley Cup champion team. We consider Corey's career to date to be Hockey Hall of Fame-worthy, based on his accomplishments with the Ducks and his six separate team championships. "But we are most proud that winning a team championship at every level never changed who he is: a selfless and dedicated individual committed to enriching the lives of youth and those in need."