ARLINGTON, Texas -- Corey Perry's belief the Dallas Stars can win the Stanley Cup was the deciding factor that led him to sign a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Stars on July 1.
"I just want to win," the 34-year-old forward said after he and Stars goalie Ben Bishop took batting practice before the Texas Rangers played the Arizona Diamondbacks at Globe Life Park on Wednesday. "That's what it comes down to."
Perry, who played the first 14 seasons of his NHL career with the Anaheim Ducks, is the third-leading scorer in Ducks history with 776 points (372 goals, 404 assists) in 988 games and won the Stanley Cup with Anaheim in 2007. But knee surgery limited him to 31 games last season and the Ducks bought out his contract June 19.
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"You've been there once and you want to do it again," Perry said of winning the Cup. "It just lights a fire and you want to have that feeling again. I think Dallas is that close to having that feeling. If we just get off on the right foot and get going, anything can happen."
The Stars were 43-32-7 last season before losing to the eventual Cup champion St. Louis Blues in seven games in the Western Conference Second Round.
The next two months will give Perry a chance to get acquainted to a new city with his wife, Blakeny, and 2-year-old son, Griffin. At the same time, he is resolute in helping the Stars take the next step and is eager to play with Dallas' other offseason additions, including forward Joe Pavelski, who signed a three-year contract, and defenseman Andrej Sekera, who signed a one-year contract, each on July 1.
"I think they have a great group of players, both young and old," Perry said. "I know a lot of faces in that dressing room. I've talked to a bunch of guys already and they're excited. They want to start tomorrow and get the season going. But we'll take it one day at a time. You can't win a championship in October. You have to progress and work your way to that ultimate goal."
The day after he signed with Dallas, Perry told the Stars website he had the motivation "to prove people wrong." A little more than two weeks later, that mindset is still strong.
"It's going to be a fresh start," he said. "Like I said, it's motivation. Change can be a good thing and that's how I'm approaching it. I'm excited to get to work."
Perry did not play his first game last season until Feb. 2 because of injuries to the medial collateral ligament and meniscus in his right knee sustained during warmups before a preseason game against the Arizona Coyotes on Sept. 26. He said he doesn't take the Ducks' decision to buy him out personally but is using it as fuel to spark his comeback story.
"You never want to hear it, but it is a business and I get it," he said. "At the same time, it gives me motivation and I put last year behind me with the injury and all of that.
"It's not like I have any hatred towards the organization in Anaheim. They couldn't have been more supportive with how they handled the situation. I have the utmost respect for [general manager] Bob Murray and [owners] Henry and Susan Samueli. They got me into the League and helped me progress as a player and as a person.
"But being that, it's lit a fire and that's what excites me the most."