David Perron already sees one advantage to joining the Edmonton Oilers: a non-stop flight from home to work.
"It's nice to be coming here, a direct flight," Perron said Thursday in his introduction to the local media. "Compared to St. Louis, there was like one or two connections all the time. It's fun, once you're on a plane, that you know you're going to get to your destination without any problems."
The Sherbrooke, Quebec native was traded to Edmonton from the St. Louis Blues on July 10. At 25 years old, he went from being one of the youngest forwards on his team to a middle-of-the-group player on his new one.
At 25 years old, David Perron has gone from being one of the youngest forwards on the Blues to a middle-of-the-group player on the Oilers. (Photo: Andy Devlin / Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club)
"I'll be one of the older guys, anyways, on the forward side," Perron said. "... I'll just try to come in the room and add on to what they have going right now. I think in a couple years we'll be able to tell where this team is really at."
Recovered from concussion issues that cut short two seasons before last year, Perron said he is looking forward to joining an Oilers offense that includes 19-year-old Nail Yakupov, 20-year-old Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, 21-year-old Taylor Hall, 23-year-old Jordan Eberle and 23-year-old Sam Gagner.
"As soon as you think about playing with these guys, [I'm] just really excited," said Perron, who had 10 goals and 15 assists in 2012-13.
He also said he's excited about playing in hockey-mad Edmonton.
"It's going to be different, but I love the game and I like to get up in the morning and see TV with hockey everywhere on it," Perron said. "It's going to be a different feeling than watching TV in St. Louis, for sure."
The Oilers dressing room also has a different feeling, opening as it does into a trophy case with five Stanley Cup replicas.
"It's fun to see there is a little bit of room for an extra one," Perron said. "So hopefully we get to that at one point. I think this team has some steps to do, but at the same time, you look at the group in place and the core players and it's just going to be some exciting years ahead."
Perron said he knows few players on the Oilers but has spoken to new coach Dallas Eakins about his expectations, including the opening fitness test.
"It's going to be a tough couple of days to start the camp," Perron said.
He expects it to get much better from there, and refuses to say this is a "fresh start" for him.
"I enjoyed every second of my time in St. Louis, and like I said earlier, I'm looking forward to a new challenge," Perron said.