David Perron will be making his return to the city where he played the first six years of his NHL career. Following practice on Wednesday, head coach Dallas Eakins talked about what the addition of Perron has meant to the team this season.
“That was an excellent move by Craig,” Eakins stated. “David's come in both feet in and done everything we've asked of him. And he's producing points and scoring goals.”
With the Oilers, Perron is enjoying a career year. He has a career-high 24 goals and his 46 points is only four off of his career high of 50 set in his sophomore season with the Blues in 2008-09. Perron’s 24th of the season came in the third period last night, drawing the Oilers to within a goal of the Wild in a game they eventually won in a shootout — a shootout which Perron himself also scored in.
“As soon as you get enough of those guys, it infests your whole team. Last night in the third period was a fine example of it. David was scraping and clawing,” Eakins continued. “That's what transforms your team from one that loses to one that wins “
Perron talked about his improvement this year, still on pace for his first 30-goal campaign.
“As a player you want to improve every year and I'm glad I did that. I look to do the same next year,” he said. “In Edmonton I'm more of a leader off the ice too, trying to teach these young guys to play the right way.”
One of those young players, Taylor Hall, talked about the influence Perron has had in the dressing room.
“He's been great. His play on the ice has been awesome. He's so strong down low. It's been a lot of fun playing with him. Hopefully we can get a win for him.”