David Perron followed the Penguins as a kid growing up in Sherbrooke, Quebec.
In fact, his favorite player was Alex Kovalev.
So it was an exciting moment for Perron when he learned that the Penguins had acquired him in a trade on Friday afternoon.
“I followed Pittsburgh a ton while growing up, the team in general,” Perron said. “It’s pretty special that I’ll have a chance to play for the Penguins.”
The 6-foot, 200-pound winger was brought to Pittsburgh in exchange for Rob Klinkhammer and a 2015 first-round pick. He’s under contract through the 2015-16 season, and his deal has an average annual value of $3,812,500.
Perron, 26, won’t be the lineup for Friday night’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, though he is scheduled to arrive sometime this evening and will head to the rink to meet his new team.
“If I had a chance to play tonight I would definitely take it,” Perron said. “In the end it might be better to breathe a little bit. I’ll organize myself, try to call everyone back and get there when I can.
“There will be nerves coming into the rink and meeting new teammates, a new staff, new media, new fans, everything.”
The addition of Perron will bolster the Penguins’ depth on wing and add a scoring threat. He'll likely play in the top-six alongside Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin. Perron, who is comfortable playing both left and right wing, is a unique and exciting blend of skill and grit. He’s a three-time 20-goal scorer – registering 28 last season with Edmonton – but also likes to use his body to punish the opposition.
“I like to play a smart game, making plays and winning battles,” Perron said. “I focus on winning every single battle, whether it’s along the wall in the D zone and trying to get the puck out or when it’s in the corner in the O zone. I try to be physical and separate guys from the puck.”
Perron is also a frequent visitor to the opponent’s crease area. He likes to get those dirty goals in the blue real estate.
“I’ve gotten a lot of those so far in my career,” Perron said. “I like to hang around there and battle with defensemen, chipping pucks, creating chaos for the other guys.
“I like to create more room, make some plays around the net and put it in the back of the net. A lot of little things that sometimes go unnoticed. Hopefully, I can bring it every night.”
Perron said he found out about the trade via Twitter, but was called shortly after by Edmonton’s Craig MacTavish. Perron said he respects MacTavish and appreciated not only the chance to play for the Oilers, but also now the Penguins.
“Having this kind of opportunity is pretty surreal. We all know the type of players this team has. I’m going to come in, work as hard as I can and try to fit in anyway that I can.”
Though he doesn't know exactly where he'll fit, he has the right attitude.
"Earlier in my career I cared about my role or establishing myself," Perron said. "But right now, all I care about is winning."