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Perry on facing Ducks for first time with Stars: 'It's going to be weird'

Veteran forward spent 14 seasons with Anaheim before signing a one-year deal with Dallas during the offseason

by Mike Heika @MikeHeika / Senior Staff Writer

Sometimes, the best fights you have are with your family.

Corey Perry and Andrew Cogliano are about to find that out.

Perry played his entire career with the Anaheim Ducks, amassing 988 game over 14 seasons and winning the Stanley Cup in 2007. Cogliano was with Anaheim for eight seasons, playing in 64 playoff games with the Ducks. So when each faces his old teammates for the first time Thursday night, it should be quite an experience.

"It's a date on the calendar that I saw when I signed here," Perry said after practice Wednesday in Frisco. "It's going to be weird, it's going to be exciting, and it's going to be good to catch up with some friends."

While Cogliano added: "It will be tough. I'm really good friends with a lot of guys on the team, to be honest."

Video: Perry discusses what it will be like facing ex-mates

Cogliano was acquired by the Stars in a trade for Devin Shore last January, so he has been around for a while. He said he understands how difficult this will be for Perry, who was bought out by the Ducks in the summer and signed with the Stars as a free agent. Perry injured his foot before training camp even began and had to rehab to get back on the ice. He has played in four games so far, but seems to have found a home on a line with Jamie Benn and Roope Hintz.

"You just see natural chemistry," said Stars coach Jim Montgomery of the line. "They read off of each other and they play fast off of each other. The puck always moves, and there's always a triangle in the offensive zone -- a sign of three guys that are really reading off of each other and playing well."

Montgomery went so far to say that in the limited time together, they are one of the best lines he has seen since he started coaching the Stars last season, comparing them to Benn, Tyler Seguin and Alexander Radulov.

"I think it's the best line I've seen here besides when Rads, Seggy and Jamie have been rolling," Montgomery said. "It's been the most threatening, and constant threat. They build momentum for us every shift."

That's high praise for Perry, who is 34 years old, missed much of last season following knee surgery and was bought out by the Ducks with two years remaining on his contract. He signed with the Stars on a one-year deal that has a $1.5 million base salary and an additional $1.75 million in possible bonuses, so he definitely is dealing with a lot of new scenarios.


Perry said the Ducks informed him before they started the buyout process and added that he understands their reasoning.

"I knew a couple of weeks before, they told me and let my agent know," Perry said. "We had a good talk. No hard feelings. It's a business and you move on. Sometimes, change is a good thing."

Perry has embraced that philosophy and that has helped him assimilate to the Stars. He already has been a calming factor inside the locker room, and the Stars are 2-2-0 since he started playing.

"He brings a real good boost of energy to our group," Montgomery said. "But the snot he plays with, the grease that he plays with, adds a lot to our team. I think he wills other people into the fight with him."

Of course, that makes things interesting when Perry will be playing against some good friends. Asked if the familiarity of his opponent Thursday will increase or decrease the grit in his game, Perry laughed.

Video: Montgomery, Stars anticipate tough game against Ducks

"I'm sure they know what I'm all about," he said.

Cogliano added that he too will be fired up to play his old team. He said he is good friends still with Ryan Getzlaf and a few others.

"I'm going to try to get a lick on Getzy," Cogliano joked. "I can catch him for sure."

Montgomery said he feels Perry will be motivated.

"He's a pro, he's a competitor," Montgomery said. "I think he's relishing this opportunity. It's going to be bittersweet, but I think he's got a lot of fight in him and he wants to show that there's a reason they should not have let him go."

 

Dallas Stars vs. Anaheim Ducks

Thursday, 7:30 p.m. CT

Where: American Airlines Center

TV/radio: FOX Sports Southwest; The Ticket 1310-AM, 96.7-FM

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club.

Mike Heika is a Senior Staff Writer for DallasStars.com and has covered the Stars since 1994. Follow him on Twitter @MikeHeika.

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