TAMPA, Fla. — It might take Tampa Bay Lightning fans some time to warm up to one of the new faces to this year’s roster.
Veteran forward Corey Perry now wears the blue and white sweater after instigating and getting under the skin of Lightning players during the last two Stanley Cup Finals.
Perry is one of those players that fans hate if he’s on the opposing team.
“He’s a little rat, I can say that,” Lightning forward Pat Maroon said.
But when he’s on your team, fans love him.
“You guys saw, he scores against us all the time,” Maroon added. “I think there is a reason why we had an eye on him this year to pick him up.”
Perry lost in the Stanley Cup Final to the Lightning in the last two seasons; with the Montreal Canadians last year and with the Dallas Stars in 2020.
“The guys called me and said they want to win again,” Perry said. “Those words coming out of guys' mouths so soon after winning that just shows you what kind of group we have here.”
Perry also spent several years with the Anaheim Ducks where he won a Stanley Cup in 2007 and the NHL’s Most Valuable Player award. It’s also where he became close friends with Maroon.
“He's kind of my neighbor now so it's cool to hang out with him, hang out with his wife, hang out with his kid,” Maroon said. “I’m really looking forward to it. I think he's going to be a huge asset to this team. I think he's willing to win again. He has a sour taste in his mouth. He believes this team can win three in a row.”
Perry could also end up playing on the same line with Maroon.
“I think that gritty line we had last year, I think he fits that. You've got to remember, he scored 50 goals in this league,” Maroon said. “He can score, and he can find ways to get around the net. He can be very effective on the power play, which we have a really good power play.”
The 36-year-old Perry signed a two-year, $2 million dollar contract with the Lightning.