There’s a lot to like about David Perron. His ability to score, his versatility on the power play, or being the commissioner of locker room ping pong, Perron is a valuable piece to the Golden Knights success on and off the ice.
But the deadline is coming and Perron’s name will remain in the rumors unless he signs the dotted line. So the question becomes, is David Perron replaceable?
There’s a lot Perron does that could be viewed as replaceable. 11 goals in 39 games is solid, but it’s not impossible to find elsewhere. His contributions on the power play are important, but with the recent struggles that argument’s losing steam. Finally, there’s his ineffectiveness at times defensively and a penchant for taking lazy penalties that was a real problem earlier in the year.
However, there’s a specific skill Perron possesses that no one else on the Golden Knights has, and is very difficult to find on the open market. Simply put, you can’t take the puck off David Perron’s stick. Look, here are some examples.
Example 1: Perron starts with the puck along the boards above the circle. He skates it down beneath the goal line, turns, navigates out of traffic back to the circle, stops, and feeds a pass back down to Neal.
Example 2: Neal drops a pass off to Perron who takes it into a dangerous area before turning back towards the boards. He’s slashed by one of the three players trying to take the puck off him, yet he maintains control and feeds it back to the point.
Example 3: The Golden Knights power play (which was a disaster) is ending. Instead of dumping the puck in, like all four Lightning players thought he was going to do, Perron circles back toward his bench, outskates a forechecker, then turns up the ice, navigates traffic, and begins an attack. Eakin went offside, but if he didn’t Perron had created something out of absolutely nothing, all by himself.
Example 4: This is in overtime in the 2nd game of the year. Perron takes the puck into the boards, absorbs the contact (and a hook that wasn’t called), spins and throws an incredible bank pass to Neal. Neal scores, Vegas wins.
The Golden Knights do not have a lot of great puck carriers, instead, they normally create their offense from transition through passing and quick decision making. Perron offers the Golden Knights the ability to control the puck in the offensive zone without much fear of losing it and springing an odd-man rush the other way. There’s no one else who can maintain possession of the puck like Perron can, and it’s a skill that’s only going to get more and more valuable as the games tighten up.
I take pride in finding guys in open ice and creating space for them. I take pride in finding those spots for them. I tell them all the time to get open because I’m going to do everything that I can to find them. Of course, it’s less shots for me. –David Perron to HockeyBuzz.com
Throw in the fact that Perron appears to be one of the most vocal leaders in the dressing room, he’s always willing to talk after games whether a win or a loss, and he leads the charge of taking responsibility for mistakes, something that’s become a hallmark of the Golden Knights.
It goes beyond points and goals for David Perron. He simply does things other players on the current Golden Knights roster either can’t or won’t. Losing him would hurt, and hurt bad, believe me.
(Perron was injured for a six-game stretch from November 25th to December 5th. The Golden Knights went on a three game losing streak and only came out of it because they played Arizona twice. They scored 2.67 goals per game during that stretch. They average 3.38 for the season. But I’m not allowed to talk about that cause it’s a “small sample size.” That’s why it’s down here in the dreaded end of article parentheses.)