70David Perron
Photo Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Flames free agent targets: David Perron

In a little-publicized and often overlooked event in recent Flames history, when Jarome Iginla was traded on March 28, 2013 in exchange for REDACTED , the organization was cursed by a vengeful sea witch who vowed the team would never have success at right-wing again. When reached for comment, the vengeful harpy noted that it was punishment for the Flames failing to supply Iginla with a true number-one centreman and that the cursed malediction stipulated that a painful, open canker would exist in the spot where Iginla languished for so many years.

It seemed like a harsh decision from the sea witch at the time, but hindsight is 20/20. Of course, I wasn’t in the dressing room with the witch, but I’m sure it had solid hockey reasons for the decision. Today, I will evaluate a possible right-wing option for the Flames: the pesky and well-traveled pending unrestricted free agent David Perron.   

As a result, there has been a seemingly never-ending search to find a suitable right-winger to play with the team’s top line of Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau. This past season, Michael Ferland, a converted left-winger, filled in that spot admirably, as Karim and Bill detailed here, scoring 21 goals and 41 points. However, the search continues for help on the right side, with the current depth chart featuring Michael Frolik (who has earned a ex3Mption from the indictment of the Flames RW depth), Troy Brouwer, Garnet Hathaway, Spencer Foo, Curtis Lazar, and the mere spectral presence of pending free agents Kris Versteeg and Chris Stewart. To look at that group and think “playoff contender” is not what the ancients would have called “intellectually honest.”

The sojourn continues this summer, as the Flames will survey a rather dismal right-wing free agent class, looking to help a position of need. One of the names that has been discussed briefly in articles by Christian here and Ari here, has been David Perron, the soon-to-be 31 year old winger from the Pacific juggernaut Vegas Golden Knights. Despite playing mostly as a left-winger, Perron has some experience playing on the right side and, importantly, is a right shot.

Here are some of his possession numbers from Natural Stat Trick:

PLAYER SH% CAREER SH% 5V5 CF% 5V5 CF% REL 5V5 OZS%
Perron 12.7 12.0 49.21 -2.08 53.48

Unfortunately for Flames fans hoping to see Perron in Cowtown, Perron is coming off a year where he scored 66 points in 70 regular season games and made it to the Stanley Cup Final. Despite the fact that he is on the wrong side of 30, one can expect that he is going to cash in big time.

A good comparison for Perron in terms of on-ice production might be Alexander Radulov, who, coming off a 54 point regular season for the Montreal Canadiens signed a five-year, $31.5 million dollar deal last July (with an AAV of $6.25 million). Like Perron, Radulov is a winger who plays his off-wing, specializes in producing offence, and was virtually the exact age that Perron is now heading into free agency.

Perron could also help the Flames’ power-play, pictured here last year, as he has been a fairly-reliable point producer with the man advantage throughout his career. As Ryan previewed here, new Flames power-play guru Geoff Ward employs a 1-3-1 strategy with four forwards the majority of the time. If Ward wants to use a right shot on the left wing, as has been common in this style of power-play, Perron would fit that bill nicely. Have a look here, utilizing his shot on the off-wing during even-strength play:

Another aspect of Perron’s game that the Flames may be interested in is his … peskiness? Annoyability? Jerk-factor? [Tkachukiness? -ed.] Something like that. He’s a pain in the Feaster. Perron has long been known as a player able to get under the skin of opponents without spending entire games in the box. Flames fans have become very familiar with the value in having players that can get opponents off their games and Perron seems to be able to do that as well.

However, Perron has also struggled with injuries, including concussions, in his career, so far only playing 82 games in a season once (though that was fairly-recently in 2016-17 with St. Louis). Perhaps concerns regarding durability may lower his price but it seems likely that Perron is poised for a rather large payday this summer. I am not sure many Flames fans would be behind a five-year, $6 million-plus deal for Perron but in terms of on-ice fit, I think it’s a no-brainer.

What do you all think? What would be an appropriate price for Perron?


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  • Franko J

    The main reason I would pass on David Perron was from the fact he really didn’t look that great in the playoffs for Vegas. I think there was more than a few games where he was almost invisible and really didnt show too much a contribution to them winning. Just my opinion from what I saw.

    • freethe flames

      I agree I thought he disappeared during the finals as well. The other thing is I think he will want too much money and term and I hope BT has learnt from his most recent FA experience to not offer both.