By LOU KORAC
ST. LOUIS -- Remember the moment David Perron was there to console his buddy Alex Pietrangelo, as the two skated off the ice at Rogers Place in the 2020 bubble?
That moment had all the feels like it could have very well been the last time Pietrangelo would put on a Blues jersey, and as it turned out, it was.
|(St. Louis Blues photo)
David Perron (right) is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July
13 but has indicated he wants to stay with the Blues.
Now it's Perron's turn to have those same feels, because now the 34-year-old can hit the free agent market on July 13 and sign with whomever he chooses if a new deal with the Blues isn't in agreement or signed.
But by all indications, both Perron and the Blues want to keep this marriage going. The 26th pick in the 2007 NHL Draft wants to stay here, and by all accounts, the Blues want to keep him here.
Perron had himself an outstanding season even after a concussion and COVID-19 tried slowing him down; he finished tied for third on the team with 27 goals, one off matching his career-high in 2013-14 and 57 points in 67 games this season.
Perron led the Blues in goals (nine) and points (13) in 12 playoff games, which ended in a second-round defeat against the Colorado Avalanche.
Perron let with the media on Tuesday and offered his thoughts on the season, his season, his willingness to stay in St. Louis and liking the core moving forward:
Reflection on the season:
It was a pretty good season. I thought we lost to a good team. We've got to find a way to improve over this summer as a group, as a team and come back at them. We've been a pretty consistent team for many years now and we want to keep doing that.
Is the team back on the map after postseason problems in years before:
I don't know if we ever left that category, but definitely beating Minnesota is always a good feeling to get out of the first round. You almost feel like the belief in the group increases every win that you get. And then again when 'Bozie' scored the overtime goal there (in Game 5 against Colorado) and if we would have just got one more win, I think we there's a chance we win that series obviously. So I think we're in that group. yeah.
On the fine line of wanting to be skilled, up-tempo, transition team and wanting to be a physical, gritty, get both elements at same time:
I think we can score many ways, we can play different ways. I think that's one thing that maybe we were missing times in the playoffs, just kind of going wave after wave, a little bit more, kind of building that momentum that we can feel like we're taking control of a hockey game, even if the score’s tight. That's definitely one thing I think we can get better at as a group, but there's a lot of things to like obviously in the regular season. We scored a lot of goals, we scored in many ways and that's good stuff right there.
Despite the rough year physically, were you happy with your season:
I thought it was one of my better years that I've ever had. I think two years ago I had a pretty good year. I think I was able to build off of it. When you look back at the month of January, it was only like, I don't know, eight, nine games where it didn't go as well. I was coming back from injury, I had COVID in that time too, just a couple bumps and bruises that I had to get over with and I was able to do that and then really build off of it and really good last three, four months really so I'm proud of that.
On unrestricted free agent status, any talks, want to be back:
I'd love to be back. The desire has been there for me last year, during the year and right now. So … it’s what it is.
On if anything is going on right now contract-wise:
Again, I don't really want to talk about that publicly. So I'll just kind of defer to that.
On St. Louis being your second home, does that factor in:
It's a lot for sure. Just for our kids, they're in school right now, they love the city, just like we do, just like I do and obviously playing with this guy beside me (Ryan O’Reilly), the whole group I'd love to keep going. I feel like I've built myself as a player over the years and I want to keep this going for sure.
One or two areas of improvement for next season:
I mean, personally, just like I said, just a little bit more maybe momentum between lines after line, just kind of building our game a little bit more. Kind of having more control over games at times, but I think it was there at times, too. So I think it's just a way to do it more consistently.
On how young do you feel, putting up numbers as you get older:
It depends which time of the year, how many injuries that you're going through, but no I feel really good. I feel I found a way to play the game right now where I feel like I can be consistent every night. I feel like I can have an impact on the game and kind of bring a lot of positives to the team. I think I got a few years where I'm going to feel like that still.
Different offseason things to make that happen:
No, I mean, some stuff. You always want to get better, training-wise all that stuff, but I've been pretty consistent in my training. What I've been doing over summers, now I've just kind of keep going.
On when Binnington goes down in Game 3 vs. Avalanche, still playing if that doesn't happen:
I mean, you'd like to look back and think that way, but that's the way it happened. I don't know. Did we turn the page? I think we probably needed a few more days or a week, whatever. But at the same time, we're proud of our group, we lost to a good team. And there's no point just overthinking everything. So I'm proud of the guys, the way they played this year and that's what I think.