Corey Perry apologizes to Blackhawks, seeks professional help

Corey Perry has apologized for "inappropriate and wrong" behavior that led the Chicago Blackhawks to terminate his contract this week.

"I would like to sincerely apologize to the entire Chicago Blackhawks organization, including ownership, management, coaches, trainers, employees, and my teammates. I would also like to apologize to my fans and my family. I feel embarrassed, and I have let you all down," Perry said in a statement released to the media Thursday.

Perry, 38, was placed on unconditional waivers Tuesday for the purposes of terminating his contract. The Blackhawks called Perry's behavior "unacceptable" and said it violated both the terms of his contract and internal organizational policies that are "intended to promote professional and safe work environments."

Chicago Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson said the decision to terminate Perry's contract was the result of an internal investigation into "a workplace matter" involving the veteran forward.

Perry said he's seeking professional help for substance abuse.

"I have started working with experts in the mental health and substance abuse fields to discuss my struggles with alcohol, and I will take whatever steps necessary to ensure this never happens again. I hope to regain the trust and respect of everyone who has believed in me throughout my career," said Perry, who is now an unrestricted free agent.

Davidson said the team was first notified of the allegations last week when the Blackhawks were in Columbus, Ohio, to play the Blue Jackets on Nov. 22.

Sources told ESPN's Emily Kaplan that Perry traveled with the team to Columbus on Nov. 21, a day before the game, and an incident occurred that day involving a team employee. Perry was scratched from the game and an investigation into the incident began.

Both the NHL and NHLPA were made aware of the incident and the investigation. The NHLPA is looking into whether to file a grievance over Perry's contract termination.

Speculation surrounding Perry's status with Chicago led to social media rumors that an incident might have occurred with a family member of another Blackhawks player. The rumors spread well outside of the hockey bubble and were picked up by a major North American gossip website.

Davidson vehemently denied that the situation involved another player or their family members.

"Anything that suggests otherwise or anyone that suggests otherwise is wildly inaccurate and, frankly, it's disgusting," Davidson said.

In his statement, Perry acknowledged the "speculation and rumors" that resulted from his actions.

"I am sickened by the impact this has had on others and I want to make it clear that no way did this situation involve any of my teammates or their families most importantly, I want to directly apologize to those who have been negatively affected, and I am sorry for the additional impact to others it has created. My behavior was inappropriate and wrong," he wrote.

The Blackhawks signed Perry during the summer to a one-year contract worth $4 million, seeking veteran leadership on a young rebuilding team.

A 19-year veteran, Perry has scored 421 goals and 471 assists in 1,273 games between the Anaheim Ducks, Dallas Stars, Montreal Canadiens, Tampa Bay Lightning and Blackhawks. He won the Stanley Cup in 2007 with the Ducks and won the Hart Trophy as the NHL MVP for the 2010-11 season.