Perron adjusting to life with the Oilers, but has fond memories of time with the Blues

News-DemocratDecember 20, 2013 

David Perron has been thinking about playing the St. Louis Blues since last summer.

"In other years I would always look at Montreal when we played them and this year it was St. Louis," said Perron, the former Blues winger traded to Edmonton on July 10 for winger Magnus Paajarvi and a second-round pick. "When we go there in March it's going to be even more weird than here I guess."

The Blues play the Oilers in Edmonton on Saturday and Perron was hopeful of having some dinner with former teammate David Backes and others Friday evening.

"I'm going to try to make it a normal game, but I doubt that's the way it's going to be," said Perron, a first-round pick (26th overall) in 2007 who had 86 goals and 198 points in 340 with the Blues from 2007 to 2013. "It's definitely going to be weird to see Osh (T.J. Oshie) or Bergie (Patrik Berglund) on the other side or the other guys I played with over the last couple years."

Still only 25, Perron is tied for third in scoring among the Oilers with 14 goals and 27 points in 33 games. He also is enjoying larger responsibility roles on the power play, penalty kill and in virtually every situation.

Paajarvi has two goals in 15 games, but the former Edmonton first-round pick also has battled injuries.

Perron has been added to the Oilers' young star nucleus that includes Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins,

"I love his competitiveness," Edmonton coach Dallas Eakins told reporters earlier this season. "As much skill as he has, he's got that little bit of nasty in him."

Perron's arrival hasn't stopped Edmonton from struggling as the Oilers (11-23-3, 25 points are in the midst of their third five-game losing streak this season.

Only Buffalo (9-23-3) has fewer points than Edmonton and only the Sabres and New York Islanders (9-19-7) have fewer wins.

"It' a good group of guys for sure," Perron said of the Oilers. "It's just frustrating in terms of the team's success, (because) it's not been there obviously. We've been in the games a lot more over the last month or so and playing a lot better hockey, but we've got to take another step.

"We can't be satisfied with just being in games or just saying we didn't get the bounces or whatever."

Perron got a taste of winning with the Blues and he's trying to bring that formula to Edmonton.

"They're obviously having a lot of success," Perron said of the Blues. "They're a mature team and it's cool to see the success a team can have after the four to six years and all the hard work we put in during that time.

"It's a good example for us. It's not going to happen overnight where we don't make the playoffs for six or seven years, then all of a sudden you win the Stanley Cup."

Perron said his favorite Blues memory was scoring the playoff series-clinching goal against San Jose two seasons ago. He also cited the playoff-clinching win at home in 2009 against Columbus, being drafted, playing in his first NHL game and scoring his first goal.

"There's so many moments," Perron said. "I got to learn a lot with that group and it was a lot of fun."

Edmonton lost seven of its first eight games and has been trying to dig out of that hole ever since.

"It's working hard and doing the right things over and over, that's when we'll get that winning feeling," Perron said. "We have to find a way to play the same way every night."

Contact reporter Norm Sanders at 239-2454, or on Twitter @NormSanders

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