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Pending UFA Perron hoping to return, take step forward with Red Wings

Detroit Red Wings David Perron - Getty Images

"Lots of excitement, obviously disappointment."

Veteran winger David Perron summarized the end of the Detroit Red Wings' season succinctly while appearing on TSN1050's First Up on Monday morning.

The Red Wings finished tied for the second wild-card slot in the Eastern Conference with the Washington Capitals, on the heels of three overtime victories in their final three games of the season, only to miss the playoff spot due to the regulation wins tiebreaker.

"It's frustrating, the way it ended, with all the comebacks we had to keep our season alive," said Perron. 

Detroit's fate was decided during the final game of the season - the Philadelphia Flyers needed a regulation win against the Capitals and a Red Wings loss to qualify. They pulled their goalie in a tie game late in the third period, only to have T.J. Oshie score an empty-netter to give the Capitals the victory and the playoff spot, all while Detroit's season finale against the Montreal Canadiens was ongoing. 

"I think one minute after I scored [the tying goal against the Canadiens in the third period], not even, 45 seconds, we're sitting on the bench and then find out the Flyers have their goalie pulled," Perron explained. "I would love to find out the timeline of all this, but not long after, Oshie scored on the empty net, and at that point we knew our season was over."

Despite the disappointing finish, which extended the Red Wings' streak of seasons since their last playoff appearance to eight, Perron was very encouraged by his second season in Motown.

"I think a lot of the guys in the room never played meaningful games all the way until the end of the season, and you know how hard these seasons are, so it was a big step forward."

Perron hopes to stay in Detroit

The veteran forward, 36, is entering free agency after his 17th season, and hoping to get another chance after scoring 17 goals and totaling 47 points in 76 games this year.

"I think the team wants me back, I want to be back, so let's see what happens in the next little while," he said. 

"At the same time, I understand it's a business. A couple years ago I thought for sure I would stay in St. Louis and it didn't work out so I opened my eyes to something different, I really enjoyed my time here."

Perron won the Stanley Cup with the Blues in 2019, and his lengthy career has included stops with the Edmonton Oilers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Anaheim Ducks and Vegas Golden Knights. 

The Sherbrooke, Que. native looks to be a guiding influence as a veteran in the locker room, but also believes he still has a lot to offer on the ice.

"I've tried to take little bits and pieces from the veterans I've played with over the years, to have a little bit more of an impact in the locker room, and I think I've done that here," he said. 

"As you get older, you never know when your time's going to end. So I'm happy with the last two years on a personal level and I hope I can keep on playing."