Perreault Finding his Niche with Ducks

Tuesday, 11.26.2013 / 8:23 AM PT / News
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Perreault Finding his Niche with Ducks
Mathieu Perreault was sent from the Washington Capitals to the Anaheim Ducks on Sept. 29 and has since become one of the steals of the early season.
By Curtis Zupke | Correspondent

ANAHEIM – Mathieu Perreault couldn't even find escape on a golf course.

Late September is usually a safe time for veteran NHL players. Rosters are all but set, meaning trades are unlikely. But Perreault had a feeling he was about to get squeezed out of the Washington Capitals' plans, and the news all but interrupted his backswing.

"[Washington general manager] George McPhee gave me the call," Perreault said. "I was golfing with a bunch of the guys there. It was funny. We literally talked about it five minutes before the call came. I told the guys I thought I was going to get traded. Five minutes later …."

Did Perreault finish the round?

"[We were] three holes up," he said. "I finished it. But it was terrible. I was all over the place. I couldn't get my mind right."

It didn't take long for Perreault to find peace of mind on the other coast. He was sent to the Anaheim Ducks on Sept. 29 and has since become one of the steals of the early season.

Acquired for John Mitchell and a fourth-round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, Perreault had five goals and nine assists in his first 16 games with the Ducks. He shook out of a slump Saturday with an assist and has 15 points in 24 games, two points shy of his total in 39 games last season.

"I didn't know much about him at all," Ducks forward Teemu Selanne said. "He has been a nice surprise for us. You never know who's going to be available. When the GM is pulling the moves, sometimes you don't even know the guy."

Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau certainly knew Perreault as one of the pieces from the high-scoring Capitals outfits during Boudreau's tenure as Washington coach from 2007 to 2012, and also with the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League. It's hardly surprising that Perreault seamlessly fit in under Boudreau's system at second- and third-line center. He scored his first goal as a Duck in overtime on Oct. 5 and gives Anaheim even more depth in the middle with Ryan Getzlaf, Saku Koivu and Nick Bonino.

Since Boudreau arrived in Anaheim, the Ducks have acquired former Capitals players Andrew Gordon and David Steckel. But Boudreau said his influence on Anaheim GM Bob Murray's decision to get Perreault went so far as to offer his opinion.

Washington reportedly needed to shed some salary to make room for younger players, although Perreault's expiring $1.1 million contract wouldn't seem to represent a heavy cap hit.

"I was really surprised," Boudreau said. "I didn't hear the name being mentioned. But I follow Washington still, and in the preseason Eric Fehr was getting third-line center, so I didn't know what they were going to do. Not that any of it was my call, anyway, but obviously Bob saw the same thing. He inquired.

"They asked me what he was like. I thought I gave them a pretty straightforward answer of what he is, and they thought that was going to make an upgrade on our team, so they made the deal."

Mathieu Perreault
Center - ANA
GOALS: 5 | ASST: 10 | PTS: 15
SOG: 48 | +/-: 8

Perreault paints a bolder picture of Boudreau's role in bringing him to Anaheim and said, "he's probably the main reason this trade happened."

"He gave me a call and told me that he pushed hard for me to come here," Perreault said. "He liked me as a player. He felt it was good to get another chance somewhere else. He was really excited for me."

Perreault helps make the Ducks one of the higher-scoring and more entertaining teams to watch in the League. Boudreau rolls four lines; a typical Ducks game will see no line with fewer than 15-17 shifts or more than about 25.

With Anaheim off to a great start, there is talk of it being a Stanley Cup contender. The backstory is whether another one of Boudreau's great regular-season teams can translate that to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Perreault sees similarities.

"A lot of depth, just like we had in Washington," he said. "In Washington, I was the fourth-line center. That shows the kind of depth we had there. We had four lines that could score. It's kind of the same here. Bruce is really good at getting the best out of his players. You see he had a lot of success in Washington, and he's got a lot of success here."




1 ANA 76 47 22 7 222 213 101
2 NSH 75 46 21 8 214 180 100
3 STL 74 46 21 7 226 182 99
4 CHI 74 44 24 6 209 172 94
5 MIN 75 43 25 7 215 185 93
6 VAN 74 43 27 4 212 199 90
7 WPG 75 39 24 12 212 197 90
8 LAK 74 37 23 14 199 184 88
9 CGY 75 40 28 7 219 199 87
10 DAL 75 36 29 10 232 240 82
11 SJS 74 36 30 8 207 210 80
12 COL 74 34 28 12 200 206 80
13 EDM 75 22 40 13 181 254 57
14 ARI 75 23 44 8 158 249 54


R. Getzlaf 73 24 44 14 68
C. Perry 61 32 20 16 52
R. Kesler 76 19 27 -5 46
S. Vatanen 61 12 25 7 37
J. Silfverberg 75 12 23 11 35
P. Maroon 67 9 24 -4 33
C. Fowler 74 7 26 3 33
H. Lindholm 73 7 26 22 33
J. Wisniewski 64 8 24 -14 32
M. Beleskey 62 22 9 14 31
F. Andersen 32 11 5 .913 2.41
J. Gibson 12 7 0 .914 2.65 is the official Web site of the Anaheim Ducks. Anaheim Ducks and are trademarks of Anaheim Ducks Hockey Club, LLC. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Anaheim Ducks Hockey Club, LLC and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

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