Record holder monitors Perry bid

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 7:44 AM ET

It may take a decade or two or more,but the next time a London Knights sharpshooter takes a run at the franchise scoring record, Corey Perry will be watching with interest.

When it happens and the Knights' No. 94 gets bumped to No. 2 on the all-time points list, odds are good he'll put in a call of congratulations to the youngster and forge one of those wonderful bonds that come from sharing parallel junior hockey experiences.

It's what Chris Taylor is doing right now with Perry.

The 33-year-old Stratford native and former Knight, who amassed 378 points in four seasons in London (1988-92), has been charting the progress of the 19-year-old from Peterborough for several weeks.

Less than a month ago, Perry was 35 points back. Most believed there was an average chance he'd catch Taylor. But after a couple of multi-point eruptions, he's now just two behind and the torch-passing is inevitable.

"I know Chris has been watching and I think it's great," Perry said yesterday.

"I heard he had called and I'm going to call him. I know he has talked to (London trainer Don Brankley).

"It shows the kind of organization the Knights are that these things mean something to a guy like that -- a veteran pro player and he's still following it. I know when another player comes along and breaks the record, wherever I am I'm going to definitely follow it and call."

The two point machines had planned on chatting on the phone last night. Taylor is unable to attend tonight's tilt against Windsor at the John Labatt Centre because he has to play in his own scheduled American Hockey League game in Rochester against Binghamton.

Taylor, a 13-year pro who has played 149 games in the NHL, leads the Rochester Americans (Buffalo's farm team) in scoring with 16 goals and 57 points in 63 games.

Perry doesn't want to keep him waiting and watching for the record to fall.

"Hopefully, I'll get three points in the first period (tonight) and that'll be it," he grinned.

"But it'll happen when it happens, and I'm not trying to put any extra pressure on myself.

"It doesn't matter when or who it's against."

Still, Perry is fiercely proud of his regular season, which will end with him winning the OHL scoring title for one of the best teams in league history. When he heard Taylor's record was within reach, he was supremely confident he'd get there.

"I always believed I would, even when I was 40 points behind," he said. "You have to hand that to your linemates -- Dylan (Hunter) and Josh (Beaulieu), who we're playing with right now.

"These guys go to war with you. They go in the corners, they do the little things to get the puck. It all matters."

Perry knows the team records are going to loom larger than his individual stats this year.

"The individual stuff, I'm going to remember, and it's important. But I know it's going to be overshadowed by what we do as a team," he said.

"Years from now, everyone's going to remember the London Knights of 2004-05. To have a team working as one -- as a unit -- that's the ultimate. It's special. You remember that feeling everywhere you go."

The puck Perry uses to pass Taylor will go on a Brankley-produced plaque for him to add to his collection, along with such honours as first goal and first hat trick.


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