What happened to David Perron's production this season, and did it contribute to his being sent out of town?
Perron went from a 28 goal scorer and regular offensive contributor to a guy with five goals in 38 games for the Oilers this season. So what the heck happened? Upon digging a little, I think the problem has to do with teammates, and the way the team is constructed.
In 2013-14, Perron's most common linemates at even strength were centers Sam Gagner and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, followed by Taylor Hall. His most common forward linemates this season have been Mark Arcobello and Teddy Purcell, followed by Leon Draisaitl.
You can see the drop off there. Say what you will about Sam Gagner - he certainly had his deficiencies - but he was capable of producing offense. He's got 20 points in 37 games this season, which is right around his career points-per-game average (315 points in 518 games), and he's a center. This year, Perron barely spent any time with Nugent-Hopkins or Hall, and Gagner is gone.
There are things to like about Mark Arcobello, but he has 31 points in 80 career games spread over three seasons, and Leon Draisaitl is a rookie. It's no surprise that Perron's even strength point production has dropped.
It's the same on the powerplay. Perron spent most of his 2013-14 powerplay time with Nugent-Hopkins, Hall, and Justin Schultz. This year he has been with Yakupov, Draisaitl and Purcell.
In other words, Perron went from a go-to offensive player to a bit of an afterthought. The coaches seem to have wanted to spread out the offense over a couple of lines, which makes some sense, but the lack of center depth sunk any chance of that. So Perron's usage saw his production decline, his frustration increase, and after a few choice words to the media he's gone.
For more on this situation, read this excellent article by Ryan Batty at The Copper N Blue: He Didn't Want To Be Here