In some ways, we’ve been following Jeff Petry as a young player for a decade but in terms of actually seeing him play games his arrival in the NHL in 2010 marks the beginning of his ‘up close and personal’ time as an Oilers player. There’s still time for Petry to sign with the club but as January fades into February if we don’t hear contract discussions I think it’s fair to suggest we’re seeing his final Oilers games.
Petry is an actual NHL defenseman and at this point is a cap bargain (that may change this summer). When discussing potential destinations for value players, it’s always best to include Dean Lombardi and the Los Angeles Kings in the conversation.
Travis Yost:Based on the consistent reports about his availability via trade, I
worry that Edmonton doesn’t know what kind of player they have. Or, that
they don’t know how bad things get when other defencemen are taking
regular shifts. Source
The Yost article is a fascinating look at the math and offers a strong argument for retaining the young defender. He is an actual NHL player, has miles to go before eroding as a defender and appears to be a good teammate based on what we are able to suss out from available quotes. The Oilers may be looking at things other than math (one suspects Petry’s ‘battle level’ is wanting) and that gives other teams a chance to capitalize.
Desperados under the eaves
The Los Angeles Kings under Dean Lombardi are just the damndest team, smart beyond compare. Although the Detroit Red Wings make complete sense as a destination for Petry, I’m thinking Los Angeles does too. Petry can play out the season, the playoffs, and perhaps sign with LAK for a few seasons.
Last deadline, Lombardi waited until very late in the procedure to pull the trigger and then plucked Marian Gaborik from Columbus. Let’s revisit that deal:
2014-Mar-05 Traded Marian Gaborik from Columbus Blue Jackets to Los Angeles Kings for Matt Frattin, third round pick in the 2014 draft (Dominic Turgeon) and a second round pick in the 2015 draft.
Los Angeles won the Stanley Cup and signed the player. They badly needed scoring and Gaborik was a perfect fit. This season, they are badly in need of a right-handed blueliner to play right side with Drew Doughty and Matt Greene—the Slava Voynov slot. Petry could come in, play that role until Voynov is available and then offer the team legit depth as a third pairing option with Greene or play in the top six full stop.
WHAT WOULD THE RETURN LOOK LIKE?
Teams adding at the deadline rarely give up roster players, but will trade picks and prospects—Lombardi dealt two prospects a year ago at the deadline in a deal for defender Brayden McNabb—and Edmonton has to be in that market because they are once again sellers.
It could be Derek Forbort or the monster Justin Auger or a third-round selection because this is a deep draft year. Whatever the return, like the draft pick from Pittsburgh for David Perron, it is extremely unlikely to make the Oilers better next season.
The pick could be cashed for something of immediate value in summer but it absolutely suggests Oilers management remains firmly in rebuild mode. One way for the organization to show fans they’re not building for a new tomorrow down the road?
Sign Jeff Petry. Now.