DESTINATION PETRY: THE MONTREAL CANADIENS

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At some point over the next several weeks, the Edmonton Oilers will probably send away Jeff Petry to the highest bidder. The trade deadline is a time for rentals but Petry is a player who has far greater value because of his youth and perceived future value. He has a lot of miles left and has put in his time learning the NHL game. A smart team could end up trading rental price for a useful defender over a long period (should he sign). One team that has shown an ability to make intelligent seasons over recent months: The Montreal Canadiens.

ASTUTE MOVES

There was a time not so very long ago the Montreal Canadiens were making ghastly transactions, getting less than equal value for players like Ryan McDonagh and Mike Riberio. Since taking over as Habs’ GM in 2012, Marc Bergevin has shown himself to be a very good judge of talent and able to procure needed pieces at good prices.

Last deadline, Montreal picked up defender Mike Weaver (blue have extreme value at the deadline) for a paltry fifth-round selection. They also picked up coveted winger Thomas Vanek for the playoff run in exchange for Sebastian Collberg and a late second-round pick. Montreal also picked up goalie Devan Dubnyk for (I believe) nothing. That’s a good deadline, adding three players who may contribute during a deep run.

Montreal appears to be a team that gets it, and are a solid option for a player whose actual value likely exceeds the current market price.

WHY DO THEY NEED PETRY?

The Habs are loaded right-handed blue at the top of the depth chart, let’s not kid ourselves. They have a range of skills available in this area:

  1. P.K. Subban, who plays 25 minutes a night. 20 at evens, 3.5 on the PP and 2 on the PK. A tremendous player, I think he’s one of the most valuable young talents in the league. Paired with veteran Andrei Markov on a big minutes line that can play in all disciplines.
  2. Sergei Gonchar plays 19:29 a night including almost 17 at evens.
    That’s a lot for a man past 40 in the regular season, it might get dicey
    in the playoffs.
  3. Tom Gilbert, plays 18:21 a night and is paired most often with young Alexei Emelin but also plays/has played with Nathan Beaulieu. His even-strength possession number is in the mid-40’s and Gilbert is facing tougher zone starts but easier competition. 
  4. Mike Weaver, plays 14:28 per game and has played only 27 games this season. Concussion issues have impacted his year and like Gilbert his possession numbers at evens rank in the mid-40’s. He has faced slightly tougher zone starts but easier opposition than Gilbert.

Petry could help Montreal on the right side by bumping Gilbert down the roster or offering the team insurance against injury to Weaver or another defender. The club may also want to ease the load facing Subban at points during the next 40 games and may be worried about trusting Sergei Gonchar with significant minutes deep into the postseason.

POSSESSION STATS-CORSI

habs blue corsi

This demonstrates (in my opinion) why a smart GM like Bergevin may in fact be interested in Petry. The lag appears to be the veteran right handers and the workload for Subban is significant. There’s a story here, I believe, that could involve Petry as a solution. 

petry screen shot 3

HABS SUGGESTED PAIRINGS

  • Markov—Subban: Successful now, why mess with it?
  • Beaulieu—Petry: That’s a nice slot I think
  • Emelin/Gonchar—Gilbert/Weaver: Lots of nice depth there

I don’t know the Habs as well as I should but for me the addition of Petry gives the team plenty of options and is worth considering.

WHAT ABOUT RETURN?

A year ago, when Weaver went for a fifth, prices were down across the league. I’m not sure we can assume that will happen again, but would suggest that if we agreed a third-round pick in a deep draft year (2015) is a reasonable line in the sand, there’s no way for Edmonton to win this deal. They may also be able to pry a little extra out of Montreal if a bidding war develops and I do like young prospect Brett Lernout.

PREVIOUSLY IN THE SERIES

  • 2004Z06

    It was reported a few weeks back that the Oilers window to renegotiate with Petry opened January 1st, 2015. Petry and his agent have received no communication from Oilers management. Petry is apparently open to staying, but it appears management has already moved on.

  • pkam

    Just reading the banter on here makes it seem as if 80% of the oilers nation have major problems. You all need to just sit back watch a good hockey game and drink something cold.(Suddenly realizes how long it has been since he has watched a meaningful game in March, lays head on desk and weeps)

  • Gordie Wayne

    This was just bad asset management by the Oilers brass from the start.

    So now that they are in this predicament, what about trading a UFA for a UFA?

    How about Petry for Franson?

    Both players unlikely to sign with current teams, but maybe after 20 or so games with their new teams, they might be persuaded to sign on.

    And if not, each team can just trade their rights before July 1st (UFA) for the same magic beans (3rd round pick or worse) they will likely get at the trade deadline anyway.

  • Chainsawz

    Probably been mentioned before but what is exactly the point of this series of blogs?

    As an Oiler fan, I’m not overly interested in how Petry is going to help other teams.

    Also, since the return on Petry will be a 2nd or 3rd with maybe a long shot prospect, the return will be nearly identical with every team.

    A more interesting series would be exploring what the Oilers could possibly extract from each team for Taylor Hall.

  • Tikkanese

    Magnus Nygren is the D prospect to get from Montreal.

    10p in 15gp in AHL this year.

    His shot was clocked at over 100MPH in the AHL all star game skills contest last year.

  • TKB2677

    The problem with Petry is he’s a decent NHL Dman that does a lot of things alright but there isn’t one thing he does overly well where you say WOW.

    He defends OK, he moves the puck OK, he scores a small amount of points but not a lot. He’s not overly tough, not really hard to play against. He is physical in that he gets some “hits” but no one calls him a banger or someone you have to keep your head up when you are on the ice. He skates OK but doesn’t rush the puck much. He’s got a decent shot that he doesn’t use a lot. He’s just a decent #4 Dman. The ace in the hole he has is he is a right shot. So instantly, that makes him more valuable.

    Niskanen is 6’0, 209lbs. He’s a right shot with 537 NHL games played to date. Last season he scored 10 g, 46 pts, 124 hits in 81 games. He hit an absolute grand slam in his contract with a 7 yr, 5.75 mill cap hit. This year he has 2 g, 15 pts in 46 games. So he might be lucky to get 25 pts. So a big drop off.

    Petry is a 6’3, 200lbs right shot dman. His career high is 25 pts. Last season he had 7g 17 pts, 181 hits which is high given he averages in the 120’s. This year he has 4g 10pts and 68 hits in 46 games. He might be luck to crack 20 pts and 100 hits.

    So the question is, what is Petry worth? He doesn’t have a 46 pt season like Niskanen did to inflate his contract number as Petry is on pace for is average of 20ish pts. So it’s probably pretty safe to say that trimming 1 mill per year because of the low pts is safe. So how many Oiler fans are prepared to sign him to a 5+ year deal in the 4.5-5 mill range knowing the kind of Dman he is and will be going forward. At 27, he should be at his peak physically and game wise. Not too many players suddenly take off in their late 20’s-early 30’s.

    I don’t like losing NHL players that are decent especially on defense but no way am I prepared to see my team sign Petry for a contract in the high 4 mill range knowing I’ll see him rack up 20 ish pts and play the style of game that he does. In my opinion, if you are making in the mid 4 mill or more, you better be an impact player. People should know you actually played that night because of the plays you made not having to check the score sheet to see if there is ice time minutes beside your name. In my opinion, if you are making that much money, you can’t be known for playing a quiet game.

  • tileguy

    Gonchar is actually a left handed shot not right. Montreal only has Gilbert, Weaver, and Subban. They would see Petry as an improvement over Gilbert and I could see Petry wanting to sign there for the long term. Edmonton should settle for no less then a 2nd Round pick.

  • tileguy

    If we are going to trade Petry we are taking a step back on defense which is not a good thing with the best UFA D being Boychuck (who will be re signed by the Islanders). So the Habs can keep their pick and we could try to pry Fucale out of Montreal for Petry + a pick in a deep draft (3rd). The Habs have no use for Fucale with Price in net for the next 6 to 10 years and we desperately need a number 1. this is a trade for a potential #1 goalie so it is a risk but blue chip goalie prospects are not a dime a dozen so this move may make sense for both teams.