Report Confirms Oilers Plan To Move Petry

Yesterday Jim Matheson wrote this piece in which he reports that Jeff Petry has had no contract talks with Edmonton and that the club is endeavouring to move him at the deadline. Even though I reported the same thing several weeks ago, I was holding out just a small bit of hope that the Oilers would reverse course and begin negotiations. That just doesn’t appear to be in the cards.

A month ago I took a lot of heat* here when I wrote:

Our source tells us that Petry very much does want to remain a part of the organization that drafted him almost 9 years ago. He has been affiliated with Edmonton for a long time and wanted to see it through to better days. As exciting as it is to become a UFA, there’s a certain amount of loyalty that comes with belonging to an organization for almost a decade.

No doubt wanting to remain an Oiler while also not throwing away an opportunity to maximize earning potential in a profession where injury can take away your career in an instant is a complicated task. However, as per our source close to situation, when Petry’s agent contacted the Oilers to discuss possible negotiations he was told that the club was trying to move him. No contract talks of any nature have happened.

Matheson was able to speak with Petry’s agent who had this to say, “We have had no contract negotiations with the Oilers and we’ve expressed that to Jeff. We expect Jeff will be dealt by the deadline.”

Overwhelmingly after I initially wrote about this situation Oiler fans and media speculated that the Oilers must have offered Jeff Petry a long term deal in the summer that was rejected. The thinking there being that the Oil made their play to keep Petry in the organization and they were flatly rejected. 

That not only went against what I had been informed but now Jim Matheson reports that the Oilers did not make such an offer, as they did with Tom Gilbert years ago. 

Just as I feared was happening, the Oilers have decided that offering their best defenseman a contract is not worth the time. Their plans simply don’t include Jeff Petry. Whatever it may be, be it relying on a 20 year old Darnell Nurse or ponying up for Johnny Boychuk in the summer, the management’s plan does not see Jeff Petry as part of the solution moving forward.

There are no shortage of teams looking for stable right shooting defensemen who can skate well and play physically all while being defensively responsible. Petry is playing the best hockey of his life and his fortunes all the years of waiting and development are about to pay off…for him. As he approaches his 300th NHL game the college trained defenseman has added a scrappy side to his game that has seen him engage after the whistle and all the confidence in his own game is bringing out the offensive traits that helped him get drafted in the 2nd round. 

Matheson cited Detroit, Anaheim, Los Angeles, Montreal, Nashville, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay in his story as teams that might be interested in Petry. We can take Nashville off the list now that they have acquired Franson and as unlikely as it might be we could potentially add Calgary to the list as they try to hold off a surging Wild team who is gunning for that last Wild Card spot. Some of those teams, according to Matheson, have also contacted Petry’s agent about potentially signing an extension with them. This could potentially boost his value in a trade.

The suggested price for Petry is a 2nd round pick and with dominos falling and teams missing out the price could potentially get driven higher. If I were the Oilers I would consider targeting the Lightning. Tampa Bay does not own its 2nd round selection in the Draft as it was of the Callahan/St Louis deal. What they do have is their own and New York’s 1st round picks. They have been rumored to be the runners up in the Franson and Myers deals and should be motivated to bolster their blueline.

MacT and Yzerman already dealt with each other once recently when Yzerman convinced MacT to trade Gagner for Purcell. They are looking for a right shooting defender, have history dealing with Edmonton, and might be convinced to give up one of those high picks. Edmonton may have to throw in another piece, but the Lightning might be the best place to target.

It’s hard to to conceive of a good reason for Edmonton not to have at least made one offer to the Petry camp before moving him. I certainly don’t understand it. I didn’t understand it a month ago. I don’t understand it now. This stance against re-signing Petry, if indeed nothing changes in the next 2 weeks, is going to be a defining moment for Craig MacTavish. 

We were told before Christmas that Craig’s on it. Now I’m just wondering what Craig’s on.

*Why did you guys think I would lie to you?

  • camdog

    Is it odd that the precious MSM has never (that I know of) challenged/asked MacT about this, or little else? There has been tons written (by bloggers & journalists alike) on the subject, but whenever there is an actual interview they just toss softball questions at dear Craig. Are reporters not “allowed” to ask personnel related questions?

  • toprightcorner

    I’m sorry but with a simple quote from a very recent conversation of “We have had no contract negotiations with the Oilers and we’ve expressed that to Jeff. We expect Jeff will be dealt by the deadline.” tells me that there has been no recent negotiations. Since his agent had to inform Petry it has nothing to do with anything before the season.

    there was obvious negotiation during the summer or else Petry would still be an RFA sitting at home. It is very likely that during those negotiations a bottom line number for a long term deal was thrown out by Petry’s camp and that number could easily have been so far outside of MacT’s comfort zone that it wasn’t worth pursuing. If Petry’s agent said a ling term deal has to start with a “6” or even $5.5 and MacT said no, it is up to Petry’s camp to present a lower asking number for negotiations to continue if MacT wouldn’t come up to their original offer.

    This has nothing to do with making an effort to sign Petry, but everything to do with what each side feels their threshold is.

    If my neighbour is selling a car I really want but I beleive it is at the most worth $15,000 and he tells me he will not consider accepting a penny less than $20,000 then we would have nothing to talk about until he cam to me and gave me a lower bottom dollar.

    I am tired of the media saying the the Oilers have made no effort to sign Petry as I can guarantee you that is not true, there is simply a value the Oilers have put on him and a value Petry’s agent has and unless those numbers are made public knowledge nobody knows which side is being unrealistic.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    That light at the end of the tunnel is still yet to be determined. But it’s certainly getting close enough to sound a lot alike a freight train that will mow this organization down for yet another 5 years.

    This is the bed management has made for themselves. They will still be a lottery team after moving into their new arena. A 70 cent dollar and a 55 dollar barrel of oil could be the nail in their coffin they weren’t counting on.

    Incompetence at an unprecedented rate, and they’ll wonder why the seats are only half full, and they’ll have the audacity to turn this around and blame it on the fans. Karma is a biatch.

  • camdog

    Congratulations Oilers, you’ve officially become a topic schools can use in how to run a franchise to the sewer as a case-study. Biggest bunch of apes running front office. My apologies to all apes around the globe as this isn’t a compliment.

  • bradleypi

    I’m going to lol so hard at all you guys when the Oilers are better next year without your golden boy petry. He is too soft to be a top 4 dman in this league. Everybody on here says ghat the Oilers have developed and groomed him into the player he is now and they are making a mistake letting him go?? Lol the only mistake they made is keeping him this long. What exactly did he develop into? A 15 point a year guy that doesn’t hit or fight and has one of the worst +/- every year on the team. Ya real big loss. Let him go be someone’s reclamation project. If the report is true that Mact has been trying to trade him for months, then doesn’t that tell you guys something? It’s obvious other gms around the league don’t value him either. Otherwise the Oilers would have one more 1st round pick in their pocket. He’s a 5/6 guy on a playoff team.

    • WTF2

      So let’s recap, Petry is a top two defenseman on the Oil and according to your assessment he is a bottom pairing D-man on a good NHL team. You have just confirmed how bad the Oilers defense is today. And by the way the Oil can’t develop dick.

      The only reason Petry has not lowered his sites is that he wants out of E-town and other GMs don’t trade for him because they can bid for his services this summer without wasting a draft pick.

      Your boy MacT is a loser and this is another example of his mismanagement of asset. It is obvious he is not very smart because if he was he would retire now and take his butt back to Kelowna.

      • bradleypi

        And you have been evaluating hockey players for how many years? You say petry wants out but the article clearly states that it’s indeed the Oilers that want him out. You have things a little backwards as most of oilersnation does when it comes to petry. And as a previous poster said, klefblom is clearly the best d on the team right now

  • paul wodehouse

    If I worked at an ice cream factory for 10 years, and since I started, the ice cream has been complete and total sh’t, I would be fired.

    If I hired someone to replace me, and promoted myself to a higher position, but the ice cream still tastes like sh’t, how could I not be freakin fired?

    I am close boys… really really close to walking away from this sh’tty ice cream.

  • S cottV

    If Petry had a strong connection to the organization and belief in its future as a contender, a deal would get done.

    He would stay loyal to the organization and agree to a reasonable long term contract.

    The Oilers have failed to project themselves in the kind of light that was needed to economically retain Petry.

    Despite the rhetoric to the contrary – which is for show, he wants out and really, who can blame him?

    • bradleypi

      Even the most loyal of oilers fan will not blame him man.

      Lots will wish it wasn’t so.. but I don’t think there is one single die hard oiler fan that would blame him….

      I think this situation is so hopeless, that if you put a die hard oilers fan in the position of being signed by the oilers, or going elsewhere, the majority would choose the later.

      As much as we all want to see our best players sign to stay with edmonton, what would you do for your own life?

      I don’t blame any player that wants out of here.. it’s a hockey program that has absolutely zero signs of making the playoffs after 9 years, and the 2006 run was not even supposed to happen.

      Put yourself in the position of the players, and not our spot as fans.

      What would you do in the position?

      If I had this job as my profession, I would run for the hills from this organization. Quite frankly, you would be semi retarded not to.

  • Zarny

    It was a nice scoop by Matt. It’s odd the Oilers made no effort at all. Concerns are understandable. He may be Edm’s best D but he’s only on pace for 20 pts. On a good team he’s 3-5th on the depth chart. But even if they only thought he was worth 3M I’d at least offer it. I’d prefer a prospect or young player to a draft pick.

  • Elgando

    This is THE transaction that defines macT. More so than nikitin, Roy, Purcell, or klinkhammer. This guy is worth a mint and he either signs him or deals him for immediate help. Anything less is a travesty.

  • bradleypi

    Petry is a funny character. We are all happy with him because he let’s us all down the least amount. Yeah yeah yeah, he is our best dman! I get that.. but I will suck a mean dick before I admit he should be a teams number 1 defenceman. He is not even close.

    Let the poor guy move on and be good. He is nothing close to what we need for 5 mill or 6 mill a year like people are talking. Wrong guy folks.

  • papler

    McT calls Klefbom & Jultz the 1st D-pair.
    McT questions if Dubnyk is a competent goalie.
    McT signed Nikitin to a terrible contract.

    Is McT competent in player evaluation?

    I’ve always believed that when you’re assessing General Managers, if you have to ask the question you know the answer.

  • bradleypi

    If the oilers are lucky this summer they will overpay for a middle pairing defenseman who is on the wrong side of 30 instead of signing a guy who is entering his prime. This is why they suck.

  • 916oiler

    Petry makes everyone he plays with better. I thought for sure he wanted out, and that was the reason for lack of contract negotiations. If it’s true he wanted to stay and the Oilers don’t want him….there better be one hell of a move to replace him.

    So sad.

  • Zarny

    @Rama Lama

    Petry wasn’t that good last year. I still remember Wheeler pwning him in OT for the game winner. So I think there was just cause for a bridge over a long-term deal. Term and dollars tied up in the wrong guy kills any GM.

    The mistake was the 1 yr deal, imo. MacT gave away any leverage he had for both signing and trading.

  • hark65

    Oilers are the Elite NHL farm team. We bring guys in and just when they are playing decent to trade them off for another unproven mid round prospect we will have to develop and then ship off to another contender.

  • Spaceman Spiff

    I’m not all that crazy about Petry leaving, but I don’t know why everyone’s freaking out about it.
    OK, I do know. We all love to pile on MacT/Lowe/the world on here and any – any – of the moves or non-moves they make with players.

    But I’m having a lot of trouble getting my knickers in a twist about MacT’s handling of Petry.

    Why? As I look at it … at worst … MacT made the “safe” play with Petry last summer and it wasn’t quite safe enough. Remember – Petry wasn’t coming off of a particularly great season last year. I can remember a lot of people on this site describing Petry with the same words that were once used to describe many other of the fandom’s whipping boys of the past – everyone from Tom Poti to Ethan Moreau to Shawn Horcoff to Paul Coffey (yes, young Oiler fans, even Coffey heard from boo-birds at Northlands back in the day).

    And, listen… Matheson’s story is insightful and interesting … but as good as Matty is, none of us exactly knows what was said at the negotiating table last summer, do we? How do we know that Petry’s agent didn’t ask for, say, five years at five-million-per? Or three years at 5.5-million-per?

    Matty’s story tells us one thing we didn’t know – that the Oilers and Petry haven’t talked “of late” (i.e. since January or maybe even training camp) – and one thing we did know: that the Oilers offered Petry the one-year bridge deal that he accepted.

    From my perspective, which is buttressed by absolutely by nothing but an uneducated guess – Petry asked for a larger deal than what he was worth last summer, the Oilers counter-offered with something less (I’ll throw out a number – three years, $12 million?). Petry refused, his agent advised him to keep things simple, accept a one-year bridge deal from the Oilers, put in a solid year and glide his way into UFA status.
    Simple as that.

    So, for Petry’s agent to say that “we haven’t heard from the Oilers in XXX amount of time,” well, OK, but there’s a reason for that. MacT isn’t stupid and neither the rest of the league. He knew that as soon as the ink dried on that one-year bridge deal, the clock was ticking on Petry’s exit. Why on Earth wouldn’t Petry wait until July 1st to sign a contract? He’d be foolish not to … and it has nothing to do with how the Oilers are run, on the ice or off of it. Agents do not advise their players to give up their UFA rights five months before July 1.

    Full stop.

    So, in light of that, why on Earth would the Oilers bother talking to him now?

    At best, the Oilers could offer him an excellent deal next week – say five years, $30 million – and the likely response from Petry’s agent will be: “OK, great. Thanks for this offer. We’ll get back to you on July 1st with our answer. I’ve got your number. Actually – tell you what … if you don’t hear from us by, say, noon Eastern on July 1, then the answer’s ‘no.’ How about that?”

    I’ve been jogging my memory and I can’t think of a single Oilers player (of note) who re-upped with the team in the months before he was eligible for UFA free agency. Absolutely no one. Curtis Glencross left because Calgary’s closer to the chuckwagon circuit than Edmonton is. Ryan Smyth, we’re told, left over the matter of less than $150,000 a few minutes before trade deadline – a blunder that made both Kevin Lowe AND Don Meehan (Smyth’s agent) look like fools. Hell, even Curtis Joseph bolted for UFA and he was a saint here.

    MacT’s gamble last summer was that Petry wouldn’t play well enough over the course of the season to merit some additional marketing power. It seemed a reasonable bet based on Petry’s uneven season last year … but it turned out wrong. I can live with that. That’s the business. We need to move on.