Saturday’s contest against the St. Louis Blues marks Edmonton’s final game before the NHL trade deadline on Monday. When the club next plays, on Tuesday against the Los Angeles Kings, the debates and the speculation about trades will have passed and we’ll have a clearer idea of what Craig MacTavish has planned for the summer and the ammunition at his disposal.
Petry out tonight. Healthy scratch as deadline nears, don’t want to risk injury.
— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) February 28, 2015
Jeff Petry’s value
We’ve seen a number of defencemen traded in standalone deals in recent days; in (rough) order of trade value they are as follows:
- Andrej Sekera – conditional first round draft pick (2015 or 2016, depending on whether the Kings make the playoffs), prospect Roland McKeown
- Kimmo Timonen – 2015 second round pick, conditional 2016 draft pick (second to fourth round, based on performance)
- Tim Gleason – Jack Hillen and a 2015 fourth round pick
In terms of trade value, we can reasonably slot Petry between Timonen and Sekera. Timonen’s a great defenceman, but he’s 39 years old and given that he hasn’t played since April of last year he’s a wild gamble by the Blackhawks.
There has been speculation for months that Petry would attract no more than a third round pick, possibly a late second if the Oilers got lucky. If that happens, it’s not nearly good enough. Carolina was able to land a fourth-rounder and a warm body for a left-shooting defenceman who was the sixth-best option on their team; a third-round pick would be in the same range for Petry, a right-shooting defender and the best rearguard on a team in a very similar position to the Hurricanes.
Realistically, if Edmonton can’t land a second-round pick and something else of significance (a real prospect, a second pick with position perhaps based on Petry’s performance) in exchange than the management group has failed. If relatively new general managers in Carolina and Philadelphia can command the returns they have, there’s no excuse for the relatively new general manager in Edmonton to do a lesser job.
Did Petry Trade Himself?
The almost-certainly-upcoming Petry trade has been characterized in a lot of different ways by people who don’t have full access to the situation. Some say that the player clearly wants to be a free agent. Others suggest that the Oilers have bungled this from the start.
I though Robin Brownlee got it spot-on in his assessment on Friday:
It was obvious then that MacTavish and the Oilers didn’t hold Petry in the same regard as unproven Justin Schultz, the Norris Trophy candidate. They likely negotiated that way. The clock started ticking the minute Petry signed that deal. I thought there would be time to re-visit it before now. Save for recent talk about 11th -hour discussions, that hasn’t happened.
The Oilers all down the line have made it clear through word and deed that Petry wasn’t a priority. It shouldn’t come as a surprise if in the 11th hour Petry doesn’t view the Oilers needs as a priority.
It’s natural all down the line that those who thought Petry was a player – remind me how Ladislav Smid, Andrew Ference and Martin Marincin have looked with and without him – think that the team took the wrong tack, that it should have been committed to a useful second-pairing building block on a team mostly littered with fives and sixes. It’s equally natural that those who saw Petry as the second coming of Tom Gilbert or the fifth(?) coming of Tom Poti don’t feel the same attachment, and think that the team was right to be cautious and that it got burned by the bad luck of having Petry emerge in his free agent year.
There shouldn’t be any debate that the Oilers put themselves in this situation, that the team which was willing to spend on Andrew Ference and Nikita Nikitin and Mark Fayne could have but didn’t do the same when it came time to re-sign restricted free agent Jeff Petry.
The question of whether that was the right decision likely comes down to what the reader thinks of Petry.
Via our friends at Daily Faceoff:
No big surprises here. Petry, sensibly, sits the game out, with Jordan Oesterle taking his place in the lineup. Keith Aulie is a restricted free agent this summer but pretty clearly has no traction with the head coach, who puts a premium on puck-movement from his defence.
Luke Gazdic is in for Matt Fraser, which is a tendency we’ve seen before from Todd Nelson. Gazdic has rewarded the coach’s faith with what is by far the best hockey of his NHL career. Fraser’s own career is on life support as the waiver claim finds himself in a similar position to Aulie: Unable to gain traction.
What They’re Saying
From St. Louis Game Time:
After an outstanding game Thursday night in which Brian Elliott fought off 30 of the Jets’ 31 shots, earning second star of the game, the Blues’ goaltender is back in net against the Edmonton Oilers tonight. The Oilers, of course, while being consistently awful over the past heaven knows how many seasons now – they bleed together, don’t they? – have the power to drag teams down to their level. The Blues have beaten Edmonton twice already this season, but it hasn’t been as easy as you would think.
Game day prediction: The better team prevails, but not by as much as they should. 3-2 for St. Louis in overtime.
Obvious game day prediction: Ryan Reaves and Luke Gazdic fight at some point.
Not-so-obvious game day prediction: Derek Roy scores two goals against his old team, with Nail Yakupov assisting on both despite being a little banged up.
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