Jeff Petry traded to the Montreal Canadiens

Jeff Petry

The Jeff Petry watch is over. On Monday morning, the Edmonton Oilers traded him to Montreal for a pair of draft picks.

There are two ways of looking at the trade from an Oilers’ perspective.

The glass half-full look is that Petry commanded significantly more than what many were suggesting over the past few months. Many a pundit suggested that Edmonton would need to settle for a third-round pick in exchange for the defenceman’s services. That ended up being significantly less than the team ended up with.

The glass half-empty look is that on a day where Brett Connolly commanded two second round draft picks, two days after a 39-year-old who hasn’t played in a year (Kimmo Timonen) commanded a second round selection and a conditional fourth, that’s a pretty anemic return for general manager Craig MacTavish.

The Pessimists Have It

Craig MacTavish2

It is the Timonen deal that really makes this one look bad.

On Saturday, Ron Hextall (who has been having himself a deadline down in Philadelphia) was able to take full advantage of a sellers market and command a massive return from a player who hasn’t dressed for a game since last April. Timonen commanded a 2015 second round pick outright from the Blackhawks, with a conditional selection that will at minimum be a fourth round pick and which will rise to a third round choice if the Blackhawks advance to the Conference final and Timonen plays in half the games. 

Meanwhile, in exchange for the best defenceman on his team, MacTavish was only able to get a comparable deal: a second round pick and a conditional choice that starts in the fifth round and reaches the fifth round if the Canadiens advance to the Conference final.

It’s incredible from that perspective. In his conversations with the incredibly astute Marc Bergevin (I was a skeptic when he was hired, but I had already become a believer before today), MacTavish could have pointed to that deal done by Chicago and said, ‘Look, your old boss gave up more than that for a mostly dead guy, and he’s a much better bet to reach the third round than you are.’ Despite having a superior return from a very good team for a much riskier gamble, MacTavish wasn’t able to land more than Hextall did.

This wasn’t a disaster of a trade; a sellers market helped see to that. But nothing about this deal suggests that the Edmonton Oilers are being particularly well-served by their management team. 


  • oilerjed

    Someone once said ” there is a fine line between arrogance and ignorance”. Welcome to Oil Country management! Not to worry ” Graig’s on it.

    PS> It hurts to see these media panels chuckling about this organization. Then again they did need an update on bashing, now that the Islanders have a real team.

  • Aitch

    The last paragraph of Willis’ blog states that Oilers fans are not being particularly well-served by management based on the return for Petry. What did you honestly expect to receive for Petry?

    Let me remind you, Petry has played for the Oilers for years and is tarred, rightly or wrongly, by the same brush as the team is. They are losers therefore he is a loser and could not possibly be a good player because the team he has played for is terrible.

    Fandom in general (should be spelled fan dumb) has a very biased view of players. If a player has played for a SC Champion he automatically improves ten fold. Right? Whereas a player, no matter how talented, cannot be considered as an icon or enter the HOF (Hall of Fame)unless he has a ring or multiple rings.

    This is why so many teams, including the Leafs, Nucks, Jets, Sens have never had a good player play for them. The teams have never, in the modern era of hockey, won a Stanley Cup