Petry trade: Predictable

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From the puck drop on opening night almost everyone watching and covering the Oilers expected Jeff Petry to be traded at the deadline, and the expected return was a second round pick. That occurred today when the Montreal Canadiens acquired the 27 year-old D-man for a second round pick and a conditional fifth rounder.

If the Habs win one playoff round that conditional picks becomes a fourth rounder, if they win two rounds it becomes a third rounder. The Oilers essentially got an extra pick for Petry, which is good, but they also traded away a proven NHL player.

The Oilers are a worse team today because of the trade. You can debate how valuable Petry is, but every sane hockey person recognizes he is a proven NHL player and one that is still improving. He is only 27 years old.

WHAT TRADE SHOWED US…

This trade illustrated to me how other teams view Petry.

Chicago was more interested in a Kimmo Timonen, despite his health issues. They gave up a seconnd and a fourth rounder (which could be a third if Hawks win two rounds). I think the Habs are a lock to win one playoff round, so essentially the Petry and Timonen returns are the same. Chicago felt Timonen was a better bet.

Tampa Bay acquired Brayden Coburn for Radko Gudas, a first and a third. They also felt Coburn was a better acquisition than Petry. Coburn does have one year left on his contract, so he is more than just a rental.

Los Angeles felt Andrej Sekera was a better pick up than Petry. Both are pending UFAs, but the Kings gave up a first rounder (lottery protected) and last year’s second round pick, Roland McKeown.

These players were valued more due to their track record, especially Timonen. He has played in the Olympics and in
the playoffs and the Hawks valued that higher than Petry. Coburn has played in 72 playoff games. He played over 25 min/game in 2010 when the Flyers went to the Stanley Cup finals. He has played on the PP and PK.

Teams value playoff experience, and because Petry has none that played a factor in his trade value. Sekera has only played eight playoff games, but the Kings clearly felt he was a better fit on their team than Petry.

Petry is a #5, possibly a #4, on some playoff teams, so I never expected the Oilers to get a better return than what they received.

However, because he is a #4 on a playoff team doesn’t mean the Oilers shouldn’t have re-signed him. As I stated last week, I think MacTavish should have signed him in the summer of 2013. Petry still had one year left on his contract, at $1.75 million, and the Oilers should have tried for a three-year deal. It would have eaten up two years of UFA, but in the summer of 2013 Petry was still two years away from UFA, and many players want security.

A three-year deal at $3.2 million/year would have been a good deal. I know Petry wasn’t consistent every night, but he also only had 156 games of NHL experience. You sign him based on potential and the fact that he has NHL skating ability, an NHL caliber shot and lots of room to improve.

If Petry was making $3.2 million this year no one would complain — he is currently making $3.075. The mistake MacTavish made, based on his actions and words, was he felt he couldn’t have both Petry and Justin Schultz long-term, and he preferred Schultz.

Outside of those two the Oilers didn’t have any other right shot D-men who were close to NHL ready, in the organization in 2013. Why not sign Petry then? If you didn’t want him in two or three years you could have traded him, and his value would have been much higher because he would have been under contract.

This isn’t just hindisight, this is looking at the overall depth of your organization. It would have been a good gamble, and with only 156 NHL games, Petry’s camp would have been open to a contract. It also would have shown Petry they felt he was part of their “core”.

Since taking over in 2013, MacTavish has never once mentioned Petry amongst his core, and while he might not be a top-pairing defender, on this team he was a young D-man who played a lot of minutes. It seemed obvious from the start MacTavish wasn’t sold on him, which is fine — every GM has players they value more than others — but the error was MacTavish never made a move that put him in a position of strength. That hurt the Oilers. Every GM makes mistakes, but the key to success is how you repair that mistake.

Alas, it never happened and now Petry is a member of the Canadiens and the Oilers have two more draft picks that won’t be NHL players for at least three years.

MacTavish will need to make some very good moves this summer if the Oilers hope to be in the playoff race past January 31st, 2016.

TRADE THOUGHTS…

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  • I wonder if MacTavish made a call to Yzerman about Connolly? Connolly was only played 11:55/game in Tampa Bay, but he played 1:27/game on PK and 1:59 on the PP. Ten of his 12 goals this year have come at ES. Connolly is 22 years old and he has played 134 NHL games and 137 AHL games as well as 18 AHL playoff games. The only negative is that he is a winger, and the Oilers have many of those, but I’d take him instead of a second round pick in 2015. The Oilers need to improve next year, not four years from now.

    I would have traded a second rounder, and since is it was much higher than the Bruins second rounder, the Oilers wouldn’t have had to give up another second in the deal. Maybe a later pick. I like Connolly, and the Lightning have many young forwards, so he was buried a bit on the depth chart. He has been a slow developer, but the fact he was on the PK in Tampa shows me Jon Cooper believes he has an understanding of how to play in his own end. He has learned to be better defensively and he’s producing goals in limited minutes.

  • The Arizona Coyotes are in a full rebuild. They dealt Vermette, Yandle and Michalek in the past 48 hours and in return they got a lot of potential: Anthony Duclair (third rounder in 2013), Maxim Letunov (second rounder in 2014), first and second round picks in 2015 and a first round choice in 2016. This will be the beginning of a losing stretch for the Coyotes, but because they have a legitimate #1 D-man in Oliver Ekman-Larsson their rebuild might not be as ugly as the Oilers. It is a still a gamble to give away proven NHL players for draft picks. The Coyotes are selling hope to their fans, and in Edmonton we’ve seen that hope doesn’t guarantee you success within three or four seasons.

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    • Jordan88

      Any time you get something for nothing it’s a good deal.

      Petry was not gonna sign here and he would have walked away from us. I don’t like that fact alone.

      Dear Katz, your beloved storied franchise is now officially an NHL feeder team.
      We build 2-4th line NHL players and ship them out.
      The Oilers are the rest stop for AHL/NHL players.

      Start dropping the axe.

    • camdog

      Oilers accountability 101:

      Eakins – “it’s not my fault I wasn’t given a proper balanced lineup”

      Mact – “it’s not my fault I wasn’t left with anything to work with”

      Lowe – “it’s not my fault I wanted to start the rebuild 3 years earlier but ownership wouldn’t let me”

    • oilerjed

      Looks like MacT is stock piling picks. The upcoming draft will be a career defining moment for him, as July free agency will surely be a bust.

      Craig is not on it.

    • Ghosts of Northlands

      MacT wasn’t sold on Dubnyuk either, but we know how that turned out… At least he is out east and won’t have a chance to be an Oiler killer like all the other ex-Oilers become after they get traded away.

    • bleedingoil

      who on the oilers would you give up to get Petry back? Would you let go of a first round pick? RNH, Hall, Ebs? Nurse, KBom? no, no, no, no and no. He is a 2nd round pick player. The extra pick we get is a bonus and be assured we would not have gotten that deal from a division rival. Say thanks that he went to a team in the east.

      • That’s not the point. The return is what it is. The point is that we could have signed him and kept a real NHL player who is better than all defencemen on this squad not named Klefbom as opposed to yet another hole to fill with a pick that may pan out 5 years from now.

        • bleedingoil

          We could have signed him, but at 3mil+ per nhl body, just for the sake of signing bodies would ice us 23 bodies at a cap of 69 million. There comes a time from both player and management sides that you need to be prepared to walk away. From all the buzz on the interwebs, it appears that Petry was prepared unless he got 5+ mil and MacT was prepared to walk at anything more than 3 long term. He is NOT a 3+ mil player. He is a depth defencemen and should be getting paid depth money. We will find out during Free Agent frenzy. A fly on the wall tells me that Petry may wish he had taken MacTs offer.

          • I’d be willing to bet that he could have been signed last year for a number in the low 4’s. That would have been a decent value if it took away a couple of UFA years.

            4plus M is not a depth D-man. He’s top four on most teams (except the truly elite ones) and keeping him around for 304 years is just long enough to get Nurse and Klefbom into the roles they need to be in order for this team to be competitive.

            Bottom line is that we traded another NHL player away for magic beans. We have nobody to replace him and will have yet another hole to fill next year.

      • wiseguy

        You’ve nailed it. You could also add in Draisatl and this years pick to the list. The better question is did MacT make the right decision that he would rather buck up for Shultz rather than Petry.

    • robc186

      Unless you have a management team that can draft and scout like Detroit or any other competent team, Oilers draft picks are better used as trades for actual NHL talent. Until the Oilers recognize how terrible they are at drafting, scouting and working with young players, they’ll just keep accumulating and wasting draft picks.

    • SSB1963

      Watching teams like Buffalo and Arizona actively trying to tank is disgusting. It is business not a sport, however letting this happen should hurt the sport but is does not.

    • The Soup Fascist

      I hate how TSN is laughing and talking about tanking, you would think this should be illegal. Ron Wilson admits to having a GM telling him to lose.

    • Kevwan

      None of us knows the details of the contract negotiations between Petry and the Oilers and we likely never will. Also if you told me a month ago that the Oilers would get a 2nd rounder plus a 3rd to a 5th for Petry I would have been happy.

      But given the red hot market for players this year the return is horrible. Also the decision to keep all his 3rd and 4th liners when teams are overpaying is just plain dumb. It is obvious that he is not a competent NHL GM and the whole hockey world can see it.

      I will be surprised if he survives this but then again it is the Oilers.

    • I disagree that this trade indicates what other teams thought of Petry. I think this reflects on MacTavish and his inability to do anything. This is all moot because we don’t know if calls were made or weren’t but my assumption is the smartest guys in their own mind tried to hold off to get something better or didn’t hold Petry too high and just got what they could by waiting. They made it clear at the beginning of the season what going to happen with Petry and every GM knew it so they just waited until they could get what they wanted knowing full well Petry was going to be traded somewhere today.

    • Harry2

      The issue isnt how other teams value Petry. The issue is how our inept management team values players. Dishing out cash to the likes of Nikitan, Ference and Schultz over Petry shows how utterly incompitent these clowns really are

    • Harry2

      If ARZ make he playoffs before EDM can we come to the conclusion that Kevin Lowe has absolutely no idea what hes doing and should be fired via catapult straight out of Edmonton?

    • Armchair_Gm

      The problem is not the players. The players are just symptoms of the problem. The problem is an entrenched Oiler old boys establishment that keeps failing again and again and yet it keeps on applying the same failed solutions to problems. Players come and players go, but this Oiler establishment is forever and no matter how many times its remedies fail, it keeps on applying them without an ounce of self-reflection.

    • DoubleDIon

      It’s a bit rich listening to Oiler fans complain about other teams tanking… Maybe fans of teams who have never tanked obnoxiously could complain about it, but certainly not three #1 picks in a row Oiler fans.