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.
- 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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