Petry trade: Predictable


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.


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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    • Petrolero

      Ouch with the Michalek trade. Arizona managed to get the AHL’s (EDIT: USHL) leading scorer who’s only 19 years old plus a conditional third, and Michalek is hurt!!!. MacTavish is officially the donkey of the trade deadline.

    • Petrolero

      MacT’s tenure as GM can only be described as a failure. That’s saying something considering how low Tambellini had set the bar. He better have the best offseason ever for this team to improve next year (or win the lottery of course).

    • Prongers Promises

      HOPE on our side.



      #infinibuild keep stocking the cupboards.

      I heard theres a kid who was born 3 weeks ago that is showing alot of promise. Some say hes a generational talent!

    • bazmagoo

      Good luck to Petry! I hope he excels in Montreal, wins a cup, and cashes in big time.

      Yet another mistake by Lowe/MacT/Howson. But don’t OilersNation Grebeshkov is available this summer.

    • The Soup Fascist

      The return at the deadline is not the issue. The issue was letting Petry become a UFA at 27 years old.

      Total asset mismanagement by MacTavish. I said it on the other thread. MacT had all the leverage in the fall. He could either sign Petry to a contract that would chew up a couple years of UFA eligibility or trade him in the fall – it was clear the Oilers were not going to be a playoff team with or without Jeff Petry.

      The ONE thing he could not do was sign Petry to a one year deal.

      Yet that was exactly what MacT did. THAT was predictable.

      • oilerjed

        You didnt answer the other thread though.

        “The ONE thing he could not do was sign Petry to a one year deal. ”

        It is pretty damn clear that this was the only option Petry’s camp was offering unless MacT offered 5+. Would that have been an offer you would have signed?
        If Petry wanted a longer contract in either case you can be sure his agent would have pushed for it at a reasonable rate.

        • The Soup Fascist

          Again, as an RFA what leverage did Petry’s camp have? Sign me to a huge contract or I am going to sit the year out? Go play in the KHL and get paid in rubles?

          No chance.

          A competent GM knows that an RFA holds 7 and 8’s in his hand and the team has A’s and K’s. Especially for a good but not great NHL player.

          Clearly the tables turn when the player becomes a UFA.

          I am sorry – I said it in October and I will say it now. The one thing MacT could not do was panic and sign a one year deal. The moment that deal was offered and signed the die was cast that the Oilers would lose a guy they had invested considerable time, energy and equity in – starting his peak years for most NHL defensemen – for (given this groups Amateur Scouting record) magic beans.

          There is absolutely no excuse for letting this happen.

          • oilerjed

            I agree that once the contract was signed the rest was inevitable but Petry’s camp didnt need leverage only desire. Desire to be paid or desire to be somewhere else, or both. If it was either of the first two then what exactly would you have done? Offer a 3 year deal for 3.5? then when it is refused what is your next step? Trade? Being the turn over machine that he was do you think Petry worth more two years ago?

            • pkam

              Funny fans here forget that Petry 2 years ago was like J. Schultz today, perhaps was even worse. They are all trashing J. Schultz now, just like they did to Petry 2 years ago. Now suddenly they think we should have signed Petry then.

            • The Soup Fascist

              Very hypothetical question which should not be answered but I will anyway.

              I would have ultimately offered Petry a “fair” contract – whatever the hell that is, considering he was giving up a couple of UFA years. Like 3 years at 11 to 12 million.

              If he did not sign as GM I would tell him and his management to kick rocks. What options did they have – sit out the year?

              Let’s put it this way. Who would have been more negatively impacted by Petry sitting out the year?

              A decent NHL defender with lots of questions about his overall game going into UFA years?


              A team that was not going to make the playoffs with or without said decent defenseman?

              Petry’s camp would have caved. It was their only option. Bottom line MacT blinked and here we sit.

              You will NEVER convince me MacT played this anywhere approaching intelligently and I will likely not convince you MacT is incompetent.

              Whether 2 or 3 years of no playoffs will convince you of that …. I expect we will see.

            • oilerjed

              Thank you for being so understanding answering my hypothetical question;) Everything on here is hypothetical isnt it.

              But anyway…. You are telling me that if Petry didnt accept your 3 year offer you would let him sit even if yo have a pretty good idea that he had no interest in being with your team long term?. I cant imagine how that ultimatum would go over with a player.
              You still haven;t answered the question as to Petry’s worth two years ago?

            • The Soup Fascist

              I don’t care how the ultimatum would have gone over. He was an RFA and there are realities associated with that. The player does not have to like it but that is the way the CBA works.

              I have no idea what Petry’s value was two years ago. What difference does that make? The contract was being negotioated this past September.

            • oilerjed

              The difference is that we were talking about what options there were for the Oilers and Petry 2 years ago when the first 1 year contract was signed. Read through the thread and youll find it.
              Could Petry not have requested arbitration that same year as well?

          • pkam

            Not a chance? Remember O’Rielly’s return from Europe and his 6.5M offersheet?

            Remember Franson refused to sign a 2 year contract last summer and got a one year during the training camp?

            Petry’s camp could have gone to the arbitration to force a one year deal, but they chose to avoid the arbitration.

            Petry’s camp could also go out to find a team that is willing to sign him an offer sheet at 3M for a year which will only cost the new team a 2nd rounder, which Oilers had the option to take a 2nd rounder or match the deal.

            Can you explain why the above are not an option?

            • The Soup Fascist

              Yes I can explain.

              1. Jeff Petry is not the same level of player as Ryan O’Reilly plus remember the whole fiasco with Jay “Buffet” Feaster.

              2. I can’t rationalize or comment on anything the Leafs would do. Taking player management tips from that organization would be like asking the Germans for tips on winning world wars.

              3. No they could not. Petry and his band of merrymen waived arbitration rights which had to be submitted by July 5th.

              4. Why would any NHL team be dumb enough to go the offer sheet route for one year of Jeff “freaking” Petry? Because his agent asked nicely?

              Again. Petry had NO LEVERAGE. MacT panicked and we are seeing the results in a crappy return for a decent defenseman.

            • pkam

              1. It doesn’t have to be the same level of Ryan O’Rielly to go to Europe? Does it? So you think Petry is not good enough to play in Europe? And Petry doesn’t need a 6.5M offersheet, just a 3M or even 2.5M for one year. This is his leverage.

              2. Why did Leafs make that decision? Because if they didn’t sign the player, the player had other option like Europe, the team had none. It is impossible to trade a player who is playing somewhere else.

              3. I know the Petry’s camp could not file an arbitration after July 5th, but why couldn’t they do it before July 5th, unless there is some gentleman agreement that a one year deal is on the table? If you were Petry’s agent, will you not go to arbitration without that promise from MacT?

              4. Didn’t you say Petry is a decent defenseman? So you are saying why would any NHL team be dumb enough to go offer sheet route on a decent defenseman?

              Jeff is either a decent defenseman, or he is not. If he is not, why should we sign him to a long contract? If he is, why wouldn’t other team want him for a 2nd rounder and a chance to resign him at the end of the offersheet? Did the Habs pay us a 2nd rounder plus a little more now for just 20 games?

            • The Soup Fascist

              OK clearly you are not getting it.

              a) Petry would not have gone to Europe. His agent would have realized it was in his best interest to sign in the NHL

              b) Please let me know the last time an NHL team made a one year offer sheet posting on a mid level NHL player. Easy answer. NEVER.

              c) If Petry et al gave up arbitation rights in summer why would that scare MacT during negotiations in fall? Once they gave up that right, do you want the GM to give them credit for passing on arbitration? Lordy.

              Please let me know when you are selling something on Kijiji. I would LOVE to negotiate with you.

            • pkam

              a) You can’t keep a RFA forever, he will become an UFA once he reaches 28. So worst case for Petry is to play 2 years in Europe.

              b) Everything has the 1st time.

              c) If you’re Petry’s agent, will you give up the arbitration without a word from MacT that a one year contract is an option? If MacT promises it, should he keep his words?

            • The Soup Fascist

              Unless you were in the room for the discussion is c) anything more than a guess? I heard nothing about such a promise.

              PS I misunderstood your point earlier about Europe. I ammended my reponse, my bad. Playing outside the NHL was an option for him just not one I believe Petry or his people would have explored.

            • pkam

              I didn’t know what was happening in the room, I just disagree that Petry’s camp had zero leverage. In fact, I believe they had more leverage than MacT, Europe, arbitration, and offer sheet.

              I am sure Petry would prefer not to go to Europe, but if he has to choose between signing a longer contract with Oilers or Europe, who knows?

              They didn’t play the hard ball, should MacT reward them with a hard ball?

              Petry’s agent not just represents Petry, but many other players. A good relation will go a long way.

            • Zarny

              Sure, a good relation goes a long way; but the Oilers still should have played hard ball. Ryan Johansen’s agent represents many other players too; that didn’t stop CBJ.

              Petry’s camp had very little leverage during negotiations 1-2 years ago.

              Have you thought about why Petry waived his arbitration rights? The answer is because it would not have gone well for him. The Oilers likely would have opened with a video loop of Petry getting pwned by Blake Wheeler in OT last year to lose game and gone from there.

              Yes, theoretically Petry could have played in Europe. Practically that wasn’t a good option for him. Maybe he gets a slightly bigger pay day but I doubt he nor his agent would have liked the idea of not playing in the NHL. When your goal is the NHL you are best served by playing in that league.

              An offer sheet was again technically an option but look at what the league offered for his services this year. Do you really think there were teams lining up to sign Jeff Petry to an offer sheet? Not likely or at least not likely for the kind of dollars Petry may want. They certainly wouldn’t have signed him to a 1 year offer sheet.

              Petry was no different than Ryan Johansen, Nazim Kadri or any RFA in the NHL. The team had the hammer and MacT dropped the ball. The Oilers had virtually all of the leverage at the time because Petry really only had one good option which was to sign with the Oilers.

              MacT commented after the 1 yr deal that the Oilers were a bit exposed on the asset and he was absolutely right. Today, that cost him.

            • SSB1963

              So what you are essentially saying is that instead of getting what he could for Petry, he should have just let him walk? Your asset management is every bit as suspect as MacT’s.

    • bazmagoo

      People defending this trade aren’t answering the right question. It’s not “What is Petry worth?” but rather “What is Petry worth to the Edmonton Oilers?”. He’s definitely worth more to us than a late 2nd round pick and a conditional 5th rounder.

      I mean, forget the fact that he isn’t a true number one D. We’re lacking in true second and third pairing D! I’m beginning to think the 2015-16 season is already a complete write-off.

      • bazmagoo

        “I’m beginning to think the 2015-16 season is already a complete write-off.”

        If the Oilers don’t add two legitimate top 4 NHL defenders in the off season we have zero chance of making the playoffs in 2015-16. Sorry to be a negative bummer, it’s just reality.

      • gus1000

        But is he worth the $5+ mil he wanted per season? On the open market, depending on the playoffs, he may only get 3.5 to 4. And he is worth that. The Oilers would have had to pay him 5 or 5.5, to hopefully be a third line pairing in a few years.

        He’s not worth that.

        • oilerjed

          It should be interesting to see how Petry does in the playoffs. This will go a long way to determining if he hits paydirt this summer. If he is mediocre or dare, I say a flop, then MacT may end up looking pretty good come October if he can parlay the picks for something useful.

          • Thumby

            The only way Mac T comes out of this looking ok is if Petry tests the open market, finds out he’s worth 4 years x 3.5 million and mac t signs him for 5 years x 4 million this summer. I think I could be ok with that…anyone care to give odds on this happening?

      • bleedingoil

        You have to value what he is worth within the league. Lets surmise that MTL was the ONLY team willing to make the deal MacT did. That means that all the other teams felt Petry was NOT worth a 2nd round pick +. We play AGAINST 29 other teams and need to base our value on their cupboards. We have enough 4/5 defencemen and by letting one go (regardless if he was our best) is not going to lose us any more games. Solid trade by MacT. With a top 3 pick plus another 1st, 2x2nds and 2x3rds, we will see one or more of a 1G, 1D top6 F coming in to the fold.

      • Oil Vice

        You almost make the point for people defending the trade. He is not a true 1st pairing dman and the oilers should value him more than other teams. You can bet Petry and his agent realize this. Considering it was unlikely Petry wanted to stick through the rebuild, the oilers would have had to sickly over pay to keep him. Oilers fans know better.
        We resign Petry and he’d fade away on a massive contract and probably get bought out half way through.
        I’ll take the 2nd and probably 3rd round picks over a huge contract that would cripple the ability to sign key players in 2-3 years when we might actually be competitive.
        Klefbom, Nurse, Marincin, Oesterle…

    • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

      Saw it coming a mile off, but it didn’t make me any less pissed when it happened. We are legitimately a development team in this league. Ten bucks says Buffalo and Arizona make the playoffs before we do.

    • 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.

    • 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.

      • toprightcorner

        That 2nd round Toronto got is in 2016 which is not a deep draft at all so can’t be compared to 2015. Also Pit needed a physical depth forward much more than Mon needed a 4-5 dman so were willing to pay more to get that player. A player is only worth as much someone is willing to spend for them and Petry just wasn’t worth as much as many expected in this so called sellers market.

      • Gerald R. Ford

        As a rental he is. I’d rather have Winnick in the playoffs than Petry. The truth is nobody has any idea how Petry will do in he playoffs. He stands a better chance playing in the East though, that’s for sure.

        Maybe MacT could of gotten more for Petry, maybe not, but I’m glad that we never signed him long term. Just because he’s our best D right now it doesn’t mean we should sign him long term for big money. He’s not the answer. Most teams value him as a 3rd pairing d-man – why would we want to sign a guy like that to big money and term?

        Nikitin was a mistake, but at least he only signed for 2 years.

    • 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”

    • You don’t sign UFAs on a team with bare cupboards. The team isn’t going anywhere and the UFAs are already at an age that they will be dead to us by the time the team catches up. You can’t start over on your D when your F are maturing, you’ll never have a complete team because the Fs will leave as UFAs before the D compliments them. You don’t trade away your best D and keep your youngest and oldest D because it perpetuates the cycle of imbalance. At some point mgt has to stabilize and build their own talent. Trading away a solid, homegrown, middle D is not the way, no matter what you think you can do in the future. The surest indicator of your future is to look at your past… and the surest sign of insanity is to keep doing the same thing…. again… and again… and again

    • 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.

    • gus1000

      I have made a few comments on Petry and got roasted about how we as Oiler fans value him very high, because on our team he is a top 2 guy. Everywhere else he is a 5 or 6 depending on the team.

      St.Louis and Chicago chose to gamble on guys who are injured or just coming back from injury rather than Petry.

      Did MacT do a good job of asset management in the summer,not even close. But the trade market dictates value, and Petry had less than those guys. The Habs might actually be able to go deep in the playoffs, so a 2nd and 3rd are good choices to have to trade away for real players.

    • 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.

    • bazmagoo

      Dead on evealuation of the trade. Others valued more over Petry.Speaks volumes about Petry and the perceived value that he has on the open market this summer. Perhaps MacT will be right.Perhaps wrong. We’ll wait and see what he converts those picks into. Prospects or an NHL player or 2 . Who knows right now. Take what we got today and be happy we have something in hand for a player who is going to free agency.Time to move on.