Jeff Petry explains why he doesn’t play for the Edmonton Oilers anymore

Jeff Petry

At some point, people do need to move on. Jeff Petry used to be an Oiler, he isn’t now, and that’s a shame for fans of Edmonton but there’s no way to change it.

However, I’ve seen lots of speculation that Petry’s departure was precipitated by his refusal to sign a long-term deal with the team. We can put that speculation to rest. According to the player and according to the general manager at the time, it was the Oilers who didn’t want Petry.

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Petry, for the Record

According to Petry, he was interested in a long-term deal. The Oilers were only willing to consider a one- or two-year pact.

Craig MacTavish, for the Record

Craig MacTavish16

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The story with Craig MacTavish seemed to change a little with time. After Petry was signed in the summer, he said the Oilers “looked at a longer term deal” but couldn’t agree on one. It may be that was the two-year deal that Petry referred to in his comments to Basu above. Later on, towards the trade deadline and afterward, MacTavish repeatedly referenced the importance of challenging Petry on a one-year deal. In all three cases, MacTavish emphasized the need to see what level Petry’s play was at, a comment consistent with Petry’s contention that only one- or two-year deals were on the table.

July 7, 2014:

We looked at a longer term deal with [Petry], we just couldn’t agree on a longer term deal… It’s a bit of a risky deal for us because we’re exposed on the asset, and we very much view Jeff as a high-end asset for us. At the same time, we’ve got to see what the level is for Jeff. Jeff’s anticipating a high level and he’s got the ability to hit it out of the park and we hope that’s the case and we’re right back at the negotiation table next year negotiation a long-term deal with Jeff based on a tremendous season and a big upgrade on what we’ve seen the last few years, which has been pretty good.

February 20, 2015:

I’ll just say this about Jeff. We really challenged him on a one-year contract and he’s clearly met that challenge. His game is at a level right now that it hasn’t been at before. I give Jeff a lot of credit for that.

March 2, 2015:

At the end of last year I felt strongly that we had to challenge Jeff on a one-year deal. I didn’t like where his game was going. I didn’t like the urgency in his game and the decisiveness in his game and I thought it was important that we challenge him on a one-year deal. His game, clearly after a couple of months this year hit another level. He was decisive, he was physical, he was playing at a different level and kudos to him.

The Takeaway


It would appear that this was an unforced error by the Oilers. According to Petry, he was willing to talk about a long-term extension in Edmonton, but the Oilers weren’t. According to MacTavish, it was important to challenge Petry on a one-year deal and important to see what level his game was at; a longer-term deal was offered but may only have been the two-year deal that Petry referenced in his statement.

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It’s a shame. An Oilers blue line built around Oscar Klefbom/Jeff Petry, Andrej Sekera/Justin Schultz and Darnell Nurse/Griffin Reinhart/Mark Fayne would be a significant upgrade on the current group. Petry has mobility and passing skills that the Oilers lack on the back end, and he plays on the right side where Edmonton’s defence is particularly weak.

It’s also in the past, and the man responsible has been demoted. The only reason I bring it up again is that I continue to talk to people who excuse the Oilers organization for the mistake on the grounds that Petry was unwilling to stay with the team. Neither the player nor the general manager of the day ever made that argument. Based on what they have said, it doesn’t have a basis in fact.


  • BobbyCanuck

    Can we just say that the Habs are better at evaluting talent/potential than the Oilers, and leave it at that.

    I always liked Petry, and I hope he gets a couple of points tonight…but we need this win, biggest game of the season…

    It is sad that every next game is the biggest game of the season…end the losing streak…build some confidence

  • A-Mc


    Petry protected the net worse than nikitin.

    Tmac stated we need to reduce our GA.

    I was one who noticed Petry was one of the best PKGA; Hit ; Block d in the game. But it did not translate to stopping Slot and Box shots.

  • Anton CP

    Just because that the Oilers Ds has been gawd awful doesn’t mean that Petry should stay on the team. The whole point is, the Oilers need top pairing Ds and Petry is at best the second pairing. Normally teams don’t feel sorry about losing non-first pairing Ds because they are usually replaceable. I don’t ever for a moment think losing Petry was a mistake, it was not a smart decision but it was not a real mistake. If losing a lower pairing D-men is considered as mistake then the team will keep on sucking.

  • Gerald R. Ford

    It’s amazing how much long-term damage MacT did in his short tenure as GM. I mean, he really had to work hard to put the Oilers in an even more precarious position than when he inherited the team, but somehow, he pulled it off. And it’s not like he’s a moron, despite what many here and elsewhere think of him. This is a very smart, confident guy who made awful decision after awful decision.


    Good on Petry. Nice, deserving kid. I hope everyone on the management team, whether or not they were part of that debacle, watches him have a long, successful career somewhere else, and learns from it.

  • Kr55

    Jeff Petry and Tom Gilbert are playing for the Habs and they are winning, what gives?

    Both Ex-Oilers that fans and coaches ran them out of town.

    It’s not the problem with any defensemen in Oilers system, they never good enough. Other teams has no name Dmen and they are winning.

    It’s a whole team defense, forwards come back to defend, good goaltending helps. Look at Dubnyk, not good to play here but he’s winning with the Wild.

    It’s the attitude from the young stars to the veterans, they play hard and winning.

    I m not seeing the winning will come with this group and coaches. Oilers drafted the wrong players.

    Picked Seguin instead of Hall, Seguin is leading the Stars now. Hall is not a leader and he’s not out there taking over the games.

    McDavid is awesome, he’s all over the ice. Making plays and playing good D.

    Hope they start winning soon!

    • AJ88

      Petry, Gilbert and Schultz we’re asked to play over their heads with a poor supporting case, otherwise they wouldn’t have been the #1 or 2 defenseman.

      Dubie was playing terrible when he left here. Whether or not Edmonton wrecked him is debatable, though I think they did. It seems MacT had a hate-on to him for some reason.

      Seguin vs Hall is still debatable. They’re both good players but unless you’re involved with the Oilers, you have not right to decide whether or not he’s a leader. Particularly to suggest Seguin is a better leader.

      McDavid is awesome.

  • Kr55

    It’s also worth mentioning that, in that July 7, 2014 interview, MacT revealed that he did not want a longer term deal with Petry because he didn’t want to give him the “$4M price point”. What a bargain Petry would be right now on a long term deal with any AAV that started with the number 4.

    One of the most damaging things MacT did to the Oilers, aside from the Dallas Eakins Corsi Obsession Regression.

  • Kr55

    This blog disgusts me. So does the Nikitin Story. What an incompetent bunch of bums… Hopefully they can slide further away from any more decision making. Particularly involving D Men.