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.


  • Soiled Trousers

    Yeah we could use Jeff Perry.

    I still need to remind myself that his contracts is way inflated given the years in Montreal. And his style of play pairs perfectly against those softer east-coast teams. He makes too much money now given he’s a much more known quantity anyways.

    Loved having you here Jeff, but understand why you’re gone. The way we lost him was tough, but I wouldn’t want his current contract on our books either.

    • Danglishish

      Yeah, who wants to pay $5.5 million for a guy who is now the 2nd best dman on the best team in the league? Why do that when you can spend similar money on a stud asset like Nikitin? Great point.

  • lav

    Isn’t it obvious by now that MacT was the ‘fall guy’ in the tank to get McDavid? How else can you explain his blatantly obvious ‘blunders’? I don’t think MacT is a hockey genius by any means but I do think his hockey IQ is better than that.

    1. Signing Petry to one year deal to ‘test’ his worth. This move all but ensured their number one Dman would be gone by the trade deadline.
    2. Not addressing the obvious holes at Center at the beginning of the season.
    3. Trading Perron mid-season who was one of their top scoring wingers the season prior.

    MacT did his job well. This is why he got his photo taken next to Mcdavid at the draft. I don’t think MacT expected to get fired though.

  • Soiled Trousers

    MacT’s Daily Routine:

    Step 1 – Get a bag full of paint thinner

    Step 2 – Fart into bag

    Step 3 – Huff farts and paint thinner until you can’t stand

    Step 4 – Sit back and admire the dynasty you have built

  • CaptainLander

    Wonder how good Petry would look with Scriven in net and not Carey Price. I liked Petry, but at the time I did not think Petry was and still do not think Petry is a 5.5 mil dollar player (and I know neither is Sekera). Would be interesting to to see what that dollar amount for Petry was in the long term contract. If MacT had a chance to sign this guy for 4-6 years at $3.5-4 mil, shame on MacT. If Petry’s camp wanted $5-5.5 mil for 5-7 years. Shame on Petry. It is unfortunate how things turned out…for the Oilers, Petry made out like a bandit.

    • Soiled Trousers

      Petry plays the second most minutes on Montreal!! Sometimes he plays more minutes than Subban and you Oiler fans still try to downplay how good he is! He runs second power play, virtually does all the penalty killing and moves the puck well, plus he knows how to do a slap shot unlike your number one power play expert ha ha ha!!! It falls me that you would still say he is not worth the money they pay him WOW!!!!!! So your saying the Montreal organization has no clue as well!! They knew immediately what they had, and surprise as soon as they realized it they gave him contract he deserved!! Price is good but put him in front of Oiler D and he would be NO better than Talbot!! You have a great goalie as well just can’t see it buried behind the worst Defence in hockey for a decade and running!!!!
      WOW Petry not worth his contract!!! Typical Oiler fan don’t know what you have even after its gone

  • Soiled Trousers

    Who challenges their best d man with a 1 year deal? Why is he still with the organization. Until he is gone it makes me skeptical about who really is in charge.

  • AJ88

    So coming off the 2013-14 year Petry had a total of 17 points and not great defensive stats. Shultz had 33 points and basically the same defensive stats. What kind of contract were the Oilers supposed to offer Petry…long term and $5M a year? As it sits right now I would like Petry on the Oilers but when the 1 year contract was agreed to there was not a lot of bitching going on from ON writers and the media.

    What I want to know is what was on the table when he was sent to Montreal…then I will decide if Petry actually wanted to stay here.

    • robc186

      Clearly the deal wasn’t anything long term otherwise Petry probably would have taken it and/or MacT would have alluded to making the offer.

      Also i think the comment about no one bitching about the 1 year contract is completely inaccurate. I am pretty sure Matt Henderson, Jonathan Willis, and Lowetide (3 ON writers) were saying it was stupid of the Oilers.

      • AJ88

        “Clearly” based on info you have? I am a Petry supporter and always was, there was plenty of bitching about Petry’s 2013-14 season from the media and ON writers, none of them would have signed Petry to lucrative long term deal. As usual ON’ s perfect 20/20 hindsight vision. Again as a supporter of Petry I wish he was still playing with the Oilers, what was the offer at deadline time?

  • Soiled Trousers

    Why would we want to keep Jeff Petry, when there is a roughly equivalent player out there in Sekera who will demand approximately the same amount of money, but whom we have limited exposure to and haven’t seen him play in our tire fire of a system? Also Sekera is left handed, so that’s great because most people aren’t left handed. Right? I think so…..

  • Soiled Trousers

    Yeah we could use Jeff Perry.

    I’ve changed my mind. I miss Petty, despite knowing he isn’t the true number one D we still need. Wish this turned out better.