TOP 100 OILERS: JEFF PETRY (68)

Petry

There are some polarizing players on this list and Jeff Petry certainly ranks among them when it comes to a thumbs-up or a thumbs down from fans and pundits during his time with the Edmonton Oilers. The thumbs-up crowd sees Petry as an effective defender who skates well, can move the puck and eat up second-pairing minutes.

The thumbs-down folks were often driven to distraction by Petry’s defensive lapses and unwillingness to engage physically by way of the big hit. I’ve got to admit, I found myself on this side of the fence often. That said, warts and all, Petry was and is a bonafide top-four NHL blueliner and a right-shot guy, no less. There hasn’t exactly been a surplus of those around here.

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Jeff Petry

Defense — shoots R

Born Dec 9 1987 — Ann Arbor, MI 

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Height 6.03 — Weight 204 [191 cm/93 kg]

Drafted by Edmonton Oilers


Round 2 #45 overall 2006 NHL Entry Draft

BY THE NUMBERS

Season

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Tm

GP

G

A

PTS

+/-

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PIM

S%

ATOI

2010-11

EDM

35

1

4

5

-12

10

2.4

20:22

2011-12

EDM

73

2

23

25

-7

26

1.8

21:46

2012-13

EDM

48

3

9

12

1

29

4.5

21:55

2013-14

EDM

80

7

10

17

-22

42

7.3

21:35

2014-15

TOT

78

7

15

22

-28

42

5.6

21:15

2014-15

EDM

59

4

11

15

-25

32

3.9

20:57

2014-15

MTL

19

3

4

7

-3

10

13.0

22:11

2015-16

MTL

51

5

11

16

-6

16

5.1

21:21

5 yrs

EDM

295

17

57

74

-65

139

4.1

21:25

2 yrs

MTL

70

8

15

23

-9

26

6.6

21:35

Career

365

25

72

97

-74

165

4.6

21:27

NOTABLE

Petry, of course, was traded to Montreal for draft picks because then-Oiler GM Craig MacTavish didn’t see as much value in him as he did Justin Shultz – think about that for a second – rather than lose the pending UFA for nothing after failing to lock him up to a long-term deal. The Habs later inked Petry to a six-year deal worth $33 million. It’s a contract that falls anywhere between being pretty much in line with other defenders of his ilk or a waste of money, depending on who you talk to.

Former Oiler Georges Laraque, who works a microphone in Montreal these days, assessed Petry this way in an interview with Bob Stauffer of 630 CHED: “He’s not hitting anybody, he’s not physical. He’s playing with the end of the stick. Everybody walks all around him.

“He makes tons of mistakes. He doesn’t look interested at all. And they’re stuck with him at the money. And it’s crazy how things turned that quickly because MacT was right. He didn’t want to give him the $6 million per year and we have to admit it, MacT was right.” The entire rant is here.

THE STORY

I’m not so sure “MacT was right.” While Petry wasn’t exactly my cup of tea, as noted earlier, and I’d call his contract with Montreal an overpay, but with all the talk about a lack of proven (and even unproven) right-shot D-men in Edmonton these days, letting him get away for picks was a mistake.

Too often, Petry was misscast here, playing too many minutes and doing it without much in the way of a supporting cast. When you’re not an offensive dynamo, and Petry certainly wasn’t in his time here – he had 74 points in 295 games – defensive mistakes aren’t passed off as easily as those made by more dynamic players.

As is the case with polarizing players like Petry, some of you will say I have him too high on this list while others might like him far more than I do. I find myself trying to split the difference – for me, even with his duly noted shortcomings and unwillingness to bang, Petry was a pretty good player on some really bad teams here.  

This series will look at the top 100 Edmonton Oilers from the NHL era 1979-80 to 2014-15, starting with 100 and working up. 

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260.

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    • Kurri_Flavor

      Not at 6 million dollars a season we don’t. While I thought he should have been signed instead of Justin (spit) Schultz, the dollars are not worth the player.

          • Keepyourstickontheice

            Welcome to salary inflation. I think Roman Josi is twice the defenceman that Petry is, but Petry gets paid 50% over the next couple seasons. People complain about the 6 million dollar club, but I’d rather have Eberle at 6 million a year than Bobby Ryan at 7.25 over the next 4 years.

            Be prepared to laugh at what Kris Russell manages to get via a bidding war in the off season.

          • Seanaconda

            Josi is a good example that taking a risk on a young guy can really work out by signing him super long and for a bit more than he’s worth at the time . Hopefully klefbom is the same. Hamonic is another example of that working out.

            I can see why gms try to avoid bridge deals if you think a player is legit. Instead of a 9 mill subban they signed josi for 7 years at 4 mill. If they bridged him he would prob be making 7 or 8 mill right now at least.

  • Rob...

    I could see him in the top 100, but I’m not sure I’d have had a player so void of competitive fire within the top 70 over the Oilers complete history.

  • '68 Fire Chicken

    So 68 just becuase ? Guy was bipolar. Went from a stud to dud all the time. Terribly frustrzting. Dont know how he bumped Staios on this list.

    Laraque was/is right.

  • vetinari

    What a difference a year makes. My brother-in-law is a diehard Habs fan. When they traded for him, he cackled about how they robbed us blind. This year, he’s complaining about how much salary and term that they are paying him.

    Don’t think MacT was right but if Petry was playing in your bottom four and earning about $4M/year, I don’t think you’d hear many complaints about him.

  • camdog

    It could be year 3 of 4 at 4 million per season for Petry, which would be a good deal for both, that would have been a Tambelini signing though. I don’t know what Mact could have gotten for him when he came on board. 5.5 million is a bit rich, just as it is for Sekera and will be for Demers, but that’s what happens when you let players get to UfA. I can only imagine what Oiler fabs would be saying about Demers if he were to sign on with Petry money in 2-3 years.

    Overall Petry did get off to a slow start in Montreal, started to play really well, then caught hurt by Benn and slowed down a bit Before the season ending injury. The advanced stats guys love his game, others are underwhelmed about what he is capable of at the price point.

    And George Laraque is nothing more than a Mact apologest anything he says should be taken with a grain of salt.

    • Reg Dunlop

      Ya, those advanced stats dudes really know their stuff. Of course, they have the advantage of never having played or watched hockey. And then there is that Laraque fellow. What does he know, he only played 14 years in the show. Petry is nothing more than an over-paid 3rd pairing guy with good wheels and inconsistent effort. He is no longer an Oiler so we move on.

      • camdog

        Everything George Laraque learned about hockey he learned from Craig Mactavish. I know in Edmonton some like to trust their team to former players, because they know a thing or 2 about winning, I however do not. When George made those comments it was the beginning of the season. Petry stepped up his game about that time.

        Petry is a pretty good second pairing d-man, he’s not a first pairing guy like he was in Edmonton and definitely not a third paring d-man.

  • Jay (not J)

    NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. Suddenly I’m starting to think that this whole list is a sham. Clearly Jeff Petrey belongs in the top spot overall on this list followed by number 2 Martin Marincin and then your glory boys in any particular order.

  • @Hallsy4

    I agree that MacT was right that he was not worth (even close) to the money he got… In fact, he’s not a guy I want on my team. He was NOT right (even close) that Petry was less valuable than Jultz. The Jultz and the Eakins decisions are really unfathomable for me, I just don’t possibly understand. Stuborness that they were right? I wish one day we could know the truth. For now, Fire the mall, then trade some of the rest.

  • @Hallsy4

    Brownlee, do you have info on Petry’s PP points vs even strength? -65 career and 74 pts in 295 isn’t great for an easy to play against D man. I have a suspicion that many of Petry’s pts came from playing with Hall ect on the PP. And thanks for the article.

  • MGD

    In Petry’s contract year, here, I started to like him. For the first time in his career he was using his body quite a bit. He seemed quicker and meaner, and determined to SIUTB of MacT and his “1 year testing contract” right before UFA.
    Of course, that was just a few months… he’s since gone back to being the Jeff Petry we all know and love (to hate).

  • IronX

    I hate Petry with a passion!

    Please post another blog so that we don’t have to look at his disoriented expression anymore. Write something about the 4th pick, how we shouldn’t trade anybody and be patient but for the love of God, post something else!!!!

    Guess next in the list is Theo Peckham….

  • ubermiguel

    Petry was much maligned. The themes for most of the player use in the last ten years have been “miscast” and “playing too many minutes”.

    On a related note we need to coin a noun to use for the last 10 years. 1979-1990 is “The Glory Years”. What’s the opposite of “glory”? The Ugly Years? The Dreadful Decade? The Low Times? You can misspell the last one as the “Lowe Times” if you blame a particular executive.

  • A-Mc

    This player was definitely not my cup of tea, but to lose him for basically nothing was a huge mistake.

    It doesnt really matter where you come out on Jeff Petry, the Oilers needed to get something for this guy…

  • Dwayne Roloson 35

    Funny how people wish we had him but when he was here, he was the goat that everyone blamed. People only started to like him when he was about to leave.

  • Rob...

    So heading into the WHL finals, Ethan Bear leads all D in both the Goals and Assists category, and is top 5 in +/-. Let’s hope he eventually replaces Petry on a future version of this list.

  • Drawn and Quarterly

    From 2011 to 2014, Petry was second in hits on the Oilers D. Every year.

    In 2013/14 and 14/15, Petry’s “lack of physical engagement” registered more hits than well-known ‘softies’ Shea Weber, Zdeno Chara, Brent Seabrook, Johnny Boychuck, Anton Volchenkov, and Ryan Suter.

    Petry was sure soft, all right. Good thing he’s gone!