We suspected it was coming. We just don’t know when. And then, just like that, the case is settled: Jeff Petry is no longer a member of the Canadiens.
Posted at 3:31 p.m.
Updated at 4:11 p.m.
The 34-year-old defenseman, along with forward Ryan Poehling, was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday afternoon. The CH in return for Quebec defender Mike Matheson and a choice of 4e round in the 2023 draft.
It has been several months since Habs general manager Kent Hughes said he was open to parting with Petry. The latter was also part of his intention to leave for family reasons a long time ago.
But Hughes has always been very clear: Petry was not leaving at any cost. And no portion of his heavy salary of 6.25 million per year, which has three seasons left, would be assumed by Montreal in the event of a transaction. Again Thursday, the day after the opening of the free agent market, the DG claims to have received offers for the veteran defender. Nothing worth taking action on, however.
“Jeff is an important defender for us,” he said. […] If we are going to trade it, it is to gain space under the salary cap, or to obtain a hope that could help us in the future. »
We have to believe that the DG has finally found what he was looking for.
Jeff Petry’s time in Montreal has been filled with ups and downs. Of joy and frustration. Especially the last two seasons.
The defenseman acquired from the Edmonton Oilers in 2015 has had four consecutive seasons of 40 points or more, from 2017 to 2021. He also had six assists in 20 playoff games in 2020-2021, when the CH reached the Stanley Cup final.
But when he returned from the offseason, Petry was no longer the shadow of the player he had been the previous season. As of January 12, after 28 games, his record was as follows: no buts, two assists, a differential of -7 and time in free fall.
After a loss to Pittsburgh in mid-December, the defender even said that the team had “no structure”. A comment perceived by many as an arrow towards the then head coach, Dominique Ducharme.
After the holiday break, the defender and his wife also agreed that it was better for the player to be the only one in the family to return to Quebec. His wife therefore remained in Michigan with their three children, citing in particular in an Instagram publication the heaviness of health measures in Quebec and the shortcomings of the Quebec health network.
Still, the arrival of Martin St-Louis as the new head coach in early February seemed to put a smile on Jeff Petry’s face. The defender’s performance remained choppy, but seemed to improve in March when partner Joel Edmundson returned. He finished the campaign with 6 goals and 27 points in 68 games.
During the Canadian’s end-of-season review, at the end of April, Petry seemed to have changed his tune, indicating that he was not closing the door to a return to Montreal. He had also been the player with the most praise for Martin St-Louis, saying that “what he delivered [l’avait] helped him get his game back.
“I will take a step back to reflect, go back to my loved ones and have a discussion with them,” he added.
Petry will finally have played his last game with CH on April 29, against the Florida Panthers.
Poehling will try to establish himself elsewhere
The Canadiens’ 2017 first-round pick, Poehling was a promising prospect.
The center player had also scored a hat trick in his first game in a Habs uniform.
However, the American was never able to carve out a regular spot in the roster. He will have finally resulted in 22 points, including 13 goals, in 85 games in the tricolor uniform.
A Quebecer is coming
Native of Pointe-Claire, Mike Matheson will have the chance to play at home. The six-foot-two defenseman was a first-round pick of the Florida Panthers in 2012.
Matheson played five seasons at Sunrise before moving to Steel City for two seasons. In 417 NHL games, the 28-goal left-hander is worth 138 points in addition to maintaining a -9 differential.
With the collaboration of Guillaume Lefrançois, The Press