The conditions Canadians general manager Kent Hughes set for a jeff petry trade have known each other for a long time. He hasn’t moved an inch from what he originally said about trading Petry, that any deal would have to make sense for Petry, but also for the Canadians. That Canadians should come out of the exchange better, either now or in the future.
Now that free agency has opened, now that a bunch of teams have spent a lot of money on players, and now that the already small market for Petry might have gotten even smaller, Hughes hasn’t changed his mind.
And it shouldn’t.
Petry has a contractual obligation to the Canadiens, and while his desire to play elsewhere has nothing to do with the Canadiens or even hockey, the fact that Petry is under contract and a player Hughes and that you would prefer to keep means you don’t have to. change your view of what an ideal trade would look like.
That’s what makes it different from Las Vegas Golden Knights needing to throw on defense Dylan Coghlan to get the carolina hurricanes lead 30 goals scorer max pacioretty out of your hands. The Golden Knights had to make that trade to meet the salary cap. Hughes is under no obligation to trade Petry, and that changes everything.
“It’s about finding that trade that makes sense for the Montreal Canadiens,” Hughes said Thursday. “If we can find it, we will. If not, Jeff will have to go back to Montreal and play here. We love him as a player, and I think he loves everything about Montreal, as well as the complications from a family perspective. So we’ll keep trying.
“This is not something that has to happen today or tomorrow, it could happen in a week, it could happen in a month and we will continue to work on that.”
“I don’t want to close the door on this organization or this team.” – Jeff Petry. He says that he needs to discuss it with his family and reflect, but he is very open to returning to Montreal. However, he definitely wouldn’t say if he would ask Kent Hughes not to trade him.
– Arpon Basu (@ArponBasu) April 30, 2022
Hughes said he’s still talking to some teams about a possible Petry trade. He did not outright deny that the continued availability of defenseman John Klingberg (at least through Thursday afternoon), another offensive defender and right-hander, could be playing a role in Petry’s trade talks, when asked to respond. yes or no on whether Klingberg was delaying things, Hughes smiled and said “not necessarily”.
Perhaps teams that miss out on Klingberg will call on Hughes once Klingberg signs somewhere, but considering the criteria for a potential deal, we’re looking at a very depressed market for Petry. The fact that Klingberg is yet to sign anywhere only reinforces the idea that demand isn’t very high right now for this type of player.
Let’s count down what Hughes said about a deal he’d be willing to make. First, he doesn’t want to get a heavy contract back. I imagine that a contract with one year left would be fine, but anything with an end would be impossible. Second, Hughes isn’t willing to hold any money for the remaining three years of the Petry deal, so anyone looking at the Brent Burns trade as a model here can forget it, because the retention of money was an important factor there.
Third, Hughes wants something tangible in return — a player or a prospect or even both — that will make the Canadiens better. And fourth, the end result of the agreement must be greater financial flexibility for Canadians.
So how many teams are in a position to offer something Hughes is happy with? We can try to solve it through a simple process of elimination.
First of all, the other six teams in Canada are immediately off the board (Petry has a list of 15 non-changeable teams and it would be fair to assume, given that his problem here is related to border restrictions, that he would have all six equipment). in that). So now, we’re looking at 25 teams.
Below are seven teams currently over the $82.5 million salary cap (although there is a 10 percent cushion in the offseason): Flash of lightning, panthers, capitals, canucksgolden knights penguins Y frills. I think we can safely get them off the board, so now we have 19 teams, and the Canucks have already been eliminated in step one.
Next, regardless of salary-cap space, I think it would be safe to eliminate teams that aren’t expected to contend for a playoff spot next season. This is actually a relatively small group because a lot of teams believe at this time of year. But looking at it as generously as possible, this would surely remove the coyotes, Blackhawks, Ducks, sabers, kraken Y sharks. That brings us to 13 teams.
The next step is to look at those 13 teams and identify how many need a player like Petry. For me, this process eliminates seven other teams: the Blues, avalanchehurricanes, Wild, Forest ranger, islanders Y Devils.
Of those, the Bruins don’t seem like a great fit. They have just under $5 million left in salary-cap space, and that’s not counting the expected contracts for Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci. They don’t really need Petry either, unless they consider him a significant enough upgrade on the right side to brandon carlo go through all the gymnastics it would take to make this deal a reality. I’m taking them out.
Ditto for the Red Wings, who have tons of salary-cap space even after spending a lot of money in free agency, but they also have Moritz Seider Y Philip Hronek on the right side of the top four, two young defensemen, Steve Yzerman, would probably prefer to have meaningful minutes. Obviously, this would be an ideal destination for Petry, a Michigan native whose goal here is to be closer to his family, but I don’t think the Red Wings are willing to honor Hughes’ demands to make a trade they don’t. . i really need to do.
The Blue Jackets just spent a ton of money on Johnny Gaudreau and they still need to sign patrick laine with a little over $3 million in available space. They need to cash out, so this doesn’t work for them, even though Petry would be a pretty good fit for his second pair.
You’d think the Stars would make sense with Klingberg out of the gate, but they signed Colin Miller presumably to fill that gap and they need to sign jake oettinger Y Jason Robertson, its two young stars, to new contracts. They have over $11 million in cap space right now, but those two will take up a good chunk of that, and they need to re-sign as well. roope hintz Y Denis Guryanov next year with joe pavelski being the only significant contract that expires. The setting was there, but now it seems less realistic.
Finally, the Kings make some sense, but they don’t have a lot of cap space (about $2.3 million), and with drew doughty coming back and matt roy being a reliable player on the right side, his greatest need is on the left side. Petry would likely be an upgrade on Roy in the second pair and provide insurance for Doughty’s health, but money seems tight. So we will remove them as well.
Which leaves us with one team: the Predators. They have ample cap space and add Petry to the top three of josi roman, ryan macdonagh Y Mattias Ekholm It would give them a balance in the top four, with an offensive and defensive element in each of the top two pairs. They could meet every one of Hughes’ criteria, with some interesting prospects to hang on to and no need to pay back in the form of a bad contract.
It seems like an adjustment, but it also seems like the only one. With Hughes saying he was talking to some teams, clearly there’s more than just the Predators involved here, if the Predators are talking to the Canadiens about Petry at all.
But the main purpose of this exercise was to establish how limited the market for Petry probably is right now. Even Gaudreau, as the top available free agent, only received legitimate offers from two teams, according to the athletic one pierre lebrun. The entire league is tight, and Hughes is looking for the right team that has money to spend. And that team, aside from Nashville, doesn’t seem to exist.
So when you combine these factors that limit almost every team in the NHL With Hughes’s insistence that Canadians get everything they seek in this trade, perhaps we should take Hughes at his word when he says this trade could take months.
“There’s more than one way to accomplish what we need to accomplish in that trade,” Hughes said, “but we’re not going to do that trade until it works for us, too.”
In other words, don’t hold your breath.
(Jeff Petry Photo: Vincent Ethier/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)