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Jeff Petry and Casey DeSmith in Montreal: mystery and radio silence after the transaction

After a transaction, it is well-established morals in the hockey world that the general managers and the players in the transaction go to the media to react, often within hours of the transaction.

Since Sunday’s three-team trade between the Sharks, Canadiens and Penguins, most of the parties involved have offered their reactions. Sharks newcomer Mike Hoffman offered his comments just hours after the trade.

On the side of the Penguins, Kyle Dubas spoke to the press to talk about his big move to acquire Erik Karlsson, who also met his new audience during an availability Tuesday morning.

Among the Canadiens, Nathan Légaré offered a generous interview to after moving from Pittsburgh to the team of his childhood.

However, the Montreal organization has confirmed that Kent Hughes and the two other newcomers to the team, Casey DeSmith and Jeff Petry, will not be made available to answer “short-term” questions.

This lack of answers maintains a mystery about the future – if there is a future for them – in the organization of the Canadiens.


Sure values ​​or currencies of exchange?

Everyone knows the conclusion of the story of Jeff Petry in Montreal. In his eighth season with the team, it became clear he wanted to leave the metropolis, and that’s what happened on July 16, 2022 when he moved to the Penguins with Ryan Poehling against Michael Matheson.

A little over a year later, Petry is back in Montreal, which initially came as a surprise.

Objectively, Petry could still do great service for the young Montreal defensive squad. In the eyes of many, the 35-year-old right-hander could outperform Johnathan Kovacevic or even Justin Barron, who is slow to establish his role in the NHL.

As for DeSmith, he could offer an alternative to Samuel Montembeault and Jake Allen to create more competition in net during training camp. Without breaking anything during his five seasons in Pittsburgh, the goaltender who will soon be 32 years old has proven that he can offer a satisfactory performance at the NHL level for a salary of $ 1.8 million.

However, you don’t need to be a diviner to read the intentions of Kent Hughes, who has proven since his arrival in Montreal that he is always exploring all the options available to him.


The Jeff Petry case

By withholding 25% of Petry’s salary, the Penguins gave the Canadiens a little more leeway. And if Kent Hughes were to trade him again, he could withhold an even bigger percentage of his salary.

Obviously, Petry is more attractive to any team at a salary of $4,678,500 than at $6,250,000, even though he still has two seasons left on his current contract. In addition, the $3 million signing bonus has already been paid into Petry’s coffers.

Even if his best moments are behind him, we can believe that he still has great services to offer to a team that would like to claim a long run next spring.

After a quick analysis, some teams might want to dance with the Montreal staff to get Petry moving again. It should be noted, however, that all of this is speculation – awaiting real answers – especially since Petry has a no-move clause in his contract which includes 15 teams from the Bettman circuit.

In Anaheim, Pat Verbeek showed us this summer that he wants to surround his young flock with veterans such as Alex Killorn and Radko Gudas. The Ducks have only 5 defenders under contract, pending the signing of Jamie Drysdale. Although new contracts at Drysdale and Trevor Zegras are long overdue, the Ducks still have $19 million available under the cap.

In another scenario, Hughes could agree with a formation that negotiates with little space under the salary cap.

At the Oilers and the Wild, who must agree with Evan Bouchard and Calen Addison respectively, Hughes could take advantage of the situation to withhold Petry’s salary and acquire an “unloved” defenseman, like Cody Ceci in Edmonton, or an Alex Goligoski in Minnesota, while getting his hands on valuable elements for his future project.

The Jets already have seven defensemen under contract and two more to rehire including Logan Stanley. Winnipeg is in a situation that would require giving up two or three players to get one in return. Josh Morrissey needs help on the blue line and the Jets have several contracts that could suit the mass of the CH.

Of course, with any team, Montreal will have to swallow part of Petry’s salary, while sacrificing a pick or a prospect, as long as the pick is less important than the second pick obtained from the Penguins, otherwise the efforts of Hughes to help Pittsburgh will be in vain.

All that, unless the defender finally puts on the tricolor uniform and finds the colors that made him a popular defender with fans during his first seasons in Montreal.


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