The new Detroit Red Wings defenseman Jeff Petry is a man fulfilled to be able to realize a childhood dream of defending the colors of the team of the city where he grew up. And he owes a big thank you to Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes.
In a press meeting, Petry recounted a conversation he had with the Montreal boss who asked him what his favorite destinations were in order to trade him. “There were no guarantees, but (Hughes) asked me where I would like to go. Detroit was at the top of the list and it’s great that he was able to do that for me. I like what I see when I look at this team and the milestones they’ve reached over the past two years. ”
“When the general manager of the Canadiens called me to tell me I was traded to Detroit, it was a huge relief and there was a lot of excitement through it all. ”
“The CEO and everyone involved in Montreal were transparent throughout the process. They kept me informed of the plans and I knew there was a possibility. There’s no guarantee until that happens. It was really good to get the call and to come home to make the moment special. “
The Canadiens traded Petry to the Wings on Tuesday for young defenseman Gustav Lindstrom and a conditional 2025 fourth-round pick. of San Jose which allowed the Pennsylvania team to get their hands on veteran defenseman Erik Karlsson.
Petry grew up in the Detroit area having been raised in Farmington Hills and having played for Michigan State while his father Dan was a star pitcher with the Tigers in baseball and with whom he won the World Series in 1984. The defenseman does not hidden away that he has always dreamed of wearing the colors of the local team, his career having taken him to Edmonton, Montreal and Pittsburgh over the past 13 seasons.
“You grow up watching this team and you always have the possibility of wearing that jersey in your mind,” Petry added when he spoke to the media at Little Caesars Arena on Wednesday. This probability sticks in your mind and you can’t help but wonder, “when will this opportunity arise?” “Could it happen?” I’ve always wanted to play here for at least a year at the end of my career. Receiving this call yesterday was really very special for me. ”
“We spend our summers here. This is where I want to settle when I retire. ”
After getting the call from Hughes, Petry rushed to text his parents and phone his wife. He then joined his father who was preparing for the Tigers game. “He was just excited. The news was not public yet and I wanted him to be the first to know. The conversation was short and I haven’t spoken to him yet today. ”
To honor her father, who won 125 Major League Baseball games, Petry will wear the number 46 his father proudly wore in Detroit. In Edmonton he wore number 2 while in Montreal and Pittsburgh he wore number 26.
“My father was very honored and had never seen this coming. ”
His mother was also moved to learn that son was going to pursue his career close to home. Petry showed him a photo montage of himself in the Red Wings uniform with his new number. The effect was instantaneous. “She just shook her head and smiled. She was in shock. ”
In Detroit, Petry’s presence gives the team a right-handed shooter on the blue line. He is one of many newcomers to automotive town during the off-season. Steve Yzerman also secured the services of forwards Alex DeBrincat, JT Compher, Daniel Sprong, Klim Kostin and Christian Fischer, defensemen Shayne Gostisbehere and Justin Holl and goaltender James Reimer.
Petry will reacquaint himself with his former Montreal teammate Ben Chiarot, with whom he was paired on the Canadiens’ blue line.
“Some of the young players have been able to gain experience over the past two years. They were able to understand what their roles are. By adding players like DeBrincat, Compher, you can already start guessing the formation. I’m excited to start and do what I can to help this team continue to improve. ”
He had the opportunity during the summer to skate with a young player from the Wings who continues to take his place and establish himself as an important cog in the revival of this team.
“Moritz Seider was 18 at the time. Just by looking at the size he already had at that age, we could anticipate that the best for him. He knew how to continue to grow as a player. I think he is a very good player now and he will only continue to improve. I’m delighted to play with a guy like him. ”