Hockey News

NHL: Mike Hoffman leaves, Jeff Petry returns to Montreal

Kent Hughes hadn’t finished shopping. He participated in a three-team trade Sunday morning with the Pittsburgh Penguins and San Jose Sharks, in the trade that moved defenseman Erik Karlsson to Pittsburgh.

Hughes traded Mike Hoffman and Rem Pitlick for goaltender Casey DeSmith, defenseman Jeff Petry, Quebec prospect Nathan Légaré and a 2025 second-round pick.

Pitlick will head to Pittsburgh, while Hoffman will instead join the San Jose Sharks.

With this transaction, the Canadiens would hold a little more than $5M of space under the salary cap according to CapFriendly.

The Penguins will retain 25 percent of Petry’s $6.25 million salary, which means the defenseman will impact $4.687 million below the salary cap for another two seasons. Last July, the Canadiens traded Petry to the Penguins for defenseman Michael Matheson.

The experience in Pittsburgh, however, was short-lived and not marked by much success. Petry was limited to five goals and 31 points in 61 games and was traded just over a year later.

In 864 NHL games with the Edmonton Oilers, Canadiens and Penguins, Petry had 92 goals and 353 points. He had his best seasons with the Habs, notably amassing 42 points in 55 games in 2020-2021. That year, Montreal lost in the Stanley Cup final.

In 2021-2022, however, he had experienced a significant drop in speed, which eventually contributed to his departure from Montreal.

As for DeSmith, the 31-year-old goaltender is under contract for a single season at a salary of $1.8 million. Never drafted into the NHL, he played 38 games last season with the Penguins. DeSmith went 15-16-4 with a 3.17 goals-against average and .905 save percentage.

It was a third full season in the NHL, he now has 134 games of experience in the Bettman circuit.

With its acquisition, the CH now finds itself with four goalkeepers under contract for next year. Jake Allen and Samuel Montembeault are still members of the Canadiens, while Cayden Primeau will have to go on waivers if he is demoted in the AHL.

Finally, Nathan Légaré is a young 22-year-old player who was selected in the third round by the Penguins in 2019. He played his second professional season in 2022-2023 with the Wilkes-Barre/Sranton Penguins in the American League. He had 8 goals and 11 assists for a total of 19 points in 68 games.

During his junior stint, he wore the colors of the Baie-Comeau Drakkar for four seasons, before joining the Val-d’Or Foreurs with whom he completed the 2020-2021 campaign.

As for Hoffman, the 33-year-old forward has spent the past two seasons with the Canadiens and is still under contract for next season at a salary of $4.5 million. He had agreed to a three-year, $13.5 million deal with CH in the summer of 2021.

Hoffman maintained a virtually identical pace during his two seasons in Montreal. After recording 15 goals and 20 assists in 67 games in 2021-22, he followed that up with 14 goals and 20 assists in 67 games last year. It will be a fifth team in the NHL.

Finally, Pitlick leaves CH after joining it via waivers in 2021-2022. After a stint full of promise during this first season with 9 goals and 26 points in 46 duels, Pitlick shuttled between Montreal and Laval last year.

He had 15 points in 46 NHL games, while he had 22 points in 18 games with the Rocket. He will serve out the final season of a two-year contract at an average annual salary of $1.1 million.

SEE ALSO:  Throughout the NHL: News from Brad Marchand, Nicklas Backstrom, Tom Wilson, and more.
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