Jeff Petry has played much better for the Montreal Canadiens since they brought on Martin St. Louis as head coach, but the plan hasn’t changed leading up to the NHL trade deadline. With Petry returning to his offensive ways, putting up 7 points in his last 8 games, there will be no shortage of interest in the veteran defender. Due to his inspiring play and renewed offensive prowess, it’s looking more and more likely that Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes will be able to find a new home for Jeff Petry before the start of the season next year.
Adding fuel to the NHL trade chatter surrounding Petry, TSN Insider Pierre Lebrun said that the plan for the Canadiens was still to move Petry should a team step up and offer them an adequate offer for their veteran blueliner during the first intermission between the Habs and Calgary Flames. He said that it may be difficult to move Petry’s $6.25M contract before the NHL trade Deadline, but that there would be no shortage of suitors in the summer when teams will have more financial flexibiility. Hughes can afford to be patient in this situation, as Petry’s improved play since St.Louis’ appointment as head coach can only improve his value down the stretch and leave a much better impression in the eyes of pro scouts headed into the offseason.
Pierre Lebrun on Petry: There hasn't been a change of heart. If they get a good offer, they will move him.
— Marco D'Amico (@mndamico) March 4, 2022
With the Montreal Canadiens likely heading toward a very unique rebuild, moving out salary, like the high Cap hit on Petry’s deal will be necessary if they wish to be aggressive during free agency this summer. Petry’s improved play will surely prompt a few contending teams to reach out for the veteran defender, as his mobility and the scarcity of right-handed shot defenseman available on the market will make him a well sought-after asset during the offseason.