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Canadiens Help Jeff Petry Come Home with Trade to Red Wings

The Red Wings picked up Jeff Petry for very little, and they may have added a useful home-grown defenseman who can help a lot.

The Detroit Red Wings acquisition of Jeff Petry from the Montreal Canadiens has sort of gone under the radar because Petry is an older defenseman – now 35 years of age. He’s been around for a while.

However, the Canadiens did Petry a favor when they gave him a chance to come home. In fact, it was quickly announced that he would wear No. 46 to honor his dad. It was his father’s number with the Tigers. The Red Wings broke the news on social media, showing Jeff, the defenseman, and Dan, the pitcher, side by side.

Petry’s Early Hockey Journey

Petry was born in the Detroit area when his father Dan was a picture with the Detroit Tigers. He began his hockey journey in the 2005-06 season with the Des Moines Buccaneers in the USHL. He then had a standout collegiate career at Michigan State University, where he played from 2007-08 to 2009-10.

Petry’s NHL journey began when he was selected by the Edmonton Oilers in the second round (45th overall) of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. In the 2010-11 season, Petry split his time between the Oklahoma City Barons in the AHL and the Edmonton Oilers in the NHL. He played an entire season with the Oilers in 2011-12 and established himself as a regular on the blue line.

Related: Jeff Petry Traded to Detroit Red Wings

However, in the middle of the 2014-15 season, Petry was traded to the Canadiens. There his career took off. He was given significant ice time and he made an impact.

Petry’s Career After the Oilers

His tenure with the Canadiens lasted from the 2014-15 season to the 2021-22 season. During that time, Petry solidified his reputation as a dependable defenseman. He contributed to both the regular season and the playoffs.

In 2022-23, he was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins, adding his experience and skill set to their defensive lineup. Throughout his NHL career, Petry has played over 800 NHL games, scoring 92 goals and adding 261 assists (for 353 points). He’s been a consistent, versatile, and totally professional hockey player.

Even at his age, he continues to be a valuable defenseman.

Why Would the Red Wings Want Him?

Last week’s trade saw Petry move to the Red Wings in exchange for an undisclosed package. Why did the Red Wings, who seemed content with their defensive lineup heading into training camp, make this move? The answer is simple. When Petry became available and expressed a desire to join Detroit, the opportunity was too good to pass up.

Jeff Petry Montreal Canadiens trade talk

His acquisition came at a reasonable cost – basically nothing. Even at his salary of $6.25 million, he was too valuable an addition to pass up. He also has a history of playing with Ben Chiarot when both were with the Pittsburgh Penguins; and, Chiarot is now with the Red Wings. Although time has passed since their last partnership, their familiarity could potentially benefit the Red Wings.

How Will the Red Wings Deploy Petry?

In the latest episode of The Hockey Writers Grind Line, Detroit Red Wings writers Devin Little, Matthew Zator, and Tony Wolak discussed their opinions about the Red Wings’ acquisition of Petry from the Canadiens.

Looking ahead to the upcoming season, the THW panel discussed how the Red Wings might manage their defensive rotation. With the addition of Petry, the team could rotate defensemen and occasionally play 11 forwards and seven defensemen. Such an approach would allow the older defensemen, like Petry and Chiarot, to play around 64 to 68 games. That would help preserve their energy for crucial moments and minimize the risk of injury. The remaining games could be allocated for younger players or as a contingency plan.

The Bottom Line

Overall, the panel believes the acquisition of Petry was a positive move for the Red Wings. While it might not be a game-changing deal, it does bolster the team’s defensive depth. It also provides flexibility and chances for both veterans and emerging younger talents.

Furthermore, the sentimental idea of a hometown kid returning to Detroit adds a touch of nostalgia to this trade. In conclusion, the THW analysts agree that this trade could contribute positively to the Red Wings’ performance in the upcoming season.

Related: Red Wings Have Their Starting Goalie in Husso Says THW Panel

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