As the trade deadline approaches, most of the talk has been revolving around which players the Flyers will be looking to sell on deadline day. But what about potentially adding to the current roster? The Flyers, after all, have come forth and said they intent on being competitive next season. This has led to speculation arising that the team may be interested in acquiring current Montreal Canadiens defenseman Jeff Petry, but is he the man the Flyers should have in their sights?
The 2022 NHL free agent pool is rather shallow, especially on quality right handed defnsemen. John Klingberg and Rasmus Ristolainen are the two biggest fish out there, and because of it both will probably be asking for big money, long term deals. Petry clocks in at a $6.25 million cap hit for the next three seasons. They’ll probably pay Klingberg or Risto at least $6.25 million and for double the term. It’s a way to get a competent defenseman under contract, but not be tied to him for the better part of a decade.
Jeff Petry may not be the sexiest name in the world, but he has been one of the most underrated defenseman in the league over the last handful of seasons. When Petry’s at his peak, he can do a little bit of everything. He’s solid in his own zone, he can hit, he can score, and he’s even good for a few powerplay goals a season. His entrenched in a down year on a bad Canadiens team, but when he’s on, he’s incredibly effective.
Petry is 34, which in the modern day NHL isn’t exactly a spring chicken. He still averages just shy of 23 minutes night, so the durability may still be there, but will that workload stick around for another three seasons?
Is it down year?
Petry’s down year can be attributed to various causes- missing his defense partner Shea Weber, the general state of the Montreal Canadiens, but the fact he’s having a down year at 34 years old raises flags about his future. He’s not getting any younger and if the decline is in part to his own play versus the situation around him, it could be cause for concern about his staying power for the remainder of his contract, especially with a $6.25 million cap hit.
Maybe shoot a little higher?
Chuck Fletcher has never been afraid to enter the trade market during his time in Philly, so the Petry rumors don’t exactly come as a surprise, but if they have to pay to acquire him, maybe it’s best to save the assets and put them towards a legitimate solution at 2RD. Unless he comes on the cheap side, maybe a mid-round pick or two, which seems unlikely, dumping assets to acquire him may not be the best path to take.
The Flyers desperately need solutions on the right side of the defense with Ristolainen’s future in the air and Ellis on the shelf. Petry is a player that would at least make sense to sniff around onfor the right price, but it’s absolutely fair to question his negatives. Plain and simple, the Flyers need a sure thing on defense, is Petry that guy? At one time he may have been, but are you willing to give up assets and $6.25 million in cap space on a gamble during such an important offseason?
The risk is yours.
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
photo credit: nhl.com