Jeff Petry’s Payday

by Chris Pudsey on June 4, 2015

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Jeff Petry re-signs in Montreal, so what do fantasy owners make of him in salary cap leagues? 

On Tuesday, the Montreal Canadiens re-signed defenseman Jeff Petry to a six-year contract extension (2015/16 – 2020/21). The value of the contract is a total of $33M dollars, which works out to an annual cap hit of $5.5M. The deal also includes a partial no-trade clause (NTC).

Petry was scheduled to become an unrestricted free-agent on July 1st but chose to re-sign with the Habs instead of testing the market. That’s an interesting move by Petry but says a lot about his feelings towards his situation in Montreal. He must have been happy with the atmosphere and team direction to sign early. 

After his signing, Petry had this to say:

“Pretty much all signs pointed towards testing the market, and then once the trade happened and I joined Montreal, the mindset started shifting,” Petry said via conference call from his home in West Bloomfield, Mich. “And then as time went on and I got to play in the environment and see how I was valued within the organization, I think that kept pushing things more towards the side of not testing the open market.”

The 27-year-old Petry came to Montreal in a deal with the Edmonton Oilers prior to the trade deadline this season. The Canadiens in return sent the Oilers their second round pick in 2015, and a conditional fifth round pick in 2015, which ended up being a fourth round pick due to the Habs playoff performance. The conditional pick would have been a third round pick had the Habs knocked off the Tampa Bay Lightning in the second round of the playoffs but that wasn’t the case.

Petry’s was a solid defenseman for the Oilers during his five seasons there. He was a bit inconsistent at times but turned into arguably their best two-way guy until he was traded. In Montreal, he showed excellent puck moving ability and he quickly moved up into the top-four defensemen for the Habs during their playoff run.

Thanks to Frozen Pool, let’s take a look at Petry’s numbers:

player

GP

G

A

P

PntPG

+/-

PIM

Shots

HITS

PPG

PPP

SHG

BLKS

PPTOI

%PP

%SH

TOI/G

%TOI

PETRY, JEFF

78

8

14

22

0.28

-28

42

127

145

1

4

0

109

01:17

25.4

35.3

21:15

34.7

Obviously these numbers do not break down his time between Edmonton and Montreal. He played 59 games for the Oilers this year where he scored four goals and added eleven assists for fifteen total points. He was -25 during that time. In Montreal, he played in 19 games, scoring three goals and added four assists for seven total points. He was -3 during his time in Montreal.

He also played in 12 playoff games for the Canadiens, scoring two goals and chipping in one assist. This was Petry’s first taste of playoff action in his NHL career.

Montreal is in a much better place than Edmonton as far as the surrounding cast so it should come as no surprise that his numbers took a turn for the better after the trade.

Taking his $5.5M cap hit into consideration, let’s take a look at some numbers from last season and see where he compares to others making the same amount per year.

Name

Team

Age

GP

Pts

SOG

Hits

Blks

PIMs

+/-

Jeff Petry

MTL

27

78

22

126

145

109

42

-28

Brooks Orpik

WSH

34

78

19

66

306

192

66

5

Dan Girardi

NYR

31

82

20

111

224

184

22

12

James Wisniewski

ANA

31

69

34

147

115

81

44

-13

Tyler Myers

WPG

25

71

28

124

65

132

77

-6

Nick Leddy

NYI

24

78

37

120

73

90

14

18

Oliver Ekman-Larsson

ARI

23

82

43

264

167

77

40

-18

Offensively, Petry is near the bottom of the list when compared to the others in this list but that shouldn’t surprise anyone. He was never really projected as a highly offensive defenseman. His strength is his skating and puck movement. As far as his multi-category peripherals, he’s pretty much middle of the class. He offers solid defense and isn’t afraid to hit or block and shoots the puck enough to keep most happy. He does have some power-play experience and can be used in a secondary power-play role with confidence.  His +/- is terrible but as mentioned earlier, the majority of that is with a porous Edmonton team that really struggled to keep the puck out of their own net. The system in Montreal should show a big improvement in that number going forward.

In regards to what Petry brings, fantasy hockey wise, let’s useFantasy Hockey Geek and see how these same skaters fare in my multi-cat league, the UHL. For those that don’t know, the UHL is a 24-team, Salary Cap Dynasty League that is populated by many regulars here on Dobber Hockey. The league uses the following stat categories for scoring for skater; G, A, Plus/Minus, PIM, SOG, GWG, PPP, SHP, Hits, Blocks and FOW. Each team rosters a total 23 skaters and we use the same salary cap number as the NHL.

Name

FHG Rank

Jeff Petry

309

Brooks Orpik

120

Dan Girardi

112

James Wisniewski

187

Tyler Myers

164

Nick Leddy

159

Oliver Ekman-Larsson

36

Looking at these numbers, Petry doesn’t look very good. I do expect his numbers to improve in certain areas, which will help his UHL rank, but to say he will improve enough to make him a serious fantasy asset is probably a stretch. 

As it stands right now, both Orpik and Girardi are free agents in the UHL and free to be picked up if wanted. All the others listed are still owned. Petry’s current owner has the option to drop him to free agency prior to the start of the league (there is a deadline for drops before the season starts) but if he decided to keep him past the deadline, he can only be dropped via a buy-out similar to that of the NHL and part of the cap hit still counts towards that teams salary cap. I think it’s fair to say Petry will end up a free agent before the season begins. He will be shopping him for a trade and hoping for some sort of return instead of simply dropping him for nothing. Hard to say if anyone will bite.

Final Word

Petry re-signing early instead of going for the bigger payday via the free agency path surprised me. He probably left some money on the table by doing so but sometimes it’s just as much about the situation and surroundings as it is the money. The market this year wasn’t great for top four-type defensemen and Petry fit that mould. The fact he is a right-handed shot improved his odds of being one of the more sought after free agents. I have no doubt he could have got a bigger offer on the free market but he seems happy and content.

I do think Petry made a fair deal for both himself and the Canadiens. At 27 years of age, he is coming into his prime years and this deal with Montreal will carry him through that.  His skill level should help ease the minutes played by Andrei Markov, who’s starting to slow down. He said a couple weeks ago that he wanted to re-sign with Montreal and he wasn’t just blowing smoke. 

From a fantasy standpoint, I think he’s overpriced. He doesn’t offer much for offence and offers mediocre, mid-level peripherals. If I owned him in a cap league, I’d be looking to move him for any decent return you can get. There are plenty of Habs fans that you might be able to pawn him off on. Hopefully those guys in your leagues play with their heart more than their head. I wish you luck in your ventures.

****

As always, thank you for reading. Feel free to leave a comment and you can follow me on twitter if you want. @chrispudsey  I am always sharing hockey news when I see it and posting my own thoughts from time to time as well.

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