Are the Montreal Canadiens really going to trade Jeff Petry?

The Montreal Canadiens are an absolute mess. Things are tough both mentally and physically for many of their players. And why wouldn’t they be? This team just played in the Stanley Cup Final last season and have become a bottom-feeder in just one a few short months.

Longtime GM Marc Bergevin and personal champion to some of the veterans was fired. A whole new management team is in place with a possible rebuild on tap. An overhaul is coming for the Habs with a majority of their current players likely being shipped out by the NHL Trade Deadline.

Canadiens may trade Jeff Petry

Kent Hughes has been fielding tons of questions from the media since he was announced as the new GM. He’s also being pressed for the teams lack of response to seeing goaltender Samuel Montembeault absolutely steamrolled by Zack Kassian on Saturday.

Jeff Petry, who was on the ice received a lot of criticism for doing nothing to Kassian on the play.

Fans in Montreal have vented their frustrations at him and have even crossed the line by sending distasteful messages to his family. It’s led to speculation he wants out of Montreal, which Hughes addressed today.

“We told him: ‘We are aware of what is happening in your life. This is not the ideal context to play. At the same time, you are part of this team. If there’s a chance it will work out on both sides to trade you, we’ll trade you. But until this situation arises, you are part of the Canadiens and you have to do your best.

La Presse

Will the Habs trade Petry?

canadiens trade rumors
Jun 16, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Montreal Canadiens right wing Tyler Toffoli (73) celebrates with Montreal Canadiens defenseman Jeff Petry (26) and Montreal Canadiens center Nick Suzuki (14) after scoring a first period goal against the Vegas Golden Knights in game two of the 2021 Stanley Cup Semifinals at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

While Hughes is open to trading him, he wanted it known that Petry made no such request.

However, it is still surprising to hear Petry could be out of Montreal.

The 34 year-old rearguard is struggling mightily this season, but most of the Habs are. With just 6 points in 37 games, he’s looking at his worst year since 2014-15. That’s when he was traded from Edmonton to Montreal.

Last season, despite only a 56 game schedule, Petry posted his highest points per game average of his entire career at .76.

Surely teams are lining up to trade for him right? Not really.

In today’s flat cap era, Petry has an AAV of $6.25 million for three more seasons. No one really wants to pay a defenseman that may be in decline that much until he’s 37. That’s why Hughes doesn’t expect a deal any time soon.

This summer, teams that feel they are a veteran defenseman away from contending will give him a call. It will still take Montreal to retain 50% of his contract in order to get real value.

If they do that trade, then the Canadiens will have decided on a full rebuild. It’s hard to contend when you carry dead cap space, and I expect the Habs will be doing so for the next few years as they restock with young talented players.