Kent Hughes has revealed much of his game. The Canadian’s CEO always makes it a priority to trade Jeff Petry, but he will do so only if he finds a team capable of fully absorbing his $6.25M salary for the next three seasons. .
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Photo Archives, Ben Pelosse
Defenseman Jeff Petry warming up before a game against the St. Louis Blues last February at the Bell Center.
“We are still working, we are talking to certain teams for Jeff Petry, confirmed Hughes, today at the beginning of the afternoon, a little more than 24 hours before the opening of the free agent market. It was the priority for us to trade it, if we could make a trade that works for us as well. »
“Petry is an important defender for our team. We are not looking to change it because of his game, but because of family circumstances. If we negotiate it, we should gain flexibility under the cap. »
File photo, Martin Chevalier
Petry knocked on CH’s door several months ago to change his address. The 34-year-old American has nothing against the organization, but he would like to be on American soil for family reasons.
Parents of four children, Jeff and Julia Petry have often criticized COVID-related health restrictions. Jeff Petry’s mother-in-law cannot come to Canada yet as she has not received her vaccine dose.
File photo, Martin Alarie
“We could complete a trade, we had options,” Hughes said. But you have to find a transaction that makes sense. Otherwise, Jeff will have to return to Montreal. He loves everything about Montreal except the complications for the family. We don’t need to come to an exchange today or tomorrow. It can happen in a month. »
The cases of Burns and McDonagh
The Habs chose to take a tough stance on the Petry case. The young GM has no intention of keeping any part of his defense’s hefty contract and won’t trade a prospect or draft picks to convince a team to dance with him.
Julien BriseBois and Mike Grier, the GMs of the Lightning and Sharks, however, did not help the Canadian’s cause. BriseBois received next to nothing for Ryan McDonagh with the Nashville Predators, getting defenseman Philippe Myers and winger Grant Mismach.
In the Sharks’ case, Grier agreed to pay 33% of defenseman Brent Burns’ salary over the past three seasons in the trade with the Carolina Hurricanes. Burns will earn $8 million through 2024-25, but will have a $5.28 million salary footprint with the “Hounds.” Despite being 37 years old, the man with the big beard had a 54-point season (10 goals, 44 assists) in 82 games last year in San Jose.
The Sharks received two fringe players in winger Steven Lorentz and goalie Eetu Makiniemi and a conditional pick of 3me Round in 2023.
Asked about the departures of McDonagh and Burns, Hughes offered a clear answer.
“We are not ready to accept Jeff Petry’s salary at this time.
For us, we believe that our interests are better served by keeping Jeff Petry than by making these types of transactions. We may be happy to keep you in Montreal. »
“If we change Petry, we will have another hole in the blue line,” he continued. We don’t have much experience on the right side. We also want to protect our young hopefuls. To illustrate the difficulty of a CEO lowering salary, we must also give the example of the Golden Knights with Max Pacioretty. They traded the former CH captain to the Hurricanes purely for future considerations. And there was only one season left on Pacioretty’s $7 million contract.
♦ After Juraj Slafkovsky, Filip Mesar signed a three-year rookie deal with CH. the choice of 1Ahem round (26me in total) could finish off Kitchener Rangers (OHL) or Laval Rocket next season. “We want him to continue to have chances to play offensively, to get a numerical superiority role,” Hughes said. If he can’t do it at Laval, it will be at Kitchener. »
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