Sometimes, old rumours pop up and are being presented as recent. In the case of Jeff Petry and the Philadelphia Flyers, it’s likely feeding on a fan base’s desperation to see a disgruntled player gone. Afer the March 21st trade deadline, Montreal Canadiens’ GM Kent Hughes faced reporters and spoke openly about trying to trade Jeff Petry.
“Term (deals) — contracts starting with a larger number — are a little bit harder to do at the trade deadline because the teams who are looking to trade don’t typically have that kind of cap space,” Hughes told the media after the deadline passed. “So, I told him, ‘If it happens, it happens. We value you as an organization. We’re not looking to trade you, but we understand the circumstances. So, if we can do it, we’ll do it. But I don’t want you to have any false expectations going in.'”
Rumour with Philadelphia
This is not the first time that Petry is linked to the Flyers as we have reported on it on this very site back at the end of February.
Now comes a rumour that the Canadiens have a deal in place which would send Petry to Philadelphia in exchange for James Van Riemsdyk and a Flyers’ prospect… The justification used is that JVR has one year remaining with a $7 million cap hit, which would soften the blow for the Flyers.
In his 32 Thoughts of February 25th (well before trade deadline), Elliotte Friedman had this to say:
5. I can see Philadelphia in on Canadiens’ Jeff Petry. It makes a lot of sense for them.
6. I think the Flyers’ Rasmus Ristolainen gets moved. He wants a playoff series. Not only do I understand the desire to finally get a chance after almost 600 games, but I could see Ristolainen thinking postseason style as beneficial for his market value.
At the time, Ristolainen, who is in the final year of his current contract, was rumoured to be shopped around by trade deadline. But then on March 10th, the Flyers re-signed the defenseman to a new five-year, $25.5 million ($5.1M cap hit) contract extension. Philly’s GM Chuck Fletcher was pretty stoked about the deal.
“Rasmus is an important part of our team and we are very happy to have him on our blue line for the next five years,” said Fletcher. “He is committed to being a Flyer, and brings a consistent physical presence to our team.”
The way Van Riemsdyk’s contract is structured, he is owed a $1 million signing bonus in July and his actual salary will be of $5 million next season, in spite of his $7 million cap hit. He does not have any trade protection however.
While it is important to note that Petry has a modified no-trade clause in his contract, stating that he must provide a 15 teams no-trade list, one has to wonder how flexible he would be in extending the possible destinations if asked to do so. He reportedly wants to move back to the United States with his family and considering his poor season and his contract, he might be receptive, if approached, to add more teams if necessary.
Now if the rumour was that the Flyers would trade Ristolainen to the Habs for Petry, it would be more logical. But then again, even though he doesn’t have a no-trade clause, why would Ristolainen sign with the Flyers only to get traded a few months later? I guess it has happened in the past but history has shown that it’s not good business if you’re planning on drawing free agents.
In a recent article on Sportsnet, Habs’ beat writer Eric Engels stated that for what it’s worth, people they spoke to with both teams denied such a discussion for Petry ever took place. Granted, they wouldn’t necessarily come forward to admit if it did.
To sum it up, a Petry trade to Philly makes no sense for a few reasons:
- The Flyers are already stacked in both numbers and high salary on defense so unless Ristolainen is the coveted player by the Habs, there’s little logic in this.
- Why would the Flyers take on Petry’s contract for three more seasons when they can ride Van Riemsdyk’s contract for $750,000 more on the cap, but for only one more year?
- And they would pay more by adding an additional pick to the deal?
- Ristolainen just re-signed with the Flyers and they seem happy about the deal.
Petry will be traded, no doubt. But allow me to be very sceptical about this Philadelphia rumour. In the past, we have mentioned Dallas as a potential destination for Petry based on Pierre LeBrun’s information at the time, and we suggested how the Michigan-native might find a good fit on the Red Wings.