Jeff Petry was the subject of frequent trade speculation leading up to the March trade deadline. While the Montreal Canadiens didn't move the 34-year-old defenseman, there's a good chance he could change teams in the off-season.
Following deadline day, the Montreal Gazette's Stu Cowan reported Petry made it clear to Canadiens management he wanted to be traded. He noted the blueliner's difficult season on the ice plus his family remained in Michigan after his wife grew weary of Quebec's COVID restrictions.
Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes told reporters he attempted to trade Petry before the deadline but couldn't find a deal suitable for both sides. On March 25, Montreal Hockey Now's Marco D'Amico cited Hughes telling TSN he had conversations “with a group of teams.” The Habs GM felt he was close to doing a deal with one of them but it failed to materialize.
Hughes said he'll try again in the off-season when clubs have more salary-cap space. Petry's $6.25-million annual salary cap hit through 2024-25 was an obvious sticking point. He also carries a 15-team no-trade clause.
Recent rumors linked Petry to the Dallas Stars, Los Angeles Kings and Philadelphia Flyers. The Stars could consider him a potential replacement for John Klingberg if he departs this summer via free agency. Montreal Hockey Now's Jimmy Murphy claimed the Kings had an interest in the blueliner before the deadline. The Flyers, meanwhile, already have Ryan Ellis earning a cap hit similar to Petry's through 2026-27.
Petry could welcome a trade closer to home with the Detroit Red Wings. Cap Friendly indicates they have the space to absorb his contract. However, they also possess two skilled young right-side blueliners in Moritz Seider and Filip Hronek.