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The Jeff Petry Trade Watch Is On In Montreal

Speculation over Jeff Petry's future with the Montreal Canadiens was renewed last week — will he stay or will he go?
Jeff Petry

Speculation over Jeff Petry's future with the Montreal Canadiens was renewed following Shea Weber's trade last Thursday to the Vegas Golden Knights for Evgenii Dadonov. The Montreal Gazette's Stu Cowan reported Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes is still entertaining offers for the 34-year-old defenseman.

Petry requested a trade earlier in the season but a deal failed to materialize before the March deadline. At the time, Hughes said he would try again in the off-season to find a deal that worked for the blueliner and the Canadiens.

During a press conference announcing the Weber trade, Hughes was asked about Petry's status. He indicated that a deal wasn't imminent but didn't rule it out before the NHL draft, slated for Montreal on July 7 and 8.

Sportsnet's Eric Engels believes Petry will be traded in a cost-cutting deal. Despite clearing Weber's $7.857-million annual cap hit from their books, the Canadiens still have over $80 million invested in 19 players with restricted free agents Alexander Romanov and Rem Pitlick to re-sign.

Shedding Petry's $6.25-million annual cap hit through 2024-25 would provide the Canadiens with immediate cap relief. The Canadiens are also deep in prospects and possess 14 picks in this year's draft but Engels noted that Hughes doesn't want to include futures to facilitate a trade.

TSN's Pierre LeBrun reported five or six teams have expressed interest in Petry. He mentioned the Dallas Stars as a possibility, especially if right-shot defenseman John Klingberg hits the open market on July 13. They were among the club's linked to Petry leading up to the trade deadline. The Detroit Red Wings could also have an interest in the Michigan native.

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