MONTREAL – The Montreal Canadiens bolstered their defense in a big way on Monday morning.
General manager Marc Bergevin fired the annual NHL trade deadline day’s opening salvo, and by 9:00 a.m. the deal was done. Jeff Petry was leaving Edmonton to join the Canadiens in San Jose in return for a pair of 2015 draft picks – one in the second round and a conditional fifth rounder.
Needless to say, the morning was an earlier one than usual for Petry.
“The trade call turned out to be my alarm. At 6:45 a.m., my phone rang and Craig MacTavish told me I was going to Montreal. I was kind of expecting something to happen, but it was still a surprise. I’m really happy to become a member of the Montreal Canadiens organization,” explained Petry via telephone while en route to San Jose.
Despite only being a Hab for a couple of hours on Monday, Petry could still suit up against the Sharks in San Jose, and do so alongside a number of familiar faces, having already played with Mike Weaver, Alex Galchenyuk, Max Pacioretty and Tom Gilbert in the past, including a pair of seasons in Edmonton with the latter.
For the 27-year-old defenseman who now goes from the West’s last-place Oilers to the East’s first-place Habs, the change of scenery is a welcome one.
“It’s going to make a big difference. In Edmonton, the games didn’t mean much in terms of the standings. Obviously we all have pride and want to win, but we knew we weren’t going to make the playoffs, so this is a big change. It’s extra motivation,” acknowledged Petry who has yet to make a postseason appearance through 295 career NHL games. “It’s the most exciting part of all of this. I’m really happy to be playoff bound with a team that could be a contender. I’m all in and ready to help however I can.”
The Ann Arbor, MI native who has registered 15 points in 59 games this season also insists the timing or Monday’s move – coming at the start of a long six-day road trip – is just right.
“It’s great to be traded while the team is on the road. The guys spend more time together than they would at home, where they have their families. It helps you get to know everyone a bit better,” added Petry, who nevertheless expects some family members of his own in attendance in Anaheim on Wednesday.
Vincent Cauchy is a writer for canadiens.com. Translated by Steven Nechay.
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