A couple of Oilers players reflected after practice on Monday on Jeff Petry, who was traded to Montreal this morning, and how he handled the approaching deadline.
“Petey was good for us this year,” Boyd Gordon said. “He started to play very well. We’re losing one of our best defencemen. That’s just kind of the way it is with him going to unrestricted free agency in the summer. These things happen.”
Oilers Captain Andrew Ference was impressed at how Petry handled the questions from the media and the uncertainty of the deadline as a pending free agent.
“He handled it, I think, very professionally, very well. He never let it be a distraction,” Ference said to the media. “I’m sure you guys have dealt with him enough to know he’s a pretty great guy. I think for him a lot of that stuff was out of his control. He was playing the game and playing as well as he can and obviously playing at a level that made him very attractive to some teams who want to make a push here in the playoffs. It’s going to work great for him.”
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins knew Petry longer than Ference or Gordon, so not having him in the locker room or on the ice for practice was different.
“For me, it’s definitely pretty strange,” Nugent-Hopkins said. “He’s been here since I’ve been here and we were together my first year. It’s definitely tough to see a guy like that go but it was obviously expected. We prepared for it over the last couple of weeks and I think he’s going to have a good shot there and it’s obviously a great city to go to. We wish him all the best.”