NHL Trade Rumors
Penguins Make Jeff Petry Available Before NHL Trade Deadline
Things are beginning to shake loose on the NHL trade market, although the Pittsburgh Penguins’ trade activity and hopes to improve before the March 3 deadline have as much to do with how much salary they can move as it will with who is available.
Tuesday, a Western Conference team executive confirmed to National Hockey Now that Penguins defenseman Jeff Petry has been made available.
“He’s out there,” said the source.
NHN has not been able to verify interested teams, as the source also confirmed Penguins GM Ron Hextall’s well-known desire for confidentiality in such matters.
Petry, 35, has two more seasons after this, with a salary-cap hit of $6.25 million and is the Penguins’ second highest-paid player behind Sidney Crosby.
He does have a 15-team no-trade clause.
Hextall targeted the offensive defenseman last summer and dealt LHD Mike Matheson and a fourth-rounder to Montreal for Petry and forward Ryan Poehling.
However, the Penguins have developed greater needs than a competent right-side defenseman and second power-play QB. They need to move significant salary if they hope to bolster their third line which, statistically, is one of the worst lines in the league.
The Penguins are currently using their LTIR pool with 14 forwards and seven defensemen.
Petry has been solid but not especially impactful with the Penguins. In 40 games, he has 19 points, including three goals.
Penguins right-defenseman Jan Rutta, also capable of second-pair minutes, is close to returning after missing more than a month with an upper-body injury.
Moving Petry would likely clear enough salary for at least one Penguins trade, large or small, to bolster their third line or address other needs. Still, few teams have the cap space to accept Petry’s salary without sending a significant salary the other way.