Jeff Petry, pending UFA, signs 6-year deal to stay with Canadiens

Pending unrestricted free-agent defenceman Jeff Petry on Tuesday signed a six-year contract worth $33 million US to remain with the Montreal Canadiens.

Montreal acquired blue-liner at trade deadline

Defenceman Jeff Petry, a pending unrestricted free agent, signed on for six seasons with the Canadiens. The former Oilers blue-liner had three goals and seven points in 19 regular-season games with Montreal before adding a pair of goals and three points in 12 playoff contests. (Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

Jeff Petry won't be testing NHL free agency on July 1.

The pending unrestricted free agent has signed a six-year contract worth $33 million US to remain on the Montreal Canadiens' blue-line.

At $5.5 million per season, it's the same annual value as the Winnipeg Jets' Tyler Myers, Tampa Bay Lightning's Matt Carle, Arizona Coyotes' Oliver Ekman-Larsson and New York Rangers' Dan Girardi.

Petry, whom Montreal acquired at the trade deadline from Edmonton, had three goals and seven points in 19 regular-season games for the Canadiens after collecting 15 points in 59 contests with the Oilers. In 12 playoff outings, Petry recorded two goals and three points.

"Once I started negotiating with the Canadiens, my wife and I made a decision we really strongly wanted to come back," Petry said on a conference call from West Bloomfield, Mich. "Everything from the day I got there to the playoff run, the environment at the Bell Centre, the players in the locker-room, the organization just being first-class, that all played into it and played a big part in ultimately signing the deal."

Petry said he fit in so well in Montreal because of the style of play and what the organization and coaching staff expects from players.

"It's a quick puck-moving team with a quick transition," Petry said. "That's something I pride my game on is being a good first passer."

Petry said goaltender Carey Price and P.K. Subban expressing their interest in him re-signing "weighed a lot on the decision." Another thing was his belief that the Habs could be Stanley Cup contenders sooner rather than later.

"That was a big factor in the decision was looking at where we went this year and where the ultimate goal is and how close we are to reaching that," Petry said. "I felt that this organization, the team isn't far off."

A second-round pick (No. 45) by the Oilers in 2006, Petry has 20 goals and 81 points in 314 NHL regular-season games.

Bergevin surrendered a second-round pick and conditional fifth-rounder in this month's NHL draft for Petry. It's believed the fifth-round pick will be a fourth-round selection after Montreal won a playoff round.

Part of the attraction with the 27-year-old Petry is he's a right-handed shot like Subban. He also plays big minutes, having topped 22 minutes per game in the playoffs.

"To re-sign [Petry] to a new contract was one of our main off-season priorities," Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin said in a statement released by the team. "Jeff showed a tremendous will to commit to the Canadiens and stay in Montreal.

"He is a solid defenceman with speed and size who acquired valuable playoff experience this year. His presence gives us a lot of depth at this position."

With files from The Canadian Press


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.