The Montreal Canadiens trade veteran defenseman Jeff Petry

Montreal – July 17, 2022

The Montreal Canadiens have traded veteran defenseman Jeff Petry, along with center Ryan Poehling to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Jeff Petry has long been asking for a move that would send him across the border into the United States, where his wife would be more content. Julie Petry was disgruntled over several political issues within Quebec, mainly the COVID-19 restrictions which included two curfews, and returned to Michigan, taking with her their three sons while pregnant with a fourth boy, who was born last week.

Today, Montreal Canadiens GM Kent Hughes has granted the Petry family their wish, following eight years of service to the Habs organisation.

See Also: Habs deal captain Shea Weber to the Golden Knights

In return, the Pittsburgh Penguins send Mike Matheson, who grew up in the Pointe-Claire district of Montreal’s West Island, and a fourth-round pick in 2023. Matheson is coming off a great season with the Penguins, where he potted 11 goals and 20 assists for 31 points in 74 games – all of which are career highs.

Matheson brings size and grit to the Canadiens line-up, who will be in need of both elements after trading Alexander Romanov to the New York Islanders at the 2022 NHL Entry draft.  A skilled skater, Matheson also puts up points, in a similar way to what Petry did while with the Habs. The 6’2″, 188 pound defenseman was selected 23rd overall at the 2012 NHL entry draft. In 417 career regular season games, Matheson has scored 49 goals and 89 assists for a total of 138 points.

Matheson, 28, spent parts of 5 seasons with the Florida Panthers before joining the Pittsburgh Penguins for the past two seasons. He has four years remaining on an eight-year, US$39 million contract with an annual salary cap hit of $4.875 million per season.

Petry struggled in Montreal last season, at times looking lost or uninterested – although his efforts and production seemed to return the status quo that the Canadiens had come to expect following a coaching change. Petry amassed just six points under coach Dominique Ducharme, but would put up 21 under Martin St. Louis. In all, Petry scored 6 goals and 21 assists in 68 games last season.

Ryan Poehling, 23, goes to the Penguins after struggling to find his role with the Canadiens. The former first round pick played in 57 games with the Canadiens last season, notching 9 goals and 8 assists for 17 points. The addition of fellow center Kirby Dach at the entry draft, likely made Poehling expendable, and with Pittsburgh needing help down the middle of the ice, Poehling was a logical choice.

Following the trade, the Canadiens also announced that they had reached an agreement with Rem Pitlick on a two year deal worth US$2.2 million. Pitlick spent his rookie season with Montreal last year, but wasn’t tendered a qualifying offer.