USATSI_8403164_154158418_lowresIt’s that time of year again and we’re covering the NHL’s trade deadline.

First up is news that Jeff Petry has been traded to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for a secnd round pick in 2015 and a conditional fifth round pick in 2015.

The Habs had been chasing the former Edmonton Oilers defenceman for a while and Petry was at the centre of many trade rumours, so it’s not like this was a surprise.

In 59 games with the Oilers this season, Petry has four goals and 11 assists. He’s -25, which stinks.

With the Canadiens, he’ll have the opportunity to finally step things up. Petry’s game has suffered in Edmonton, no question about it, and he should enjoy playing for a more capable hockey club in Montreal.

Lest this turn into a news item entirely based around knocking the Edmonton Oilers, it’s important to note that the book on Petry is still being written. He is, by most accounts, a responsible defensive player and should be a nice fit in Montreal.

The 27-year-old is a puck-moving defenceman and he’ll have more options with the Habs. He’s got a solid right-hand shot, too, and will see some power play time.

For Montreal general manager Marc Bergevin, he’s landed one of the best available pending UFA defenceman on deadline day.

As far as Craig MacTavish and the Oilers are concerned, this was about all they could hope for. They couldn’t get the deal done with Petry and really had no chance of retaining him, so it’s all about returns and picks here. In this case, they did okay. They’ll have a significant hole in their defensive group now, however, and that could send them shopping come summer.

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