Canadiens Trade Jeff Petry to the Penguins

by | Jul 16, 2022 | News, NHL, Rumors | 22 comments

The Montreal Canadiens traded defenseman Jeff Petry and center Ryan Poehling to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for defenseman Mike Matheson and a fourth-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft.

Montreal Canadiens defenseman Jeff Petry (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes had been patiently seeking a suitable trade partner for Petry since the 34-year-old blueliner requested a trade last season. He finally found one with the Penguins, but it’s not going down well with Habs fans on social media.

One complaint is that Hughes didn’t clear that much cap space swapping Petry’s $6.25 million average annual value through 2024-25 for the 28-year-old Matheson’s $4.875 million through 2025-26. That’s true over the long term given the extra year on the latter’s contract, but it does free up $1.375 million for the coming season. Poehling’s $750K for 2022-23 also comes off the Canadiens’ books.

While Petry has better offensive stats than Matheson, the latter also skates well, putting up a career-best 31 points last season with the Penguins. He’s a local boy who plays a solid all-around game and could maintain a reliable veteran presence on the rebuilding Canadiens’ defense.

Penguins management still has faith in their aging core and remains in “win-now” mode. Petry’s smooth-skating style, puckhandling skills and postseason experience should fit well within their system. He’ll take some of the offensive burdens from blueline stalwart Kris Letang.

Poehling, meanwhile, was hampered by injuries earlier in his career and struggled at times to establish himself as a roster regular with the Canadiens. He’ll get a fresh start in Pittsburgh and an opportunity to become part of their long-term plan.


  1. Penguins are getting even longer in the tooth! I give them one more “good” year. Good being making the play-offs.

  2. Very excited about that trade ! What a nice move again by Kent Hughes, Habs get another big bodied D still young at 28 and save 2M on the cap hit ! Plus he is coming back home.

    • Pretty good trade for the Habs considering their current rebuild situation. They needed some veteran D to help shelter the kids. They got a decent puck moving D-man who’s 6 years younger and $1.4m. cheaper. Okay, he has one extra year left on his contract, but it is likely that the cap will have increased significantly by that time which will make it easier to swallow. By the time the Habs will be ready to even complete for a playoff spot, Petry would be just about done. Matheson is young enough to be a leader on the Habs when they’re ready to step things up.
      As for the Pens, they obviously see themselves as having a 3 year window remaining. After that, they’ll likely be starting over.

    • Habs still need to sign a veteran RD. At this point, can probably get one for less than $2m. on a short term deal. P.K. Subban? Anton Stralman?

  3. So far like Ron Hextall’s off-season moves and like how Ron Hextall traded away two Jim Rutherford contracts – John Marino and Mike Matheson – and in return Penguins acquire Jeff Petry , an upgrade over Mike Matheson. Penguins needed change to their rooster.

  4. I like these trades, where both clubs win. Good deal all around.
    Pens are obviously still going for it.
    Habs are insulating the kids that should be playing on the back end, soon. Smart move.

    I’m sick of Hughes and Gorton and the season hasn’t even started.

    • Don’t let it spoil your day, SOP. Given the market the Habs did well but they are several years away from seeing anyone below them in the standards.

      • They’re laying a solid foundation, LJ. Very savvy moves thus far in their tenure.
        You hard-core fans must be excited about a rebuild done properly.
        Although I see the Habs as our biggest rival, I am always happier when both clubs are competitive.
        It just adds to the aura of the match up.
        Do you think the boys are going to land PLD? What do you think it’ll cost them?
        Nothing like bringing in players who genuinely want to be there.

  5. I’m certainly not a fan of the Habs, but I wondered the same thing — it seems to be a lot going on to save just $1.375M for the coming season. I guess it just underscores how cap space is as valuable as anything to NHL GMs.

    And, yes, Johnny Z, the Penguins’ day of reckoning is coming fast. Considering what he’s given to that franchise, Sid deserves at least one more shot at the grail.

  6. Johnny Z….. The Penguins are going for it the next 2 / 3 seasons while this is a bit odd I like a right side of Letang / Petry / Rutta much better than Letang Marino Rudwhedel….

    Systems help players look how well Matheson responded to playing in Pittsburgh (as opposed to Florida were he was awful..

    Plus Petry has a cannon from the point you watch the power play get better which was iffy last year. This guy can bring it from the point unlike letang who is never a threat to shoot from the point. (so teams pack it down low on the Pk daring him to shoot) which letang doesn’t ….

    Petry will start off on power play unit number two but when Sullivan sees that cannon from the point Letang will get moved to the number two unit…watch

    More moves are coming I think Hextall moves Petersson and clears $ 4.1 million will bring in a veteran LHD at a low cost say a Robert Hagg who is solid defensively..

    Then let young newly acquired Ty Smith and Pierre Oliver Joseph battle for that 3rd left handed spot…and Jan Rutta will be there to help them learn..

  7. I like this move the Penguins right side is better now with Letang / Petry and Rutta..

    Plus Petry has a cannon from the point on the power play Sullivan will love that.

    As good as Letang can be shooting bullets from the point not his strength. I think Hextall moves Peterson too and brings in a solid veteran on the cheap say LHD Robert Hagg (sound defensively) and young newly acquired Ty Smith and Pierre Oliver Joseph can battle for the l3rd LHD spot….they will be protected playing with 2 time Stanley cup champ Jan Rutta.

  8. How is this bad for the Canadiens ? It is a good trade for both teams. Habs don’t need Petry’s offence this year, they are nowhere close to a playoff spot and 2 generational players await to be drafted. Also, Poehling, I am sorry to say that but he seems to be a bust. Now Canadiens get Matheson who is a good and still young (only 28) 6’2”, was born near Montreal + a 4th pick and save 2 million $$ Which they used to re-sign Rhett Pitlick… And before someone asks, Guhle and Mailloux will take over the offensive part in two years

    • It was Rem, not Rhett they resigned.

      Also, I believe Mailloux & Harris will be the future point producers on Habs, Guhle will be the solid, defensive leader of the squad.

      • Yes Rem ! Sorry 🙂

      • Pens have only one of their top players under the age of 30 in Guentzel.
        even if they go injury free how deep into a run can this core go again?
        Sid is still elite and will stay elite for longer than the rest. Letang really turned back the clock last season but ….

    • Mike.. I agree I think it helps both clubs for sure.

      Petry/Poehling will be good in Pittsburgh.

      Matheson a Quebec kid will do well in Montreal..

  9. Too early to tell obviously but Hextall realized he needed to change this roster up. After 5 straight first round exits you can’t keep saying “We really like our group” year after year … and expect a different result. Marino regressed terribly last year, zero offensive output and is soft as tissue. There was a reason he was a 7th round pick. Hextall should be commended for getting his unjustified, bloated contract off the books. Ty Smith still has upside, maybe coming to Pitt from NJ will benefit him.

    Letang, Petry & Ruuta is a pretty solid right side. Almost have to keep Pettersson now considering how easily and often Dumoulin gets hurt.

    Still a lot of work to do regarding the bottom six forward position but I really like the revamped defense.

    IMO Poehling never got a fair shot so not sure how he can be labeled a bust … yet. I already like him better than Teddy Blowhole at 4th centre.

    I liked Matheson, he can really skate, has some serious moves and a decent shot. It’s defensively that Habs fans will feel his shortcomings. And his contract, which is horrible. Not quite as bad as Erik Gudbranson’s though.

  10. I wonder if they can rig skate blades to rocking chairs. Pittsburgh may need to find out,in a couple of years.

    • We will worry about that in 3 years…

      Crosby is still elite 90 points best two way 200 foot player un the NHL….along with Bergeron

      Letang still extremely good 25 minutes a game and his best offensive season 68 points !!

      Malkin has slipped and he isn’t elite anymore but still good a point a game player..

      So you can hold off the rocking chairs and maybe ship them to Boston or Washington….LOL

  11. If this was Gorton honouring his promise to Petry then ok. Otherwise I don’t get the trade. I’d rather have Petry and Poehling then saving 2million off the cap,

  12. If this trade is made as a result of a promise made to Petry to get him out of Montreal before the start of the new season then so be it. Otherwise this trade makes no sense to me. You save just under $1.4 million for 3 years and then have to pay Matheson $4.875 for another year and you swap Poehling for a fourth round pick. Bad trade for Montreal. As I said if it was to fulfil a promise… so be it.

  13. I am not a fan of Petry and at the moment I don’t like the trade. Hope he proves me wrong.