One of the main reasons Ron Hextall and the Pittsburgh Penguins brought in defenseman Jeff Petry was for his size and strength.
While his 6’3” and 201-pound frame won’t be ignored, the Penguins will also see benefit from Petry’s sneaky good offensive game.
After all, the Pens did trade away Mike Matheson for Petry, and the absence of Matheson leaves a hole in the blue line’s scoring ability.
For the past five seasons, Petry led Montreal Canadiens defenders in scoring; no small feat for a team that also boasted Shea Weber.
The Canadiens have struggled to win regular season games in recent years, but they did reach the Stanley Cup final in 2021.
Over his 12-year career, Petry has played in 803 games while scoring 87 goals and piling up 235 assists for 322 points.
The numbers don’t raise eyebrows, but between 2017-18 and 2020-21 Petry scored over 40 points every year.
As Petry has aged into the back half of his career, he found consistency with his puck moving ability; and that’s with a less skilled Canadiens franchise.
Putting Petry on the same ice as Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin should push his numbers even higher.
Head coach Mike Sullivan told the NHL Network that Petry is not only a big body but also a guy that will play on the power play and be in the top four defenders.
“We got a real good player in Petry from Montreal,” Sullivan said. “That can play on the power play and be a top four D for us.”
With the Canadiens, Petry played an average of 22:42 per game; he won’t hit those kind of numbers playing behind Kris Letang, but a sheltered role will keep him fresh.
Everyone has been talking about the size and weight that Petry brings to the lineup, and while that is important for the Penguins, his offensive play will stand out as a new threat for the lineup.
Make sure you bookmark Inside the Penguins for the latest news, exclusive interviews, breakdowns and so much more!