The Montreal Canadiens acquired defenseman Jeff Petry from the Edmonton Oilers as well as forwards Brian Flynn and Torrey Mitchell from the Buffalo Sabres on the NHL's Trade Deadline on March 2.
The Montreal Canadiens have acquired defenseman Jeff Petry as well as forwards Brian Flynn and Torrey Mitchell.
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According to a press release on the Canadiens' official website, the team acquired Petry from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for a second-round pick and a conditional fifith-round pick in this year's NHL Entry Draft. Montreal previously acquired the fifth-rounder from the Colorado Avalanche.
The Montreal Gazette's Dave Stubbs says the conditional fifth-round draft choice becomes a fourth-round one should the Habs win one round in the postseason. It becomes a third-round draft pick if Montreal advances to the Eastern Conference Final.
Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin told Stubbs his team always has room for a top-notch defenseman. The Edmonton Journal's Joanne Ireland says the Habs now have eight defensemen in their lineup.
The 27-year-old Petry is on a one-year, $3.075 million deal. He will be an unrestricted free agent at the conclusion of the 2014-15 NHL season, per The Montreal Gazette.
Petry has amassed four goals and 11 assists for 15 points in 59 appearances for Edmonton this season. He made his pro debut during the 2010-11 NHL season. Since then, he has totaled 74 points on 17 goals and 57 assists, per Canadiens.com.
He expressed both his shock at leaving the Oilers and his excitement at joining the Canadiens on TSN's Trade Centre (via The Montreal Gazette):
"It was a little bit of a shock just waking up to it, but I'm excited for the opportunity to get some playoff experience and to go join a great team.
"I'm really excited for that. Montreal, we haven't played there very often, but when we did play there the environment is great and I'm real excited to go on a playoff run with them."
For his part, Oilers team captain Andrew Ference commended Petry on his professionalism, per Stubbs:
"He handled it I think professionally, very well. He never let it be a distraction. I'm sure you guys have dealt with him enough to know he's a pretty great guy. For him I think a lot of that stuff is out of his control.
"He was just kind of playing the game as well as he can and, obviously, playing at a level that made him very attractive for some teams that want to make a push here in the playoffs. So it's going to work great for him."
In exchange for Flynn, the Habs traded a fifth-round draft choice in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft to the Buffalo Sabres on Monday, per a separate press release on the former team's official website. Flynn has recorded 5 goals and 22 assists for 27 points in the 2014-15 NHL season.
Flynn has a total of 41 points (17 goals and 24 assists) since he first broke into the pro ranks with the Sabres during the 2012-13 campaign, per the Canadiens' official website.
Flynn told TVA Sports (via The Montreal Gazette) he is also excited about joining the Canadiens:
"It's exciting. A little surprising right now...just found out a couple of minutes ago. Obviously, they're one of the better teams in the NHL this year and they're having a good year and I'm excited to join them. I'm sad to leave my teammates and friends here, but I'm really excited for the opportunity ahead."
The Habs were not done dealing on the NHL's Trade Deadline on Monday.
They struck again just before the deadline at 3 p.m. ET, acquiring Flynn's Sabres teammate, forward Torrey Mitchell. Stubbs says Montreal traded a draft pick and an unnamed prospect to Buffalo for Mitchell, who had six goals and seven assists for 13 points for the Sabres this season.
For his NHL career, the 30-year-old Mitchell has recorded 42 goals and 62 assists for 104 points, per Stubbs. According to TSN, he is in the last year of a three-year deal that pays him an average annual salary of $1.9 million per season. Just like Petry, Mitchell is also set to become an unrestricted free agent at the conclusion of the 2014-15 NHL season.
In order to accommodate their new acquisitions and save money to meet the salary cap, the Canadiens sent Michael Bournival and Greg Pateryn down to the AHL's Hamilton Bulldogs on Monday, per TVA Sports.
Bergevin told TVA Sports it was important to make the Habs competitive without disrupting team chemistry:
"Every year, things change and you always have to adjust to the trade deadline. Next year, maybe it will be completely different. We had set a price and we stayed in our setting.
"It was very important to the chemistry of the team. I am very proud of the group and what we've accomplished so far. We are in first place in our section, so hats off to our team. It was important not to touch the chemistry.
"You have the talks and you look at the options, he replied. But I do not think the first trio of players were traded today. There were not many guys of that caliber available today."
As of March 2, the Canadiens are tied for the second-best record in the league with a 41-16-5 mark for 87 points, per the NHL's official website.
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