Red Wings Defense Gets a Boost with Petry Addition

The Hockey Writers

In a somewhat surprising move, Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman swung a trade for veteran defenseman Jeff Petry from the Montreal Canadiens. In the trade, he gave up defenseman Gustav Lindstrom and a conditional 2025 fourth-round draft pick. While swapping defensemen will be surprising to some, Petry should be able to give more of a boost to the Red Wings’ defense than Lindstrom was able to in his time in Detroit.

What Impact Petry Could Bring to Detroit

In acquiring the 35-year-old Petry, it is seen as a homecoming. He is an Ann Arbor native and also played his collegiate hockey at Michigan State before making his way to the NHL. Being a 13-year veteran of the league, Petry will bring some more experience and leadership to the Red Wings locker room.

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Along with the veteran leadership, Petry brings playoff experience to the Red Wings lineup, having played in 48 playoff games in his career. He also brings dependability in the sense of being able to stay healthy. Granted, he has experienced a few injuries in the past few seasons, but he has still been able to average 61 games played in the past three seasons in which he had injury problems. Compared to the departing Lindstrom, who had averaged only 15 games per year in four seasons in Detroit, Petry will be an upgrade in this aspect.

Gustav Lindstrom Detroit Red Wings
Gustav Lindstrom, Detroit Red Wings (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

While dressed and in the lineup, Petry adds a player to the Red Wings lineup who can eat up ice time. Last season after being traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins, he averaged 17:38 of ice time in the 61 games he played, while being able to average just over 20 minutes a game throughout his 13-year career. He is also a solid defender in his own zone, which should help the Red Wings cut down on mistakes and opportunities for other teams in their zone. He could also fill in on the power play if there was ever the need to make a move on the special teams at some point during the season. Throughout his career, Petry has put up a total of 24 power play goals and 100 points on the man advantage.

Going into the 2023-24 season with everything that’s already been mentioned, Petry should be expected to give the Red Wings’ defense some extra depth which last year was lacking throughout the season. He could also challenge newcomer Justin Holl and Ben Chiarot for a spot on the second defensive pairing if he is able to come into training camp and perform well enough.

If he is able to do so, this could put pressure on both Yzerman and head coach Derek Lalonde to make a decision on who will be the odd man out on defense. Chiarot could potentially be that odd man out after he struggled in the first year of his four-year contract last season.

Related: Red Wings’ Logjam on Defense Could Be Good For Edvinsson

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Many people have already mentioned the fact that adding another veteran defenseman to the roster who possesses a multi-year contract creates a roadblock for prospects to make the team out of camp. But, with youngster Simon Edvinsson not being able to participate in training camp in September, he was likely not making the team out of camp anyways. Along with the fact that there are not any surefire defensive prospects that are NHL-ready quite yet, this should ease those concerns for fans.

Overall, the addition of Petry to the Red Wings has maybe created more questions for some people, but the impact and boost that he will bring to the lineup will be more noticeable than that of the departing Lindstrom. This should make training camp and the beginning of the season on the defensive side something to watch for fans as well.

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