FanPost

Re-Signing Jeff Petry

Peaches
From OKC to Riches. Photo by Candace Riley, all rights reserved.

With the end of another Oilers season upon us this week, it is about that time to start looking forward to the draft and the off-season to try and figure out how to avoid having another giant bowl of suck to deal with again next season. Before we look ahead to who the team might add though (although that process is already well underway), it is also important to look back at the players the team had this year, and to figure out where they fit heading into next season.

Looking back on the 2011/12 year for the Edmonton Oilers, I think it is fair to say that among the top three most pleasant developments are the progression of Jordan Eberle, the outstanding rookie season of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and the breakout season of Jeff Petry. Petry in particular will be the player of interest among those three heading into the off-season, as both RNH and Eberle have time remaining on their contracts. Eberle and Taylor Hall may begin the process of negotiating extensions this summer, but the team would be foolish to sign them before the terms of a new CBA are finalized. Petry however, is a restricted free agent this off-season, and with the trade of Tom Gilbert (SON OF A B#$%!), Petry finds himself in a position to be a key member of the blueline moving forward.

After the jump, I'll look at Petry's season, where he fits into the depth chart moving forward, some reasonable comparables based on his performance this season, and what it might cost to get him signed to a new deal this summer.

After being sent back to Oklahoma City to start the season thanks to the fact that he was one of the few players on the team with waiver eligibility remaining, Petry was recalled on October 28th and never looked back. It didn't take long for him to solidify his spot in the line-up, and shortly thereafter he became a consistent presence in the top four. Petry is recovering from injury at the moment after being struck in the face by a puck last week. News has come out today that he is skating with the team and hopes to play in the final two games of the regular season. Even if he does not record a point in those final games, it is likely that he will finish the season as the Oilers' leading point producer on the blueline, with 2g-22a-24p on the season through 71 games.

Looking at the Oilers depth chart, Petry figures to play a prominent role heading into next season, as he is the only player on the roster who can be considered a candidate to play a top 4 role that is also a right-handed shooter. The trade of Gilbert at the deadline has left the team extremely short-handed for defensemen who natuarally play the right side, which only increases #58's importance to the team.

Oilers' Managment has stated that they would like to add one, perhaps two players to their top six along the blueline before next season, but even if they do, Jeff Petry is still likely to be a part of the top four as he and Ladislav Smid were carrying the burden of playing the heavy minutes throughout the last third of the season post-trade deadline.

In order to determine what it might cost to sign Petry this summer, I thought it might make sense to look at some of his comparables this season, my analysis is actually quite similar in method to a post that Jonathan Willis did this morning in his analysis of Shawn Horcoff's season. In order to find Petry's comparable group, I decided to begin with his time-on-ice numbers. TOI is a function of how a player is deployed by the coaching staff, but it should allow for us to find a group of players who present similar skill sets with which to perform our analysis. All data used in this analysis is thanks to behindthenet.ca). In 2011/12, Petry averaged 17.19 min of time per 60 minutes at even strength, 2.35 min./60 on the Powerplay and 1.24 min/60 killing penalties. That's an indication of a pretty well-rounded skill set. To find similar players, I used the parameters of 2 minutes above or below Petry's number at 5v5 (15.19/60 - 19.19/60). For special teams, I included all players who averaged between 1.00 - 2.00 min./60 on the PK and 2.00 - 3.00 min./60 on the PP. When cross-referencing the three categories, what I was left with was a relatively interesting list of 6 comparables, in addition to Petry himself.

NAME

TEAM

AGE

GP

Shoots

5v5 TOI/60

4v5 TOI/60

5v4 TOI/60

PAULMARTIN

PIT

31

70

Left

17.70

1.86

2.58

DANHAMHUIS

VAN

29

78

Left

17.62

1.76

2.90

JOHNCARLSON

WSH

22

78

Right

17.38

1.47

2.53

CARLGUNNARSSON

TOR

25

76

Left

17.17

1.21

2.51

MARCOSCANDELLA

MIN

22

61

Left

16.60

1.74

2.22

ANDREJMESZAROS

PHI

26

62

Left

16.04

1.38

2.33

AVERAGE

26

71

17.09

1.57

2.51

JEFFPETRY

EDM

24

70

Right

17.19

1.24

2.35

This list of names is somewhat interesting, as there are a number of players who have substantially more experience than Petry, and a couple of rising stars in the league. Petry compares quite well to all of them in terms of how he was used this season, and yet he doesn't get the fanfare of any of these players, except for perhaps Carl Gunnarsson.

Of course, a comparable group can't just be determined based on who was used in similar capacities over the course of the season, it is also crucial to examine how that player performed in those situations. While it can be difficult to assess an individual player's prowess on the penalty kill, scoring numbers are a good indicator of a player's success with the man advantage, and most impotantly, there are a number of stats we can use to evaluate a player's performance at even strength, including Corsi, zone start/finish, QualComp, etc. The table below shows how Petry stacks up in terms of how he has handled the the role he has been placed in this season:

NAME

TEAM


Corsi Rel QoC


QC Ranking


Corsi Relative


Corsi On


PDO


Off Zone Start %


Off Zone Finish %


PAULMARTIN

PIT

0.631

4

3.3

12.54

980

54.5

50.6

DANHAMHUIS

VAN

0.852

3

6.6

9.13

1030

46.6

49

JOHNCARLSON

WSH

1.104

2

-3.9

-4.69

982

45.8

47.5

CARLGUNNARSSON

TOR

1.175

2

-0.9

-3.17

996

45.4

50.5

MARCOSCANDELLA

MIN

1.031

3

-1.4

-14.34

985

43.8

46.8

ANDREJMESZAROS

PHI

-0.06

7

-1.7

3.14

994

52

49.2

AVERAGE

0.789

3.5

0.33

0.435

995

48

48.9

JEFFPETRY

EDM

1.011

2

2.9

-1.74

996

49.6

51

Petry actually faces a tougher load in terms of competition than most of the players on this list and he certainly holds his own with all of the comparables listed. Martin and Hamhuis post some pretty impressive Corsi ratings, but the common bond with those two players is that they are the most experienced on this list and that they both play for very strong offensive teams. I find it very interesting how favourably Petry compares to a guy like John Carlson, who is considered by many to be among the most elite defensemen of the new generation of players entering the league. With slightly less experience, even though he is two year's older, Petry plays a very similar level of competition on a far inferior team and posts very comparable results. The one area where Carlson separates himself is the more difficult zone starts. Still, it leads me to believe that perhaps Petry is a little under appreciated, even by his own team. Carl Gunnarsson is perhaps the other player who matches up best with Petry and again with the exception of facing a little more consistent defensive zone starts, the two players face similar levels of competition. All three players push the play towards the offensive zone reasonably well considering the uphill battle they face most nights.

Another area that has to be considered is scoring prowess. Some of the players on this list are expected to be significant contributors on offense on both the powerplay and 5v5. Looking at the table below, Petry stacks up very well from this standpoint as well. With the exception of tremendous 5v4 number for Hamhuis, there is nobody with a significant edge over Petry in either of offensive category, and he comes in above the average of the group in both situations. Again, it appears that John Carlson and Carl Gunnarsson serve as the best comparables to the season Petry has had this year.

NAME

TEAM

5v5 PTS/60

5v4 PTS/60

Cap Hit

Contract Term

PAULMARTIN

PIT

0.82

1.84

$5.0 Million

3 yrs. Left

DANHAMHUIS

VAN

0.83

4.38

$4.5 Million

4 yrs. Left

JOHNCARLSON

WSH

0.93

3.67

$845,833 (ELC)

RFA this summer

CARLGUNNARSSON

TOR

0.6

3.26

$1.325 Million

1 yr. Left

MARCOSCANDELLA

MIN

0.3

2.83

$845,833 (ELC)

1 yr. Left

ANDREJMESZAROS

PHI

1.33

1.4

$4 Million

2 yrs. Left

AVERAGE

0.8

2.90

$2.75 Million

JEFFPETRY

EDM

0.9

3.45

$1 Million (ELC)

RFA this summer

Also included in that table is the current salary of each player in the group and their contract status. The average salary is brought way down due to Scandella and Carlson being on their entry level deals (as is Petry). The average is also affected by what appears to be an excellent value contract for the Leafs with Carl Gunnarsson. It is worth noting that the two highest salaries on this list (Martin and Hamhuis) were signed when the players were unrestricted free agents, which tends to lead to higher cap hits. As RFAs this summer, both Carlson and Petry are likely looking at something less than that, although I would wager that Carlson gets the bigger contract of the two. Given his age, the team will likely want Petry to sign for 2 years or lock him up long term as a 3 year deal would take him to UFA status. If I had to guess, right now I would expect Petry to sign at somewhere in the neighbourhood of $3 - $3.5 Million per season for the next 2 years, depending on the CBA negotiations.

So, what is your opinion on this? What is Petry worth this summer? Are you surprised how favourably he compares to players who receive a lot more fanfare than he does?

Jeff Petry has arrived. If he can continue to perform at these levels, he may become a major part of the Oiler blueline for the next decade.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this FanPost are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or position of the staff.

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