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Jeff Petry: the Stars are one to watch, says Chris Johnston

It’s already been just over 48 hours since Jeff Petry (re)became a member of the CH. Along with Casey DeSmith, Nathan Légaré and a second-round pick, Petry made his way to Montreal in the deal that brought Erik Karlsson to Pittsburgh.

Kent Hughes, Kyle Dubas and Mike Grier decided to put on a good show for us Sunday morning with this huge three-team, 12-member deal.

That said, we suspect Petry’s stay in town could be fairly brief. The defenseman wanted to be traded, and even though he seems ready to land in Montreal if Kent Hughes doesn’t manage to trade him, we suspect he doesn’t necessarily want to play in Montreal.

The question now is where Kent Hughes might trade the defenseman for a second time in just over a year. It’ll be a little easier this year because he costs less (especially if the CH withholds 50% of his remaining salary, which would bring him to $2.3 M cap hit), but it won’t be child’s play for all that.

In an NHL where the salary cap is frozen, teams often have difficulty adding salary.

However, on today’s episode of The Chris Johnston Show, the tipster mentioned the Stars as a team to watch.

That’s around the 11-minute mark of the episode, for those interested:

As Johnston reminds us, the Stars have had interest in Petry in the past. It was a destination that came up often last year in the case of the defenseman, whom Kent Hughes eventually passed on to the Penguins in return for Mike Matheson.

And when you look at the hierarchy of defensemen in Dallas, you realize that a guy like Petry wouldn’t be out of place on a second pair. Miro Heiskanen (a left-handed right-winger) is on the first pair, but Nils Lundkvist and Jani Hakanpaa aren’t exactly sure-fire second pairings.

The problem, however, is that the Stars are already over the salary cap. They’re about $300,000 over, and while that might be remedied by sending a player to the AHL, the fact remains that even at $2.3 million, they can’t afford Jeff Petry.

There is, however, a simple solution: get rid of Mason Marchment.

(Credit: Screenshot/CapFriendly)

Marchment has a contract for the next three seasons that will pay him $4.5 million. Last year, however, he clearly didn’t play up to his salary, so it’s in the Stars’ best interest to get rid of him.

And with the youngsters on the rise and the arrival of Matt Duchene, there’s not much room for him anyway.

The Habs don’t have much to gain by taking on Marchment’s contract, even at 50% of his salary. It would bring congestion back to the attack, and the CH would be stuck with him for three years.

On the other hand, since the Stars aren’t holding back any salary right now, seeing Marchment take one of the three retention slots wouldn’t necessarily be a huge problem for them. Sending him to a club that doesn’t have a problem with the salary cap (I’m thinking of the Ducks and Blackhawks, in particular) with a small bonus therefore becomes more realistic, and they can withhold salary to facilitate the whole thing.

It will be up to Jim Nill to look at all this, but if he wants to get Jeff Petry to solidify his blue line, Mason Marchment may have to leave one way or another. To be continued in the days and/or weeks to come.

In gusto

– I have a feeling that Jeff Petry won’t be doing the same for Montreal fans…

– I’m going with Jack, personally.

– They’ll be ones to watch.

– He makes no secret of it.

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– Big names in action tomorrow in Toronto.

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