In a way, the fact that Jeff Petry has been playing with a sports hernia for a part of the season is a bit of a relief. He started the season off like a house on fire, but cooled off markedly at one point. We all felt at first that Marc Bergevin had made a great trade and signed a great player to a reasonable deal, and that point of view was being borne out by his great start to the season.
When he slowed down, and his points didn’t quite accumulate like we thought they would, we were made to revisit this whole deal, and wondered. I remember a commenter on social media who lives in Edmonton weighing in this summer frequently, forcefully on the Jeff Petry contract, and his opinion was quite negative, he predicted a disaster. After reading his sorties, I mentioned them in passing once and, while not calling him out by name, I did describe them as “trollish”. He took some offence to that, and replied that he’s seen Jeff Petry play for years, and repeated that he’s soft, indecisive, a mess in his own zone, not great on offence, …
I was less sure that he didn’t have a point lately. I wondered halfway through this season whether this poster wasn’t the lone sane person, and we were the “Body Snatchers” pod people. After starting the season off thinking he was a too-strong #3, I was worried he might be an overpaid #3. And maybe the Oilers knew what they were doing when they declined to sign him long-term.
Now, I’m going to take comfort in the knowledge that his slowdown was due to the sports hernia, that he’ll get all sewn up and fixed up for next season, and he’ll be back healthy and hale and hearty with Carey Price and Auston Matthews and David Backes and score 18 goals and 50 points and be the Conn Smythe trophy winner.