The Edmonton Oilers called up Jeff Petry today, sending back 2007 1st rder Alex Plante at the same time. Petry showed well in his last callup and stayed for an extended period; I expect he’ll be an Oiler until the end of the regular season.
Petry has a nice range of skills and has shown an ability to move the puck up ice smartly. Keeping Petry in the minors made little sense given the mountain of evidence (in just three games) that Alex Plante isn’t ready.
I wrote about the Plante crossroads before his callup and maintain that point of view now. Almost all of the things surrounding Plante’s career this season–the healthy scratch’s, the Teubert acquisition, the bumpy audition at the NHL level and today’s demotion–are downward arrows.
Plante gives the team a physical defender with size and a prospect willing to drop the gloves at a moment’s notice. The issues that have him on a plane today–mobility, reading the play in a timely fashion, not getting caught out of position–are long term items. Defense is a tough position to play and the organization won’t have to make a decision on him for another year (he’s RFA summer 2012). However, I think it’s safe to say that Plante is in about the same spot as Taylor Chorney: at a crossroads with the club that drafted and signed them.
The winners in that battle among the blue drafted in 2005-07 have emerged; their names are Jeff Petry and Theo Peckham. Cody Wild is already gone, Danny Syvret too with Plante and Chorney running out of daylight.