Jeff Petry was sent down today by the Edmonton Oilers. The “victim of a numbers game” is one of the six best defensemen available when all are healthy, but is also the one blue who is not waiver eligible. Oiler defenders who could reasonably be placed below Petry on a true depth chart would include Theo Peckham and Cam Barker.
The Oilers top 6D are probably Ryan Whitney (when healthy), Tom Gilbert, Ladislav Smid, Andy Sutton, Corey Potter and Jeff Petry. Theo Peckham entered training camp as a full fledged member of the regular rotation but has struggled and is seen by many as the 7th best available option (among those still in Edmonton).
Cam Barker’s contract and Peckham’s waiver status are the two items that forced Petry down the depth chart and on the plane to OKC. We know from previous experience that injuries are just around the corner and Petry is the best callup option by a mile.
This is no tragedy–Petry will be fine and play more minutes with the Barons–but like the Linus Omark demotion a year ago it goes to show that signing free agents like Barker can have a negative impact. It’s early to call that signing a failure, but we did talk about it during the summer as being an expensive third pairing addition.