Last night on The Pipeline Show I reported that talks between the Edmonton Oilers and prospect Jeff Petry were not only underway but progressing well. After speaking with a few people around or involved in the discussions It's my belief that an agreement on an entry level deal is close to being reached.
As of late last week my information told me that the Oilers had not contacted Petry's people because there was still a very slim chance that Michigan State would qualify for the NCAA National Tournament. That didn't work out for the Spartans and Petry's season came to an end on Friday night.
On the weekend I made contact with someone from the player's side who said that Petry had "a call in" to his advisor(s), and I take that as a sign that the defenceman has made up his mind to leave school. I may be reading too much into it but that's the impression it gave me, if he's initiating contract talks.
I'm told that negotiations have been proceeding well and that the theme of the talks may be "compromise"; each side has had to be flexible over certain issues.
The end result? I get the impression that not only will a deal happen but it could be sooner rather than later - and that Petry might not be headed to Springfield. With the blueline injuries the Oilers are facing, once signed, Petry may report directly to Edmonton and perhaps as early as this weekend.
The Oilers are at home to Anaheim on Friday and are off to St. Louis Sunday, the beginning of a 4-game road trip that also features a Tuesday contest in Detroit. Might Petry, a Michigan native, be in Edmonton's line up when the Oilers take to the ice against the Red Wings? I think so.
Petry was drafted 45th overall in 2006, Edmonton's first selection in the draft that June. After two seasons in the USHL with Des Moines, he joined the Michigan State Spartans. His resume boasts a number of NCAA awards as well as the 2006-07 USA Junior Player of the Year. He won the hardest shot competition at the 2007 USHL All-Star game with a slapper clocked at 95 MPH.
(Photos: MSU Athletics, Sean Cook/The State News, USHL Images)