The 2023-24 NHL season is set to be a significant one for veteran defenseman Jeff Petry. Not only does it mark the 14th year of his professional career, but it also signifies a much-anticipated homecoming.
On Tuesday, the Detroit Red Wings announced that they had acquired the 35-year-old Michigan native from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for defenseman Gustav Lindstrom and a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2025 NHL Entry Draft.
Petry expressed his excitement during an introductory press conference at Little Caesars Arena on Wednesday afternoon. “To get that call yesterday, to hear that you’re coming home to play for the team you watched growing up and being able to put on that jersey means a lot,” he said. “It’s a very special moment.”
Born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Petry is no stranger to professional sports; he’s the son of Dan Petry, who spent most of his MLB career with Detroit Tigers and helped them clinch victory in the 1984 World Series.
“You never think it’s ever going to happen and now you get a chance to watch your son play for the team he grew up idolizing,” Dan commented during Tuesday’s pregame edition of Tigers Live on Bally Sports Detroit.
Jeff was an accomplished two-sport athlete at St. Mary’s Preparatory before committing himself fully to hockey at Michigan State University (2007-10). He spent last season with Pittsburgh Penguins where he recorded impressive stats: 31 points (5-26-31) across 61 games.
Playing for his hometown team was something Jeff had always dreamed about. When discussing potential trade destinations with Canadiens General Manager Kent Hughes, there was no doubt about where he wanted to go – Detroit was top of his list.
Petry will join Justin Holl, Shayne Gostisbehere and Brogan Rafferty as new additions this offseason bolstering Red Wings’ defense line-up. He believes there’s good balance among them which makes him excited about what lies ahead.
In addition to contributing on ice, Petry is looking forward playing mentorship role within dressing room especially towards younger teammates drawing from wealth of experience navigating ups and downs throughout career journey so far.
As tribute towards father Dan who wore No.46 jersey during time with Tigers , Jeff will sport same number while playing for Red Wings – news which took father by surprise but left him feeling honored.