As a young professional athlete, playing under a one-year contract, while constantly mentioned in trade chatter, can become incredibly tough and emotionally difficult.
Despite missing an abundance of regular season games for Florida, the heavily scrutinized defensive-defenseman produced a satisfactory season, encapsulating jaw-dropping checks, vicious fights, and the occasional element of surprise on offense. Petro’s statistics in 67 regular season games notably included 2 goals, 11 assists, 98 penalty minutes, 74 blocked shots, and a team-leading 142 hits.
Petrovic wasn’t necessarily a consistent nor top-tier defenseman, but played like a serviceable, adequate 3rd pairing defenseman. Petro’s physicality and toughness provided the Cats with a dependable option on their offensive-minded blueline.
In addition, Petrovic’s advanced stats were impressive considering his role and usage, registering a FF% (Fenwick For Percentage) of 52.3, FF% rel (Relative Fenwick For Percentage) of 2.2, CF% (Corsi For Percentage) of 51.5, and CF% rel (Relative Corsi For Percentage) of 1.9, which were career-high numbers for the 26-year-old native of Edmonton, Alberta.
Alexander Petrovic’s solid season earned himself a highly deserving contract extension from the Florida Panthers several days ago. Florida inked Petrovic to a one-year contract extension worth $1.95 million AAV, meaning Petrovic will officially become an unrestricted free agent once the contract eventually expires.
However, with numerous high-quality defensemen on FLA’s current roster vying for a 3rd pairing spot, such as MacKenzie Weegar, the recently signed Bogdan Kiselevich, and newly acquired Jacob MacDonald, the expendable Petro could find himself on a completely different roster sometime soon.
The Panthers have expressed their interest in entertaining trade offers for the veteran defenseman, in hopes of potentially acquiring a forward or draft pick in return. Furthermore, Petro’s tenure with FLA isn’t entirely safe, considering how the young d-man’s name seems like it’s mentioned in trade rumors on a frequently consistent basis.
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Trading Petrovic currently seems doubtful, considering the draft has recently passed and the Cats have already locked up Petro for an additional season. Although, regarding the Alexander Petrovic trade speculation, the Florida Panthers could potentially deal Alex during the trade deadline, especially if the Panthers become a competitive, playoff-contending team without noticeable production from Petro.
Additionally, despite posting a below average plus/minus rating of -2 in 2018, Petro owns a career rating of +5, conveying his defensive abilities aren’t necessarily considered sub-par. In essence, Petrovic can perfectly be described as a decent bottom pairing defenseman, who provides a team with size, grit, physical edge, competitive motor, and a fierce nature.
Quite frankly, the criticism Petrovic receives from a plethora of Panther fans seems incredibly unwarranted and unjustified at times, especially if you take into consideration the sufficient numbers Petrovic has logged in recent memory.
As the roster currently stands, Alexander Petrovic would be penciled into FLA’s 3rd pairing on defense, playing alongside either Kiselevich or Weegar. Petrovic doesn’t need to prove himself in training camp or preseason action like the aforementioned Weegar and Kiselevich, mainly because Petro has reached his potential already. Tallon knows Petrovic’s capabilities, as Dale was responsible for selecting Petro in the draft (2010), as well as protecting the right-handed defenseman in last year’s expansion draft.
Petrovic has been a member of the Florida Panthers since the 2012-13 campaign, logging 228 NHL games since entering the big league – one of the longest tenured Panthers on the current roster.
Ultimately, his status with the Panthers remains ‘up in the air’ and rather uncertain, but Alexander certainly hopes for a healthy, successful season in 2019, regardless of the team he’s suiting up for.