MONTREAL — The Montreal Canadiens kicked off NHL trade deadline action Monday with the acquisition of defenceman Jeff Petry from the Edmonton Oilers and forwards Brian Flynn and Torrey Mitchell in two separate trades with the Buffalo Sabres.
Over $34 M in player salaries changed hands on 2015 Deadline Day. #NHLTrade.
— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) March 2, 2015
It was uncertain if general manager Marc Bergevin would make further moves before the 3 p.m. ET deadline.
The Canadiens dealt a 2015 second-round pick and a conditional fifth-rounder to Edmonton for Petry, who can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. The fifth-round pick will become a fourth-rounder if the Canadiens win one playoff series and a third-rounder if they win two.
Montreal sent a fifth-round pick in the 2016 to Buffalo for Flynn, who is due to become a restricted free agent.
The deals give the Eastern conference leading Canadiens depth heading into the playoffs.
Petry, who filled the need for a rearguard with a right-hand shot, should move onto the second or third defence pairing.
The 27-year-old, who has four goals and 11 assists in 59 games this season, was to join the Canadiens in San Jose before a game on Monday night.
The six-foot-three, 198-pound American has 17 goals and 74 points in 295 NHL games, all with the Oilers, who drafted him 45th overall in 2006.
Flynn has five goals and 22 assists in 54 games while playing a second and third-line role this season. Overall, he has 17 goals and 24 assists for 41 points in 159 games over three seasons with Buffalo.
The 26-year-old American is also a right hand shot and will likely see action on the third or fourth line.
"I’m really excited for this opportunity that I have; to go to the team that’s first place in the East," Flynn told the Sabres’ website. "Always, when you have a chance to win, I’ll take the opportunity.
"I obviously don’t expect to go there and play the 20 minutes a night that I’ve been playing here. They’ve got a really deep lineup, a lot of good forwards, a lot of guys who can score. If I play more of a defensive role or kill some penalties and things like that, whatever I can do to help the team win, that’s what I’m going to do."
The Sabres signed Flynn as a free agent in 2012 after he completed his university career at Maine.
Mitchell, from the Montreal suburb of Greenfield Park, has six goals and seven assists in 51 games with the Sabres this season and is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.
Montreal reportedly acquired Mitchell for a draft pick and a prospect.