It has been a tough start to the season for defenseman Alex Petrovic. The 25-year-old blue liner for the Florida Panthers isn’t playing very much, but he will be happy to know that his name has surfaced in trade talks.
According to NHL insider Bob McKenzie, Petrovic hasn’t requested a trade but is getting frustrated with being a healthy scratch. In an interview with the Sun Sentinel, Petrovic mentions how sick he was on watching the games from the press gallery and how he wants a second chance on the ice.
“I’m just working hard every day trying to battle to get back in the lineup,” Petrovic said. “When it’s my time, I just got to prove myself. I can’t be a healthy scratch anymore.”
Petrovic has been scratched in nine of Florida’s 20 games this season, and when he does play, his on-ice time has dropped tremendously. Petrovic last played on Nov. 7 against the Carolina Hurricanes, but has been benched in the following games.
“Ever since I scratched after Carolina, they didn’t really say anything to me after that game,” Petrovic said. “Just scratched me. I know I could have been better, but I think a lot of guys didn’t have their best games in that game either. I guess I was just singled out after that game.
“Since then, they’ve been talking to me on and off, but not very direct. At the start, they said I had to be hard to play against and everything. The Carolina game I had seven hits and a couple blocked shots. I don’t know how much harder you can play against someone.”
The young defender believes he has a lot to offer, and some rivals clubs might see that as well. The Edmonton Oilers, New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs and Washington Capitals are all said to be shopping around the trade market for help on the blue line, and they will most likely go shopping in Florida.
“It's not going to end me or stop me or anything,” Petrovic said. “It's going to make me stronger."
And rival clubs will love to hear this...