Despite being the subject of many NHL trade rumors, Montreal Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty isn’t seeking a trade
The Montreal Canadiens were built to win within the next few years. To say their plan has backfired would be an outrageous understatement. A year after making it to the postseason, the Canadiens have been one of the most disappointing teams in the NHL. This has caused them to shift their focus to the future. Captain Max Pacioretty has seen his name thrown around in NHL trade rumors.
Despite the drama, there is no indication that he is actively seeking a trade. Bob McKenzie spoke about the topic on TSN 690.
“To my knowledge, there’s been no sense from [Pacioretty] in terms of going to the club or anything going, ‘Get me the [heck] out of here,’ at all.”
If Pacioretty wanted out of Montreal, knowing the hockey-obsessed culture there, fans would hear about it. But so far, nothing has been reported regarding the Habs’ captain wanting out of Montreal.
The Canadiens remain open about trading Pacioretty. And they absolutely should be, especially with his contract expiring after the 2018-19 season. While the summer might make more sense for trading Pacioretty, there are teams out there who might want him now. Why wait for a proven goal scorer like him and only get him for one full season when he could potentially influence two postseasons in addition to that regular season?
Montreal holds all the leverage here. There’s no reason they should trade Pacioretty without getting a monumental haul in return. What could that return look like? Let’s take a look at the trade that sent Keith Yandle to the New York Rangers. The Arizona Coyotes got defenseman John Moore, top prospect Anthony Duclair, a lottery-protected first-round draft pick in 2016 and a second-round pick in 2015.
It’s worth noting the Coyotes retained 50 percent of Yandle’s salary in that trade. But considering Pacioretty is a proven goal scorer in a league where goals are hard to come by, that’s a good starting point. Arizona got (at the time) an NHL defenseman, a very promising young forward, a first-round pick, and a second-round pick. The last three are most relevant.
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While the chances of Pacioretty being traded this season inch closer to zero every day, the Canadiens are likely going to field some phone calls about his availability. Trading him would signify the start of what might be a painful rebuild in Montreal. And since Pacioretty doesn’t have a no-trade clause or a no-movement clause, a trade is undeniably plausible.
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