Much likes things are with Ottawa Senators’ franchise defenseman Erik Karlsson, things are at a standstill when it comes to the Montreal Canadiens’ captain Max Pacioretty.
About a month ago, Marc Antoine Godin of The Athletic said that Habs will no longer be signing their star forward to a contract extension. Furthermore, team general manager Marc Bergevin told Pacioretty, 29, that he plans to trade him.
As of right now, however, nothing is going on. With Jeff Skinner now with the Buffalo Sabres, there is a good chance that the Habs will not be able to acquire a player similar to Pacioretty that can make an impact.
This is tough on both the franchise and Pacioretty. If I’m him, I would want to be traded with a club that has a good future. Yes, it will be tough to uproot his growing family, but going to a new destination would make the trip more than worth it.
The Habs are currently heading towards rock bottom. This club is going to be without Shea Weber, easily their best defenseman, for an extended period of time, their offense is questionable, their defense is young, and even the team’s fans are restless.
Another reason why the Habs are in trouble is because of Bergevin. Bergevin has made a lot of awful moves and in his tenure, they have missed the postseason a few times, which is unacceptable in a huge hockey market like Montreal.
For Pacioretty, a trade would present him with the opportunity to rejuvenate his career. He still has plenty of years left and could be well worth the gamble for many teams.
For starters, there is no doubt that Pacioretty is a talented player. The current captain of the Habs is a consistent goal scorer (226 career goals), someone who can put up over 60 points (done in 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017) and is also a player that can be a key contributor on the power play.
Secondly, he’s a big body that can get pucks in the corner, deflect pucks in front of the net, and create havoc for opposing netminders. This is something that a lot of teams could use.
Lastly, when put in the right situation with the right players, he can produce consistently. Last year, he had 37 points in 64 games, but I would blame the low totals to injuries and the fact that the team had trouble finding consistent linemates for him to play with.
It will be interesting to see if the Habs can find a trade partner prior to the season. The clock is ticking and I am sure that both the team and Max want to get this situation figured out as soon as possible.
No matter what happens, Pacioretty is a point-producing player that should be able to have a good season whether it’s with the Habs or another club.