Habs Saying Bye Bye to Pacioretty
By Patrick Hoffman
This should be the best possible news for current Habs forward Max Pacioretty.
According to Marc Antoine Godin of The Athletic, the Canadiens will no longer be signing Max to a contract extension. Furthermore, Habs' general manager Marc Bergevin told Pacioretty, 29, that he plans to trade him.
If I am Max, I am ecstatic about this. Yes, it will be tough to uproot his growing family, but going to a new destination would make the trip more than worth it.
What's odd is that despite what should be happy news, it was reported in this particular piece in The Athletic that Max still wants to remain a Hab.
"Pacioretty hopes to sign a lucrative, long-term contract extension as a sort of status adjustment after being considered one of the biggest bargains in the NHL over the length of his current deal. He would also like nothing more than to sign that contract with Montreal."
Ummmm, WHAT? 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, this is going to be an 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 what teams go after him. I would not be surprised to see the likes of the Sens, Blueshirts, and Islanders be among some of the teams that would like to acquire him.
No matter where he goes, you can expect Pacioretty to return to his point-producing ways and be in the right situation where he can be the consistent and reliable player we have all come to know in his career.
Previously, Patrick has covered the NHL for Sportsnet.ca, Kukla’s Korner, Spector’s Hockey, About.com, NHL Network Radio blog, TheHockeyNews.com, The Fourth Period, Stan Fischler’s “The Fischler Report”, as well as a slew of others.
For comments and hip checks, feel free to contact Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @pathoffman35.