When we said complete chaos, we feel like this is an understatement. What has taken place within the last few hours in the front office of the Montreal Canadiens is beyond crazy. And now, IF a solution appears on the table, the Canadiens and general manager Marc Bergevin are expected to lose big in the process...
Earlier today, reporter Martin Leclerc on Radio-Canada has revealed that captain Max Pacioretty is the one looking to be traded from the Canadiens. According to three of Leclerc's sources from the team itself, the captain had requested a trade out of Montreal several times last season and in fact had previously asked to be moved during the 2013-14 season as well.
"During the last season, it was Pacioretty himself who asked to leave Montreal several times and asked for an exchange. This information is confirmed by three sources well aware of the file. You read correctly: three sources. In concrete," writes Leclerc, translated from French.
Pacioretty was nearly traded to the Los Angeles Kings on draft weekend in June before the deal fell apart when, according to Sportsnet’s Eric Engels, Pacioretty passed on a six-year, $36-million extension from what would have been his new team.
Shortly after, Pacioretty made a trade of his own, by firing Pat Brisson and hiring Allan Walsh of Octagon-Hockey. Walsh responded to Thursday’s report by tweeting Pacioretty was eager to sign a new deal with the Canadiens and would do so TODAY if he could.
"Obvious these “sources” are coming from the club. Max will always take the high road and repeats again, he is ready to sign an extension with Montreal TODAY. It was Montreal that traded Max to LA at the draft and it was a DONE DEAL subject to Max signing an extension with LA."
Kings president Luc Robitaille told Jean-Charles Lajoie of 91.9 Sports on Wednesday that the only thing keeping Pacioretty from being dealt to the Kings in June was the player’s unwillingness to sign that contract extension. He added that the process never got that far, suggesting the Kings were more interested in picking up Pacioretty than the Canadiens were in trading him.
Richard Labbe of La Presse, who is on the Canadiens' beat for the past several seasons, has mentioned the obvious following Leclerc's report and Walsh's animated reaction: there seems to be no reconciliation possible between Pacioretty and the Canadiens' management. Therefore, Pacioretty's value is expected to take a hit and the Canadiens will now lose big in a transaction...
Pacioretty is entering the final season of a deal that counts for $4.5 million against the cap, after which he’ll become an unrestricted free agent. It was a past difficult season for the captain, who scored just 17 goals, following four consecutive 30-goal seasons.