We must say that right now, we feel like the Montreal Canadiens fan base is searching for the truth. When captain Max Pacioretty was moved to the Vegas Golden Knights in the middle of the night Monday, fans wondered who had been behind this whole trade saga.
While Pacioretty and his agent Allan Walsh adamantly denied the rumour that hinted that it was the captain who asked for a trade, Habs general manager Marc Bergevin and team owner Geoff Molson maintained that it was number 67 who wanted out of Montreal.
"We’re just going to focus on telling the truth, and that’s that a request was made,” Molson said at the team’s annual pre-training camp golf tournament on Monday right after the trade. “It’s been going on several months now that we’ve been trying to make this happen.
“When the request was made to look at making a trade, we started to actively go after that. And the player and the organization agreed that it was probably in the best interest of Max and the organization to start to look for a trade.”
On Wednesday, Pacioretty made it to his team's practice rink and then faced the local media (and of course reporters from Montreal) there to discuss his future and his contract extension with the Golden Knights. He also had to face questions about the trade saga, and the top forward refused to do one important thing during his press conference: he did not deny or confirm he was the one behind the trade demands... He was prepared for the question, and managed to keep the secret to himself. According to NHL.com's Dave Stubbs, "Max Pacioretty neither confirmed nor denied a trade request, food for those who want to chew on that. No doubt he was ready for the question. The bottom line is it's irrelevant. Puck drops in a few weeks and he and his former team now get on with their lives."
Pacioretty added that there are different interpretations of that situation... He wouldn’t say whether he wanted a trade out of Montreal or not, but confirmed that he would have liked to have signed an extension.
When chatter first came up that Pacioretty was the one looking to get out of Montreal, Walsh made a furious outing on his client's real demands.
“I would tell you this - and I’m going to say it directly and I hope everybody hears me and understands this. Max Pacioretty has never - NEVER EVER - requested a trade out of Montreal, period.”
“When Max and I started discussing his situation, there was one marching order: I want to stay in Montreal, do your best to make it happen.
Clearly, the story is different in the Canadiens' head office, and now that Pacioretty has refused to give a clear answer, there are more questions now than ever before...