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“Conspiracy theory” in Montreal!

What is next now?!

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Captain Max Pacioretty has been in trade rumors for months now, but it seems like the Montreal Canadiens were not even that close to moving him before Monday’s deadline passed. Or so they say... Pacioretty has the rest of this season and next remaining on his contract, which carries a $4.5 million cap hit. He does not have any trade protection written into that deal he signed with the Habs. 

But at least, the veteran forward, whose price tag reportedly scared off interest teams on the market, is revealed to be staying in Montreal, as he explained to media Monday night after the 1-0 shoutout loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning - and the stressful day. 

"I have three kids and you always prepare for the worst, just in case, and actually Max Jr. went to school today with a Habs jersey on and I said we want to pick him up and feel good about walking through the school with that jersey. I mean, it’s just little stuff like that that you worry about your family.

"I did not ask for a trade. I still have 20 games to worry about finding my game and you know what, I’m not on social media and I don’t have all this stuff. But even just having the TV on today I hope you guys can realize I’m a human being with three kids, and there’s been a lot of stuff… whether it be… I don’t want to go into details… but there’s been a lot of stuff and some of it has been hard to swallow and I care because I care so much about playing here."

In the meantime, some questions were not answered, and the future remains unsure for Pacioretty and the Canadiens. Matt Larkin of The Hockey News commented the Habs staying pat with their captain at the deadline, and hints at an interesting conspiracy theory. See what he writes when it comes to what happens now: 

"Conspiracy theory: nothing major happens as long as Bergevin remains Montreal GM. Think it’s a coincidence that a team positioned as an clear seller only really sold off the obvious piece, UFA Tomas Plekanec? Bergevin is the man who traded P.K. Subban and Mikhail Sergachev and signed Karl Alzner in the name of building a win-right-now-at-all-costs contender. If Bergevin trades away any of Montreal’s star assets, truly kickstarting a rebuild, he is essentially admitting he failed to make this team a winner, which opens him up to a firing. I thus don’t see Bergevin making any scorched-earth moves. If owner Geoff Molson decides to axe his GM, the successor theoretically would have carte blanche to deal star assets."

NHL insider Darren Dreger believes that "Pacioretty will draw a crowd in Dallas in June" when the NHL Entry Draft will be taking place. 

Again, there was a high level of interest in Max Pacioretty. As a support player, he could have helped a number of teams – certainly the contending teams. But again, Bergevin had a real specific need that he wanted as part of the return and he just wasn’t going to get that in-season," added Dreger on Montreal's TSN 690 on Tuesday. 

Conspiracy theory you say?