Montreal Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty stood in front of reporters yesterday afternoon and answered a dozen or so questions on his future, his relationship with general manager Marc Bergevin and a possible contract extension. It was pretty much par for the course, ironic given that this all took place during Pacioretty’s annual charity golf tournament in Montreal.
When asked to address all of the rumors and speculation surrounding a potential trade, Pacioretty acknowledged that he’s “concerned” for his future in Montreal. Pacioretty’s agent Allan Walsh took to social media directly after the event to clarify his client’s position. To be clear: Pacioretty wants to be in Montreal long-term.
To be clear, while there have been many discussions over the last 2 months, there have been no negotiations on a new contract. Montreal has not made any offers to this date. Max has stated repeatedly that he loves Montreal and wants to sign a new contract with the Canadiens.
Interestingly enough, both Bergevin and Habs owner Geoff Molson were in attendance at yesterday’s tournament. The trio spoke briefly and paused just long enough for the world’s most awkward photo op.
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Habs insider Arpon Basu of The Athletic called the entire event a “grand stage for an ongoing farce”, while Sportsnet’s Eric Engels went one step further saying that Pacioretty’s days in Montreal “are numbered.” In fact, Engels reports that the Habs were close to trading Pacioretty at the 2018 NHL Entry Draft but that things fell apart when Pacioretty refused to sign a contract extension offered by the Los Angeles Kings.
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It nearly went down at the NHL Draft in June, when a deal with the Los Angeles Kings was hinging on Pacioretty signing a six-year, $36-million contract extension. But the captain, who fell well shy of his perennial 30-goal pace with only 17 goals last season, passed on L.A.’s offer, fired agent Pat Brisson, hired agent Allan Walsh, and has since been waiting for a contract offer from the Canadiens that he said on Tuesday has yet to come.
Wow! Presumably this is why the Kings ended up going so hard after unrestricted free agent Ilya Kovalchuk. Still… you can’t help but feel that Pacioretty could have been a big piece on the Kings’ wing. Imagine a line with Jeff Carter and Tyler Toffoli, the Kings would have absolutely NO problem filling the net. “C’est la vie”, as they say in Pacioretty’s current neck of the woods…