Kings’ Robitaille responds to Pacioretty rumors, throw Bergevin under the bus

Still truth to the rumors? Is this all just gamesmanship?

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In case you missed it, Montreal Canadiens insider Eric Engels of The Athletic leaked some inside info yesterday regarding the team’s recent dealings with captain Max Pacioretty. It’s no secret that things between Pacioretty and the organization are strained right now, with speculation that the player could be on the move via trade before training camp opens up this upcoming month.

In fact, Engels reported that Habs general manager Marc Bergevin had a deal in place at the 2018 NHL Entry Draft that would have seen Pacioretty moved to the Los Angeles Kings, before Pacioretty himself stepped in to veto the deal. 

Check it out:

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.

Just a day later, Kings assistant GM Luc Robitaille took to the airwaves in Montreal to clarify a few things. First, the Kings love Pacioretty. Second, so do the Habs… apparently too much to trade him. 

Speaking to 91.9 Sport FM’s Jean-Charles Lavoie, Robitaille said, “”It never went that far, we were interested in Max more than Marc was interested to let him go. He knows he has a good player in his hands.” 

Here's the report straight from Lavoie, in his native French:

Ça n’a jamais été aussi loin (les discussions avec le CH). On était intéressés à Max. Marc sait qu’il a un très bon joueur. Nous étions plus intéressés à l’obtenir que Marc de s’en départir» - Luc Robitaille au sujet de l'échange avorté entre les Kings et le CH

So there you have it… Pacioretty didn’t veto anything because negotiations between the Kings and the Habs never even got to that point. Still… you have to imagine that where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Presumably, the Kings would still be interested in Pacioretty should Bergevin drop his asking price for the former perennial 30+ goal scorer.