I want to say it is a good thing no one has been holding their breath of Montreal Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty getting trade, or they'd be dead by now. The trade chatter surrounding the Habs top forward started at the beginning of the season, and quickly intensified around the trade deadline, when we all thought Pacioretty was on the move.
While the Habs captain is still in Montreal, repeating he wants to remain with the Canadiens and is happy with the team, NHL insider Elliotte Friedman keeps saying that the odds are that Pacioretty will have a new NHL home. And Friedman kept the same speech on Friday during a morning radio hit on Calgary’s Sportsnet 960, as reported by Chris Nichols of FRS Hockey Network.
“I still think he’s likely getting dealt,” explained Friedman. “Again, it’s interesting. I think if he’s going to get traded, I think he’d be happy to go to somewhere like Florida, and I could see the possibility that Florida is somewhere there – but you’ve got to make a deal, right. I know that Montreal’s ask around the deadline was really high. I think it involved Trocheck and possibly more, and Florida wasn’t going to do that."
Now there is the problem and the main reason why a Pacioretty trade keeps falling apart. According to Friedman, the Canadiens are expecting to get a much bigger return for the veteran forward than most interested teams are willing to pay up.
“Now, the biggest obstacle to Pacioretty getting dealt is going to be what Montreal asks because the ask is going to be big. But I still think it’s more likely than not that he gets traded."
You heard Friedman: the price is not right when it comes to Pacioretty, however, the NHL insider believes the Habs captain will still be on the move this summer. Pacioretty will be entering the final season on his six-year, $27 million contract, which has a $4.5 million cap hit. The veteran winger does not have any trade protection in his current deal.
Many people are looking at the NHL Entry Draft in three weeks as a potential moment where the Habs will pull the trigger on a deal involving Pacioretty. Let's see what rival team will be able to land the veteran forward.