When you woke up this morning - or before you hit the sack last night - you found out that the Vegas Golden Knights had managed to acquire Montreal Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty, in return for Tomas Tatar and Nick Suzuki, and a second round pick in 2019 from the Vegas Golden Knights (Columbus’ pick previously acquired by Vegas). You were most likely shocked by the news, despite the fact that we had been hearing about a pending trade for the past months. Finally, it is over.
However, one NHL team is more shocked than anyone else in this situation. Marcus White of NBC Sports Bay Area believes the Golden Knights’ acquisition of Pacioretty last night from the Canadiens is bad news for the San Jose Sharks.
The Sharks played big at the beginning of the summer when they went after the most coveted free agent John Tavares. We all know how that story ended: Tavares signed a seven-year lucrative contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and ever since, they have stood pat. In the meantime however, their division rivals such as the Golden Knights (Pacioretty and Paul Stastny), Los Angeles Kings (Ilya Kovalchuk) and Arizona Coyotes (Alex Galchenyuk) made significant additions to their respective roster.
"Can San Jose keep up with the arms race in the Pacific Division without a similar move? Sure, especially considering reason went out the window as soon as Vegas won the division and the conference as an expansion team."
White tries to convince himself that the explosive duo of Evander Kane and Joe Thornton will bring great offense to the Sharks, however, we cannot forget the injuries that suffered the veteran star and could once again hinder his season with San Jose... And will the two of them be enough to compete with the new and approved rivals?
It isn't too late for Sharks GM Doug Wilson to make a major move at some point this season, but he might decide to wait closer to the trade deadline to do some - like he did last season with the acquisition of Kane.
Rumors linked the Sharks to Pacioretty earlier this year while Wilson tried to sign Tavares and Kovalchuk earlier this summer, but every single attempt fell through. Speculation has it that he has inquired into the availability of Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson - maybe he will be lucky with this one this time around?