The Montreal Canadiens may have won the last two games, and may be enjoying some time off during the current bye week, but fans are still monitoring the future of captain Max Pacioretty with the Habs. We’re nearing the point where the question isn’t whether the Canadiens will move him so much as whether they’ll move him for immediate or more long-term help.
NHL insider Elliotte Friedman also asks the important question of when. When will Pacioretty will be on the move? With the trade deadline approaching, Friedman was asked if he foresaw Pacioretty being a member of the Canadiens in March.
“50-50,” he said on the air of Toronto's Sportsnet 590. “And I’ll tell you this: If it’s not by March, it’s probably at the draft.”
And while fans are monitoring the trade chatter around Pacioretty, Darren Dreger believes the man himself is also aware of the looming trade, as he explained on Monday morning.
"Frankly, I think that Max Pacioretty – and these are my words, not his – I think he’s ready for it. Players get to a point in their careers where they just need a change of scenery. Not going to ask for it, especially a guy who wears the captaincy for one of the most storied franchises in the history of the game, but I think it would do him good to get out of Montreal.”
"The Preds would be foolish not to go after him!"
One of the front-runners in landing Pacioretty appears to be the Nashville Predators, which would certainly cause an uproar in Montreal if the 29-year-old forward was to move there. But Dreger believes the Preds would be foolish not to go after the top scorer.
“I think that they would have interest, but I say that with no inside information,” noted Darren Dreger on Tuesday on the air of Edmonton’s TSN 1260. “I don’t know that David Poile and Marc Bergevin have had conversations on Pacioretty. I’d be surprised if they haven’t.
“Poile, I’m sure, loved the experience and liked the taste of being part of the Stanley Cup Final, but he looks at a want and a need and probably would like to add a scoring winger if he could. They’re deep up the ice in the middle when they’re healthy. Their blueline is terrific. Their goaltending is elite, or certainly good enough to win a Stanley Cup, but they need a bit more offensive support.
“So when names like Max Pacioretty – either through media speculation or otherwise – hit the market, then Nashville would be foolish not to consider it if there’s an opening there.”
Controversy in Montreal if Bergevin pulls the trigger?!
One of the main reasons that was revealed on the blockbuster trade of P.K. Subban to Nashville, in return for Shea Weber, was because of reported feud in the dressing rooms. Management hinted at the fact that Subban was trying to take away from Pacioretty's role as a captain, and Habs front office went on with the monster deal.
IF the Preds are really looking into the possibility of adding Pacioretty to their lineup, Habs fans will be outraged to know that Subban and Pacioretty are reunited and that Canadiens managements' comments might have been false.
And if the Preds make it to the Cup finals, like many experts predict, it will be quite the controversy in Montreal. And imagine if Pacioretty gets traded around the same time Subban did in the summer of 2016.
The nightmare all over again for Habs fans?