It is believed that everyone in the National Hockey League is aware that the Montreal Canadiens could move captain Max Pacioretty ahead of the trade deadline - event the Habs top forward himself is aware of the trade chatter, though he has decided to brush them off.
While the San Jose Sharks and Toronto Maple Leafs might be interested in acquiring the 29-year-old forward, there are speculations that the Nashville Predators could also be in the mix to land Pacioretty.
Many experts, including The Hockey News' Matt Larkin, believe that Pacioretty's asking price is quite similar to the one the Colorado Avalanche landed for Matt Duchene.
"If I’m GM Bergevin and calculating Matt Duchene’s price, I use Colorado GM Joe Sakic’s return for Matt Duchene as my measuring stick. He carries one more season after this one at a $6-million cap hit and yielded for Colorado prospects Shane Bowers, Vladislav Kamenev and Samuel Girard plus a 2018 first-rounder, a 2018 second-rounder and a 2019 third rounder," writes Larkin in his recent mailbag.
Based on that comparison, there is almost a perfect pitch from the Predators that was suggested on social media, as Larkin recalls:
"An example I tabled on Twitter sent Pacioretty to the Nashville Predators for Dante Fabbro, Pontus Aberg and a 2018-first rounder."
However, Larkin believes "that might not be enough if we use Duchene as the comparable".
"A team will have to empty out its farm system and/or draft picks to get a high-impact player like Pacioretty – assuming Bergevin does the right thing and asks for the moon. Given his ugly recent trading history, we can’t necessarily bet on Bergevin to play his hand right."
There might be some fine tuning to be done for Pacioretty to head to Nashville, but let's just say this pitch probably got Habs GM Marc Bergevin listening.