Report: Frontrunner drops out of Pacioretty sweepstakes

Another one bites the dust... at this rate the Habs will be lucky to get ANYTHING in exchange for their captain.

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Months before Ottawa Senators captain Erik Karlsson was thrust into the spotlight and put forth as one of the biggest commodities on the NHL trade market, another beleaguered Canadian captain was rumored to be changing localities. Of course, we’re discussing Montreal Canadiens Max Pacioretty and the seemingly never ending rumor reports that indicate he’ll be on the move sometime this offseason.

Pacioretty was already reportedly on his was to the Los Angeles Kings via trade when he squashed the deal at the last moment. According to NHL insider Elliotte Friedman from Sportsnet, Pacioretty wasn’t comfortable with a “sign and trade” scenario with the Kings, which in effect killed the deal.

Friedman on Pacioretty & the Kings: “This is what I think happened, he was presented with an extension Thursday night, the Kings 1st RDer was going to be a part of that trade, he was also given a time limit to accept it, I think that’s what upset Pacioretty the most”.
Friedman believes the extension was 5-6 years, between 6 to 6.5M per year. Similar to Radulov’s deal, Pacioretty was also upset about that

Another team reportedly in the running for Pacioretty has been the Pittsburgh Penguins, but according to a report from Penguins insider Dan Kingerski, a trade between the Penguins and Habs for Pacioretty seems “unlikely” at this point.

In his latest column for PGH Hockey, Kingerski says the Penguins are “not in serious talks” to acquire Pacioretty and that the Habs’ asking price for the American winger is simply too high.

The sources conceded the Penguins did make contact with Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin about Pacioretty. The Canadiens ask for Pacioretty was too rich for Penguins General Manager Jim Rutherford and the talks did not gain traction or advance past preliminary stages. One phone call could change the situation but a source connected to the Penguins front office expressed pessimism about talks escalating to serious discussions.

Kingerski also reports that the Penguins reportedly had interest in free agent winger Anthony Duclair before he opted to sign a one year deal with the rival Columbus Blue Jackets and that the Penguins were in on trade talks for Carolina Hurricanes winger Jeff Skinner, as well.

Last week, the Penguins are believed to have been one of the teams which showed interest in free agent winger Anthony Duclair, who signed a one-year deal with Columbus. The Penguins also reportedly inquired about Carolina Hurricanes left wing Jeff Skinner before the NHL Draft in Dallas last month. Instead, Carolina made a major deal was to acquire defenseman Dougie Hamilton, not deal away Skinner.

The Penguins, of course, have made some changes this offseason. GM Jim Rutherford shipped out forward Conor Sheary and defenseman Matt Hunwick to the Buffalo Sabres and signed defenseman Jack Johnson to a long term deal and forwards Jimmy Hayes and Matt Cullen to one year deals. Still… it seems like Rutherford has another trick up his sleeve. Don’t sleep on the former Stanley Cup champion Penguins… Rutherford could have another offseason move to come.