In case you missed last night’s massive deal between the Montreal Canadiens and Vegas Golden Knights, don’t worry you’re not alone. In a deal that wasn’t announced until about 1am ET, the Habs traded captain Max Pacioretty to the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for Tomas Tatar, Nick Suzuki and a 2nd round pick.
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The Canadiens have acquired forwards Tomas Tatar and Nick Suzuki, and a 2nd round pick in 2019 from the Vegas Golden Knights (Columbus’ pick previously acquired by Vegas), in return for Max Pacioretty.
The deal ends months of rumors and speculation surrounding Pacioretty and his future with the team that he’s been captain of the past four seasons. So… now that Pacioretty is history in Montreal, the soap opera is finally over, right? Think again… this IS Montreal after all..
At the team’s annual golf tournament this morning, reporters cornered Habs owner Geoff Molson to get his reaction on last night’s blockbuster deal. Molson confirmed the news that many already expected to be true: Pacioretty wanted out.
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Habs owner Geoff Molson on reports Pacioretty did not ask for a trade. “We’re dealing with the truth … a request was made.”
So, Patches wanted out, but can you really blame the guy? Ever since trading away PK Subban for Shea Weber during the 2016 offseason, the Habs have been an up and down roller coaster of a team with no real clear direction. With Pacioretty now gone and Weber out long term with a knee injury, it’ll be up to superstar goalie Carey Price to carry the load for the Habs this upcoming season. Pacioretty likely saw the writing on the wall, had a “Get Out of Jail Free” card in his back pocket in the form of pending free agency and held the team’s feet to the fire.
UPDATE: Arpon Basu of The Athletic has confirmed that Habs GM Marc Bergevin has also indicated Pacioretty requested a trade.
So the Canadiens, both Geoff Molson and Marc Bergevin, are sticking to the fact Max Pacioretty asked for a trade. So, in other words, everything’s cleared up.
With all this information now out there, how does it change your perception of Pacioretty’s return? In return, the Habs get former Detroit Red Wings winger Tomas Tatar who never quite fit in with Vegas, despite being acquired for a hefty price. Vegas GM George McPhee acquired Tatar from the Red Wings for a 1st round pick, 2nd round pick and 3rd round pick at the 2018 NHL Trade Deadline. Tatar would go on to find himself in head coach Gerard Gallant’s dog house and was a frequent healthy scratch in the team’s miraculous run to the Stanley Cup Final. It was pretty clear from the outset with Tatar that he was a bad fit in Vegas. Here’s hoping he finds his footing again the the Habs, because there’s denying that he can be an effective player. As for forward Nick Suzuki, the 19 year old native of London, Ontario tore it up with the OHL’s Owen Sound Attack in 2017-18, scoring 42 goals and 100 points in just 64 games.Vegas selected him 13th overall in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. While he’s a talented prospect, McPhee has managed to stockpile the team’s pipeline in short order, making a player like Suzuki available via trade.
In the end the Habs get three potential players in return for a disgruntled captain who no longer wanted to be a part of the organization. When viewed in this light, it’s hard to blame Habs GM Marc Bergevin for pulling the trigger on this deal.
Source: Mike Zeisberger
Photo Credit: Zuma Press