It feels like there is a domino effect that should be happening in the National Hockey League at the moment. While constant trade chatter is being heard about Carolina Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner, it appears to be directly linked to the trade speculations being heard about Montreal Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty.
They go hand in hand.
During a segment on NHL Network, Sportsnet insider Elliotte Friedman revealed that the Canadiens are expected to trade their captain sooner or later, but he also noted that Skinner is a similar player to Pacioretty and thinks those two are in a holding pattern as well. The NHL insider also revealed that team teams are looking at those assets and hoping to out-wait Montreal and Carolina in hopes of getting a better deal.
When the Chicago Blackhawks rid themselves of Marian Hossa's contract, who was shipped out to the Arizona Coyotes to alleviate some cap room, it was believed the Hawks would make a move on the Habs captain. However, it was also previously noted that the Blackhawks had interest in Skinner, and now we might have to wait and see where he lands before Pacioretty can find out his next destination.
Friedman also noted the Pittsburgh Penguins had looked at Skinner and wouldn’t be surprised if they have more interest in the Hurricanes’ winger than in Pacioretty, who was once also linked to the former champions. Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford drafted Skinner seventh overall in the first round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, and could look to add him to his roster now.
The Los Angeles Kings were believed to have interest in Skinner, but that was until they signed Russian star player Ilya Kovalchyuk during the NHL draft weekend. And do we need to remind you what took place between the Kings and Pacioretty? The Canadiens had a deal in place at the draft that would’ve sent Pacioretty to the Kings but it reportedly fell through over lack of agreement on a contract extension. Shortly after, the Habs captain changed agent to represent him.
While the ball appears to be in the Hurricanes' camp when it comes to Skinner, it also has a major impact on a trade that could include Pacioretty. And, as of right now, it seems like a vicious circle...
And when the trade deadline will come, both players' values will take a hit as they will be seen as rental players seeing that they are both set to become unrestricted free agents in the summer of 2019.