Since almost the beginning of the season, the San Jose Sharks have been said to be on the lookout for a top forward, to not only boost the current offensive of the club, but also, to ensure a strong future as a legendary veteran like Joe Thornton is getting closer and closer to retirement.
At the start of January, the Sharks faced the Montreal Canadiens, and probably took the opportunity to scout the players on the ice and see what could be a perfect fit for their organization. But what if they told the Habs they were interested, and invited them to scout their group to see what they could want in return.
For the past several weeks now, the Canadiens have been scouting the Sharks, as they were once again present at a game, this one, against the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday night.
Habs captain Max Pacioretty has found himself on the trade block for several weeks now as many believe a change of scenery could do him good. The top forward has family in the California area and might be looking to make the move to San Jose.
The Sharks also have more flexibility under the salary cap and could get creative, if they feel they have a legitimate shot at the Cup this season – and their insurance policy is knowing they’d have Pacioretty locked up for another season.
Before the meeting against the Sharks on Jan. 2, Pacioretty has brushed off rumors on a potential trade.
"You just live your life and worry about your family," Pacioretty had told Postmedia. "If it happens, it happens. I'm very proud of the past success I've had in Montreal. I've played here for 10 years, and I've never gone through something like this."
Not the only one on the block...
Pacioretty isn't however the only member of the Canadiens on the block.
Forwards Andrew Shaw, AHLer Michael McCarron and Tomas Plekanec are believed to be available as GM Marc Bergevin continues to scour the market.
Shaw has four-years left on his contract, which comes with a $3.9 million salary cap hit, but has been sidelined for the past game with a lower-body injury.
35-year-old Plekanec is in the final-year of his contract and could be moved out to a contender in need of a two-way, third-line center, though the Habs would likely need to eat some of his $6 million cap hit.
How about Paul Martin?
On Tuesday morning, Sharks veteran defenseman Paul Martin cleared waivers. It is expected he’ll wind up playing with the San Jose Barracuda, the Sharks AHL affiliate, and maybe show off to rival clubs who would be interested in landing him in a trade.
He turns 37 in less than two months and has been injured most of this season. His cap hit is $4.85 million and it runs through next season.
This might be a tough one to pull off in San Jose...