Cornwall Ontario – With the Habs falling off the edge of bubble and the team showing no signs of progress it looks like owner Geoff Molson is considering some moves. When rumor sites start talking about certain types of rumors that means a name is in play.
Multiple sites have mentioned Pacioretty. If the Habs trade Mighty Max it’s actually a concession that the Price deal was a mess. Signing players over or near 30 to full length contracts simply isn’t good business unless it’s like the deal that Steve Stamkos signed which clearly showed a desire on the player’s part to be a long term part of a franchise and its culture.
Price didn’t do that, and it looks like Max won’t get the chance. He’s a top flight goal scorer simply needing to be in a better position to score. For years it was Desharnais feeding him the puck. It wasn’t Daneault that made last season a success, but Radulov, who’s now looking great in Dallas.
So which teams are propped to get Patches and which can afford him. What will he realistically go for?
First off it’s a great time to move him as there are some teams that can use him to secure a play off run. His contract, at least for one more season, also adds value to him as a trade chip.
Matt Duchene, while a Centre, is at a higher cap with similar term. Pacioretty is more valuable offensively. He’s a horse looking for a new stable.
Duchene went for a monstrous 1, 2, & 3rd round pick, and along with a blossoming young D man, a recent 1rd Center in Shane Bowers, and what looks like to be a big NHL ready winger in Kamenev.
D man Travis Hamonic went for a 1st & 2nd along with a conditional pick that could add value to the deal.
Brayden Schenn went for a 1st, a conditional 1st, and Lehtera, who is a serviceable player.
Last season rental Kevin Shattenkirk went for a 1st & 2nd with 2 names.
Martin Hanzal went for a 1st and 2nd with some flotsam.
Mighty Max should go for at least a 1st, a NHL player, and a prospect. It can be tweaked, expanded, or upgraded. Max isn’t a rental. He’s a first line scorer at a discounted salary. If the Habs wanted to, they could even eat some of that salary to up the value for really cap challenged teams.
The main potential partners in this deal are the Rangers, Islanders, Carolina, Flyers, St Louis, Vegas, Anaheim, Chicago, and Colorado.
All of those teams are in pursuit of Lord Stanley’s Cup, have a clear hockey need for Max, as opposed to a rental, and all have the assets that could make a trade possible. There are some teams that would love Patches, but the moving pieces aren’t apparent. Having this many possible trade partners would be fodder for a good GM. The question is whether the Geoff Molson/Marc Bergevin combo can make their first good trade involving a top flight player?
What do you think Hab fans? Where do you see Pacioretty landing and for what? You can post your comments below.