Recent rumors reported that the Montreal Canadiens don’t plan to offer Max Pacioretty a contract extension. As a result, there have been rumors swirling around suggesting that he may be traded before the start of the 2018/19 NHL season.
Considering that Pacioretty is a five-time 30-goal scorer, GM Marc Bergevin will likely try to trade him out west to avoid seeing him as much as possible. Here is a look at a few possible landing spots for the Montreal Canadiens captain.
As we have seen over the past several off-seasons, Arizona is not a desired destination for most high profile free agents. So getting elite players via trade might be John Chayka's best way to acquire elite talent.
The Arizona Coyotes have two things going for them.
For one, they have a healthy amount of cap space to add a player like Max Pacioretty who comes at a reasonable $4.5 million cap hit next season.
At the same time, they have plenty of assets that could be used to give the Canadiens a fair deal. Perhaps a name like Dylan Strome can be used as a bargaining chip to make the deal work.
Overall, the Coyotes have the potential to be one of the best young teams in the NHL and could definitely use a proven veteran like Pacioretty in their lineup. It would be a huge upgrade and also give up-and-coming players like Clayton Keller and Christian Dvorak a little more time to fine-tune their game in the NHL.
The Chicago Blackhawks recently cleared out Marian Hossa’s $5.275 million cap hit in a trade with the Coyotes on Tuesday. It wouldn’t surprise many if they use that money and go after a name like Max Pacioretty.
Their core has slowly been dismantled due to cap constraints but after moving big contacts in Artemi Panarin and Niklas Hjalmarsson last offseason, the Hawks have a little wiggle room to try to revitalize what is left of their dynasty.
On the other hand, going to a team like Chicago might be the kind of break Pacioretty needs for a major bounce-back season. Perhaps playing behind bigger names like Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane allows Pacioretty to focus on what he does best - score goals and not have to worry about any extra added pressure.
San Jose Sharks
The San Jose Sharks missed out on the John Tavares sweepstakes and still have over $7 million in cap space to add another significant piece to their roster.
Adding Pacioretty to a forward group that already includes Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture, Evander Kane, and Joe Thornton would make San Jose one of the most offensively potent teams in the NHL.
With the core getting older, this is the type of move the San Jose Sharks should seriously consider making if they want to take a serious run at the Stanley Cup.
What do you think of these possible landing spots? Which team will acquire Pacioretty? Let us know in the comments section below.