The hockey-verse never disappoints when it comes to dropping big trade news. In this case, it was a peculiar wee hour of the morning bombshell that left NHL fans flabbergasted.
Max Pacioretty has been the subject of trade rumors for months now. Many fans and journalists alike have been speculating that Pacioretty would likely be donning new threads by the start of the season. This is very disappointing news for any NHL team wanting a solid two-way winger to make an instant impact and very good news for the latter.
The Canadiens captain was traded from Montreal to the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for Tomas Tatar, Nick Suzuki, and a 2nd round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. At first glance, this trade seems lopsided for what Max Pacioretty’s value is. On the other hand, this might end up being a fair shake for both sides.
For the Montreal Canadiens, Tomas Tatar is a 27-year-old left wing and an intriguing piece in this. He had a hard time catching his footing offensively throughout his time with VGK after being acquired at the trade deadline from the Detroit Red Wings. He had only 4 goals in 20 games. Inconsistency along with a hefty salary cap hit ($5.3 million AAV for 3 more years) proved to be expendable as the VGK are looking to get their revenge for the Stanley Cup next season. The Canadiens are rebuilding and Tatar could find the spark he has been looking for in that environment.
Nick Suzuki also shows to be a really compelling piece. He is a 19-year-old center who had 42 goals and 100 points in 64 games with the Owen Sound Attack of the OHL last season. The Canadiens have been in dire need of an effective center and Suzuki could end up being their answer for the long run.
As for the Vegas Golden Knights, they hope Pacioretty will be the missing link that will help get them to the finish line. He is a 30-year-old left wing and has been a consistent goal-scoring threat and more throughout his 10-year tenure with the Canadiens. Vegas lost two valuable wingers in James Neal and David Perron this offseason and needed another big presence to add to their offense. Pacioretty will assumably work well with fellow newcomer Paul Stastny and an already impressive core. Vegas wants to win now, so only having to part with a great prospect in Suzuki, Tatar, and a 2nd round pick seems like a job well done by VGK General Manger George McPhee, as the return for Pacioretty could have been deemed higher.
As with any trade, only time will tell who will actually come out on top. The Golden Knights traded for the present and the Canadiens traded for the future. However it turns out, it looks like both teams got an effective haul in which they both respectively demanded.
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(Featured image source: https://montrealgazette.com/sports/hockey/nhl/hockey-inside-out/canadiens-captain-max-pacioretty-rejected-trade-to-kings-source-says)