On the Montreal Canadiens …
Eric Engels of Sportsnet: believes that if Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin doesn’t trade pending unrestricted free agent center Tomas Plekanec before the trade deadline, it should be his last decision as the teams GM.
Being interested in re-signing Plekanec to a one-year deal at a reduced does make some sense given their lack of depth down the middle, but that is a July 1st decision and not one before the trade deadline.
Bergevin should be looking to get a second-round pick for Plekanec.
Teams that could use someone like Plekanec include the Pittsburgh Penguins, Vegas Golden Knights, Tampa Bay Lightning, Columbus Blue Jackets and San Jose Sharks.
Stu Cowan of the Montreal Gazette: Tomas Plekanec has played just under 1,000 games for the Canadiens, and he’d like to finish his career with the Canadiens. It would make sense for the Canadiens to trade him before the trade deadline, and then try to re-sign him after July 1st.
Plekanec hasn’t spoken with Canadiens management about the future but has talked with his agent.
“I’m not as convinced right now that Pacioretty is going to be dealt at this time,” indicated Friedman. “I’ve heard people say that they think that based on what Marc Bergevin is asking for – and again, it’s very high. Nick Kypreos reported on the weekend it was four pieces – a high pick, a good prospect, a body, and something else. Or an NHL player and something else. That takes a lot of people to wonder if what Bergevin decides to do is do it at the draft, when maybe some teams don’t do as well or miss the playoffs and say, ‘Boy, we need to get a Max Pacioretty on my team,’ and maybe Bergevin will get more of what he wants.”
Friedman adds that he thinks Pacioretty will be traded, but that it might not be at the deadline.
Teams that could be interested are likely the same ones that are looking at Rangers winger Rick Nash: Nashville Predators, St. Louis Blues, and San Jose Sharks.
“But I think a guy like Pacioretty could also interest – like I don’t think a team like for example Calgary wants to do a rental. For one thing, they don’t have a first-round draft pick this year. But I think for another year of Max Pacioretty, that’s a guy that Calgary might think about doing because it doesn’t only get one chance with him, maybe they get two. And I think that’s the kind of team that would be more interested in someone like him as opposed to a UFA.”