On the Montreal Canadiens and Max Pacioretty …
Eric Engels of Sportsnet: Max Pacioretty has struggled this season. The Canadiens didn’t really replace the losses of Andrei Markov and Alexander Radulov. Jonathan Drouin and Pacioretty have shown little chemistry. Pacioretty is a ‘dangerous rush scorer’ and the loss of Markov has hurt.
All their right wingers are goal scorers, and their top three centers are left-handed who would normally make a pass to the right side.
“Which one of those right wingers is going to set Pacioretty up for his goals?” the scout asked.
“There was a lot of talk about how Drouin would replace the scoring lost when Radulov signed with Dallas, but none of that accounted for the offence lost for Pacioretty,” the scout concluded.”
Eric Engels of Sportsnet: Trading Max Pacioretty before this year’s trade deadline may be more beneficial to the organization than keeping him around. The 29-year old carries a $4.5 million cap hit through 2019.
“If that happens, it happens,” Pacioretty said on the possibility of being traded. “Like I said, 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. I’ve gone through ups and downs, but never this low. I know what I can bring and how I can play and how I have played in the past, so once I get out of this and once the team gets out of this you hope to learn from it and get better from it.
“But, at the end of the day, just work hard when you’re at the rink and try and leave it at the rink. … That’s the best way to handle it.”
The Canadiens biggest need is down the middle and a top-pairing defenseman. Moving Pacioretty for a younger scoring winger doesn’t really solve any of their needs.
Pacioretty will be a free agent after next season and could be looking for $7.5 million or more on his next deal when looking at comparables.
Trading him by the deadline would be maximizing the return.
The St. Louis Blues have been looking for scoring and have been linked to the Ottawa Senators and Mike Hoffman. The Pittsburgh Penguins, San Jose Sharks, and the Carolina Hurricanes could be looking for scoring.