Written by: Liam Holland @LiamPattyHol
Since it was stated there would be no contract negotiations between the Canadiens and their Captain Max Pacioretty, there has been speculation about whether Pacioretty would make it to free agency next summer, be a rental for a playoff team or be traded before the season starts.
Well, the latter happened.
On Monday September 10th, 2018 the Montreal Canadiens traded Captain Max Pacioretty to the Vegas Golden Knights for Tomas Tatar, Nick Suzuki and a 2019 2nd round pick.
For the Golden Knights it appears that they have found an upgrade for James Neal as he’d left for Calgary in FA. That upgrade is Max Pacioretty, who will undoubtedly make the Knights offence even more potent as he’ll likely play with notable playmaker Paul Stastny.
With a new place to play and less media attention than in Montreal I think Knights fans have much to look forward to this season from Pacioretty. As Captain of a storied franchise, though, if he’s called to be a leader he’s more than capable to fill that role.
Coming off a difficult season with the Canadiens, Pacioretty will no doubt want to bounce back after scoring only 17 goals in 64 games – which is much less than the elite goal scorer is used to over the course of his career. Given that the Knights gave up a prospect its no surprise they signed Pacioretty to a very nice $28 million deal over 4 years. Now with a new system under head coach Gerard Gallant we’ll see what the former Habs captain can achieve as a Golden Knight.
The Canadiens acquisitions are interesting as they were able to attain a hopeful center prospect in Nick Suzuki who scored 100 points for the Owen Sound Attack this past season. Acquiring Suzuki puts the Canadiens prospect pool in good standing with 3rd overall pick Jesperi Kotkaniemi, and 2017 25th overall pick Ryan Poehling. All three of them centers, giving the Canadiens fans a surge of hope for the center core in the future. Suzuki is no doubt what make or breaks this trade for the Canadiens as he looks to be a promising center who can skate well with the puck and be the scoring center the Habs haven’t had in years.
Acquiring Tomas Tatar is a good pickup with the departure of Pacioretty so Habs fans can look forward to Tatar as a possible second line left wing this season maybe third line. Tater is under contract for the next three seasons. I’m sure most Habs fans would expect 20 goal seasons from Tatar. The 2nd round pick we’ll see what comes of it.
The Golden Knights fans have much to look forward to this year with Pacioretty’s addition bringing his great shot and leadership, the knights will continue to be contenders this year. As the Canadiens have started to realize their place in the league looking to rebuild starting with their biggest weakness being at center.