Montreal Canadiens Max Pacioretty was the most talked about player throughout this weekend’s NHL Entry Draft, but the skilled forward remains with the Canadiens and a trade will have to wait, according to The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun (subscription required). Evidently general manager Marc Bergevin had many conversations about the 29-year-old, but wasn’t able to get a deal done. The rumor that Montreal and San Jose had struck a trade was false as the two teams had never spoken about him.
LeBrun also writes the closest team to pulling off a trade was the Los Angeles Kings earlier this week as he surmises that both teams were ready to pull the trigger on a trade, but the Kings failed to reach a contract extension with Pacioretty and the deal fell through. However, whether the pieces of a trade were actually in place at the time seemed unlikely, according to LeBrun. The Kings came out OK, however, as they won the Ilya Kovalchuk sweepstakes. Another wrinkle in trade talks is that Pacioretty also switched agents today as he left Pat Brisson and joined Allan Walsh of Octagon. Pacioretty, who is in the final year of a six-year, $27MM deal ($4.5 AAV), is looking to get paid after putting up big numbers as an underpaid player, suggesting he wants to cash in on that.
- One other trade topic that didn’t get as much attention this weekend was the potential trade of Buffalo Sabres center Ryan O’Reilly. Mike Harrinton of the Buffalo News writes that Buffalo had extensive talks with the Montreal Canadiens as well as the St. Louis Blues about O’Reilly, but weren’t able to strike a deal. “We just didn’t feel comfortable what was presented the last couple of days,” Botterill said in American Airlines Center. “We’ll see how things progress over the next week or two. Our main focus was the draft and we’re very excited where we’re at the last three days.” O’Reilly is expected to receive a roster bonus of $7.5MM on July 1. If the Sabres intend to trade him, they are more likely to do that before that date, otherwise, expect him to stay in Buffalo.
- Dan Rosen of NHL.com writes that after losing out on Kovalchuk earlier today, Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said he is interested in bringing back unrestricted free agent Rick Nash. Boston acquired the veteran forward at the trade deadline and fared well in the Bruins’ lineup, posting six points in 11 games to finish out the season and then added three goals and two assists in 12 playoff games. Sweeney said they have been in contact with Nash. “He’s strongly indicated that Boston is a place he would consider, as would we,” Sweeney said.
- Buffalo Sabres general manager Jason Botterill said he isn’t worried about contract negotiations with restricted free agent Sam Reinhart, according to The Athletic’s John Vogl. “Our discussions with Craig Oster have been positive,” Botterill said. “I don’t view it as a difficult situation at all. Hopefully, we’ll look at some different structures in the upcoming weeks and get something done.” The 22-year-old put up a career-high 25 goals last season.
- One key decision that the Ottawa Senators hope to work in their favor will be what avenue 2018 first-round pick Brady Tkachuk will take next season. The Boston University winger was taken fourth overall by the Senators and had previously indicated that he wanted to return to the school. However, after the draft, Tkachuk told reporters he intended to sit down with his father, Keith Tkachuk, to discuss it, according to Ottawa Citizen’s Bruce Garrioch. While a another year of development at BU wouldn’t be a bad idea, the Senators might want prefer him to be on the ice with them next season.