The Montreal Canadiens are looking to move Max Pacioretty as soon as possible. The captain’s contract expires at the end of the coming season and there will not be an extension. The Habs are also unlikely to be contenders this year. As such, Pacioretty is on the trade block and probably on the move soon.
Where could he end up? The first thought is the San Jose Sharks. The Sharks were reportedly close to a deal for Pacioretty at the NHL Draft but couldn’t get it done. Since then, they missed out on John Tavares and are still in need of scoring with cap space to spare.
San Jose was not alone in losing out in the Tavares sweepstakes. Assuming the Boston Bruins are an unlikely destination given their status as Montreal’s biggest rivals, that still leaves teams like the Dallas Stars and New York Islanders as possibilities. The Islanders in particular are in major need of a boost up front and have the young assets to make a deal.
Teams that have previously shown interest in Pacioretty include the Florida Panthers and Nashville Predators. The Panthers already landed Mike Hoffman this off-season and are lacking cap space, but could still potentially make it work. The Predators have significantly more space and some intriguing young pieces to offer and would be a team that Pacioretty certainly wouldn’t mind ending up with long-term.
As always, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Chicago Blackhawks cannot be ruled out. Their respective GM’s are always in on the action and both teams are known to be looking for offensive depth. Would Pittsburgh consider swapping Derick Brassard in a deal for Pacioretty? Could Chicago use their newfound cap space from the Hossa trade to bring in a similar scorer? The answer to both of these questions is a definitive maybe.
Who do you think needs Pacioretty most or can put together the best offer?