The Montreal Canadiens have been one of the most intriguing teams in the league recently—in the way it’s hard to look away from a car crash—with a very public dispute surrounding the future of captain Max Pacioretty. With reports surfacing about previous trade requests, and Pacioretty’s agent using Twitter to issue strong denials, the entire hockey world is waiting to see whether the team will reach an extension with their talented winger or trade him to a contender for the upcoming season, his last under contract.
Eric Engels of Sportsnet held an impromptu Q&A on Twitter this morning, answering fan questions about the state of the Canadiens. When asked about a potential extension with Pacioretty, he didn’t mince words, saying “unless it is a sign and trade, I don’t see there being any possibility of a long-term extension” and explaining that Mike Hoffman and Jeff Skinner are obvious comparables when it comes to recent trades. With training camps set to open in less than two weeks, the Canadiens don’t have much offseason left to make a move if Pacioretty is truly on his way out.
- Andrew Peeke was drafted 34th overall in 2016 by the Columbus Blue Jackets, but decided to go the collegiate route for his hockey development. After two years at Notre Dame that decision has been rewarded, as Peeke was named captain today by the legendary program. The school brought in alums like Anders Lee, Cal Petersen, Steven Fogarty and Erik Condra to announce the decision in a video. Peeke, a 20-year old defenseman has followed an excellent development path and could be a two-way difference maker when he finally transitions to the professional ranks.
- Sportsnet released the “best of the rest” for their recent Top 100 rankings, which includes forwards Jaden Schwartz, Sebastian Aho and Dylan Larkin, defensemen Mattias Ekholm and Torey Krug, and goaltender Antti Raanta. There is plenty of talent still left off the ranking, but Detroit Red Wings fans will be happy to see at least one of their players recognized in some fashion. They were the only team with no one on the original ranking, though apparently Filip Zadina did receive some votes despite not yet making his NHL debut.