Max Pacioretty had a dreadful month of December. That may be putting things kindly as the Montreal Canadiens forward had just four assists and zero goals to go along with a (-4) plus/minus rating in 12 December games. With Pacioretty’s last goal coming all the way back on November 30th, the Canadiens are believed to be “actively shopping” him in the hopes of bringing in a younger scorer.
Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos says that it’s been confirmed that the Canadiens have Pacioretty on the trading block.
“We know that Marc Bergevin, general manager of Montreal, is actively shopping Max Pacioretty. While an eventual trade may include draft picks and prospects, it’s been clear to other teams that Bergevin’s top priority is moving him for a top goal-scorer back — preferably a younger one than the 29-year-old Max Pacioretty.”
In other words, the Canadiens would likely have to put a package together in order to acquire a better, younger scorer. Though they sound like they intend to move on from Pacioretty after 10 seasons, the Canadiens are planning to be patient.
Kypreos compared the situation in Montreal with that in Colorado involving Matt Duchene.
“We do know how long Joe Sakic waited to move his top scorer in Matt Duchene. There is a sense that Marc Bergevin will not settle on this, and if he doesn’t get what he wants by the trade deadline (Feb. 26), he might be willing to wait for the NHL draft in Dallas [in] late June.”
Regardless of timing, it sounds like the Pacioretty era in Montreal is coming to a close. That’s a pretty surprising development considering he has scored 30+ goals in five of his last six seasons. However, his 2017-18 has been well off of his usual pace, scoring eight goals in 39 games. That combined with Montreal’s medio
Pacioretty should be an attractive target on the trade market. He is under contract through the 2018-19 season and carries a manageable cap hit of $4.5 million a year. He’ll be more costly than a rental because of his contract status, but he should still have a lot to offer at the age of 29. His current slump shouldn’t take away from his incredible offensive consistency dating back to 2011.