The NHL’s holiday roster freeze will be over on Friday and the trade rumors will be in full effect once again.
Max Pacioretty has been the target of such rumors, but it’s hard to believe that Montreal GM Marc Bergevin will get rid of the 25-year-old winger.
Although Pacioretty is not being actively shopped, the Canadiens are listening to offers coming their way. So far, the Islanders, Flyers, and Rangers have been linked to the Pacioretty rumors, but Bergevin isn’t willing to trade him within the East if this trade does evolve into something more than just a rumor.
Rebounding off a slow start where he only scored two goals in his first twelve games, Max Pacioretty is now on pace to score 37 by this season’s end. He currently has 19 points but 15 of those points have come from goals. His highest goal-scoring season was in 2012 when he lit up the lamp 33 times and was awarded the Bill Masterton Trophy.
The Canadiens have been struggling with their offense this season, ranking 22nd in the league in goals and shots per game. These struggles make it questionable why the Habs would want to trade their leading scorer. The Canadiens have also been criticized for their lack of size, which is another reason why trading Pacioretty would not make sense. At 6-foot-2 and 217 pounds, Pacioretty is the biggest among regular forwards on the Canadiens’ roster.
Size and goals are what Bergevin has been looking for and that’s exactly what Pacioretty brings to his team. That’s also what makes him attractive to other teams.
Another favorable asset that Pacioretty possesses is his contract. He is signed through 2018-19, and his salary of $4.5 million per year makes him very affordable for what he brings on the ice.
Coach Michel Therrien is apparently not a big fan of Pacioretty, but trading him would be a very unpopular decision among Montrealers.
If it turns out that Bergevin becomes serious about shipping out his most valuable forward, the return would have to be immense. This could make for unfavorable decisions from interested teams and may put some of these rumors to rest.
For now, Pacioretty is safe in Montreal, where he’ll keep scoring goals and remain a favorite among Habs fans.