Montreal Canadiens: Max Pacioretty trade talk, Kotkaniemi buzz, and RFAs

MONTREAL, QC - NOVEMBER 25: Max Pacioretty
MONTREAL, QC - NOVEMBER 25: Max Pacioretty /
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Montreal Canadiens
MONTREAL, QC – FEBRUARY 22: (Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

Kamal Rehman: So much to say on this but I’ll try to keep it short. I think the Habs have bungled this one. Everyone knows Bergevin wants to trade Max, so that puts whatever team he wants to deal with in the driver’s seat. The problem is Bergevin knows he can’t miss on this deal. So Bergevin has to ask for a lot. Another issue is after years of having one of the league’s friendliest contracts; Max will want a rich long-term deal with some sort of no movement clause. Any team acquiring Max will want to ensure they can have him for as long as possible putting him in the driver’s seat too. Who isn’t in the driver’s seat? Hmm. These three issues are making it extremely difficult to come to an agreeable trade for all sides.

I do think he will be traded. It’s just too far gone. I believe MB truly wants to change the attitude of the team further and I think he believes Pacioretty was responsible for a lot of the attitude he didn’t like. Now the question is, when? Historically, not many trades are made during the down summer weeks after free agency. So will it be before camp, during the season, or at the deadline? I personally can see the trade happening around the mid-season point to the trade deadline. I believe Max will rebound from last year and increase his trade value and justify his eventual contract demands. The Habs have to trade Max as MB can’t let him walk for nothing in return.

Oh, another thing…I heard reports that MB was sure he didn’t want to extend Max as far back as December. So why didn’t MB trade Max at the 2018 trade deadline ensuring a team could have had him for a season and a half? Theoretically, Max’s value was at his highest a few months ago. Bungled.

One more thought…I would have liked to see Max stay and play with a number one centre in Montreal but…centres are hard to acquire.

Omar White: It’s safe to say that things with Pacioretty could’ve gone a lot smoother. His name was being thrown out there as a potential trade option back in December, but now it’s gotten to the point where the Montreal Canadiens have to trade him.

Management has made it clear that he isn’t a fit in the atmosphere their trying to re-establish in the locker room, and with the news going around that he won’t be receiving a contract, moving him sooner rather than later is the better option. Keep in mind, as soon as training camp hits, Pacioretty will be the focal point as he and the rest of the team will be bombarded with questions around his future with the Habs.

On the other hand, it’s a delicate situation. Bergevin can’t lose on this deal, and it can’t be a one-for-one. The pieces acquired in a Pacioretty trade will be a part of the long-term direction. But leverage isn’t on Bergevin’s side, especially when you have other available left-wingers such as Jeff Skinner and Artemi Panarin.

It’s tough to look for specifics, but you have to think adding a young left-shot defenceman is the crux of the trade, along with some draft picks.