Opinion: The Max Pacioretty Trade Works Out Well For Everyone

The trade sending Max Pacioretty to Vegas is certainly controversial, judging by the reactions from fans since the trade was announced. Most people seem to think either Vegas fleeced Montreal, or vice versa. There is no in between judging from the fans' opinions. However, I believe the trade works out well for all parties involved.
1. Vegas Golden Knights
Several people had their doubts about the Golden Knights being a playoff team again this year. losing James Neal and David Perron was a tough pill to swallow, and Paul Statsny alone wouldn't fix that. Tack on the suspension to Nate Schmidt for the first quarter of the season and the team is looking rough. However, adding Pacioretty without touching their current roster will bolster their offence and (with the help of Paul Statsny) will not only replace the scoring lost with Neal and Perron, but even improve upon it. Pacioretty had scored 30+ goals for four consecutive seasons (2014-2017), all without a proper centre to work with. If he and Paul Statsny or William Karlsson can find some chemistry, he could easily crack 40 goals next year.

2. Montreal Canadiens
Habs fans, let's be real here. Montreal was not going to get the haul most wanted for Pacioretty. He had a down year, Bergevin said he wasn't going to negotiate a new contract extension with him, the media was ALL OVER him (to the point that his agent had to denounce some of these rumours on twitter), trades for Jeff Skinner and Mike Hoffman were incredibly cheap and really harmed Pacioretty's trade value, and he only has one year left on his deal.
Considering the Canadiens' initial price was a centre prospect, 1st round pick, and a "warm body" roster player, they got pretty close to the asking price. Tatar is serviceable, Suzuki is a very good prospect, and the 2nd round pick is the only area where Bergevin's asking price faltered. Also, Vegas retained 500K of his salary, bringing his cap-hit to a very manageable 4.8 million dollars for the next three years.

3. Tomas Tatar
The trade Vegas made at the deadline to acquire Tomas Tatar was... a flop. Scoring a measly six points in 20 games and a -11 certainly isn't worth a 1st, 2nd, AND 3rd round pick. Tack on a single goal and assist in eight playoff games and I think you see the point. He gets a fresh start in Montreal, where he'll be getting more playing time and likely be leaned on for his goal scoring capabilities. Either way, a fresh start should be good for the 27-year old.

4. Max Pacioretty 
Watching Pacioretty get berated and bombarded whenever the Canadiens' offence struggled was painful to say the least. He was a consistent 30-goal scorer on a very team-friendly contract and people were treating him like street trash. The way Bergevin handled the situation was criminal, and Pacioretty deserved much better treatment. He loves Montreal, and has said many times it's the city he wants to live in. Seeing him go is pretty sad (as a Canadiens fan), but it's best for both him and the Canadiens. At least now when the team is sucking, he doesn't need to absorb all the criticism like a Maxi Pad (more like a Maxi Patch).

To the Canadiens fans outraged by this trade
I'm not guaranteeing anything here, this is purely speculation. However, I don't think it's crazy to say Vegas might lose Pacioretty to free agency come July. The Golden Knights will have some expensive players to try and sign next year (namely William Karlsson, Alex Tuch, and Shea Theodore still needs a new contract), and may not have the cap space free for Max Pacioretty if he's still looking for an 8x8 million dollar contract (which he was reportedly looking for when a trade to Los Angeles was in place). So saying Pacioretty would go to free agency isn't absurd to think.

It's also pretty fair to assume Tomas Tatar will not be with Montreal very long. Whether he's dealt now, at the deadline, or at the draft, I don't know. He's a serviceable player who could still get you a decent return from the right buyer.

Pacioretty has said frequently he wants to live in Montreal, he considers the city his home. If that's true, its entirely possible he at least ponders a return to the Canadiens next season.

Just to stir the pot a little more, Bergevin's been working on borrowed time for years now. Many suggested he be replaced with Joel Bouchard at the end of last season. Well... Bouchard was basically GIVEN the Laval Rocket and told "Go nuts!" He has since gutted the staff and brought in a ton of new faces for the Rocket. Is it possible that Bouchard is being seasoned a bit to work him into a GM role? Perhaps as the successor to Bergevin? Who knows...

Not saying anything is definite, just something to think about.

Pacioretty has just signed a 4-year extension with the Golden Knights, so never mind.

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