Published: Tue, September 11, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

NHL Canadiens deal Pacioretty to Vegas Golden Knights

NHL Canadiens deal Pacioretty to Vegas Golden Knights

The Canadiens traded captain Max Pacioretty to the Vegas Golden Knights, the team announced Monday morning.

The 29-year-old American, who scored 17 goals and set up 20 others over 64 games last season for Montreal, was sent to the league's newest club in exchange for forwards Tomas Tatar and Nick Suzuki plus a 2019 NHL Draft second-round pick.

While rumours of a Pacioretty trade first surfaced last year, Bergevin actively shopped Pacioretty following the season and there was a deal with the Los Angeles Kings hours before this year's NHL Entry Draft in June.

One of the NHL's most consistent scorers in recent seasons-he posted 30-plus goals and 60-plus points in five of his last seven years, failing to hit the marks in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season and in 2017-18 after suffering a knee injury-Pacioretty gets a fresh start and will add even more depth to the Golden Knights attack.

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As for the acquisition of Tatar, the 27-year-old who scored 20 goals for a fourth straight season last year, Bergevin explained that the objective was to get someone who can help replace the scoring lost by moving Pacioretty. Tatar was acquired at last season's deadline for three picks - a 2018 first, 2019 second and 2021 third - and now those selections have become a sunk cost with the winger shipped off in the Pacioretty deal. "But I see progress for our team, and I'm convinced we're going in the right direction". "Ten great seasons as a Montreal Canadien - and as a captain of our team - and he also played a great role in the community, and raised money for our Foundation and for the hospital".

In 626 career games, Pacioretty has 226 goals and 222 assists.

But Musician Mic Manaras felt Montreal would be better off without Pacioretty.

The trade and extension come after a drawn out divorce in Montreal. That's why the Canadiens were fortunate to get Pacioretty settled elsewhere before that process begins to take shape. "From our perspective, we're just going to focus on telling the truth, and that's that a request was made".

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Back in Montreal, Canadiens players are eager to move forward after a busy summer that also saw Bergevin move forward Alex Galchenyuk to the Arizona Coyotes for Max Domi.

Bergevin said that when Pacioretty made the trade request, it was evident then that an extension wasn't going to be on the table. "We're aware that past year he played a lot on the wing, but he played at centre too". He makes plays. He thinks offensively. The negativity of the situation probably would have been enough to sink the Canadiens' hopes for the season on its own. But with days to go before the start of training camp, the Montreal Canadiens have finally put an end to the saga.

Suzuki was the 13th overall pick in the 2017 draft and was considered one of the organization's top prospects. "We have some good centers coming through the system, and with the departure of Max there's room on the wings too".

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