Let's start with the facts: Montreal Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty is expected to be sidelined for four to six weeks with a knee injury as the 29-year-old winger left during the third period of the Canadiens' 6-3 win over the New Islanders last Friday.
Now, let's ask a over-repeated question following this fact: Has Pacioretty played his last game in a Canadiens' uniform? If you listen to NHL insider Darren Dreger, the answer is yes. On some days... Sometimes it was no. Now, we are not saying that Dreger invents trade chatter and speculations. The reporter has been an expert for years and is known to be in touch with several hockey players, general managers and sources to corroborate his stories. The problem is that the Pacioretty trade rumors have been so complex, that fans are getting upset and doubtful of anything that comes out on the subject... And now, doubtful of anything that comes out of Dreger's mouth, since he is the one closely reporting of the situation.
On Thursday morning, he once again spoke of Pacioretty as he was discussing the John Tavares situation with the New York Islanders. While it has been widely speculated that Tavares could refuse to re-sign with the Isles and join a team with a star goalie. For example, Carey Price in Montreal. Dreger inserted the name of Pacioretty in that report on the air on Montreal's TSN 690.
“A lot of that stuff is what we’ve talked about – the quest for John Tavares. And the means of which – maybe they use Pacioretty or they use some of the other pieces to acquire if not another center, then acquire a defenseman or some other way of helping the Montreal Canadiens achieve their goal with a window closing on Carey Price in terms of being a Stanley Cup contender."
On Tuesday, again on the air on TSN 690, Dreger bluntly said: "I'd be surprised if Pacioretty is back next season." Now fans are getting impatient since Dreger mentioned a few times before that he would be surprised if the Habs captain changes addresses. There are also conflicting reports about Pacioretty wanting a trade, and the player himself saying otherwise. Another report that has angered fans. See a few tweets down below, some of course came to the insider's defense:
Now, once again, we are not saying that Dreger is wrong. The world of hockey is an ever-changing one, with speculations coming to fruition and other changing rapidly to something unexpected.
Although the Feb. 26 trade deadline has past, the Pacioretty trade rumour isn’t going anywhere. The offseason has always seemed like a better time to move the captain based on the bigger deals that have happened then. So, Dreger will have more to say on the subject until the NHL Draft takes place, or even the start of free agency season on July 1st.
One thing is sure and that fans can trust in the NHL: if moving Pacioretty adds the pieces the Canadiens desperately need to turn things around, then it’s going to happen.
Source: Twitter and FanRag Sports
Photo Credit: Twitter