Talks have been intensifying amongst insider circles that a new name has hit the trade market.
Whenever anything starts to go bad in Montreal, the name that everyone throws into the fire is Max Pacioretty. The team captain is streaky - he goes through several games without scoring, then often goes on extended scoring streaks to make up for the dry spells.
He's one of the elite snipers in the NHL, and rarely gets credit for it.
With 142 goals, Pacioretty is the 4th best goal scorer in the NHL over the last 5 seasons. It makes sense why teams are likely calling - as he is on an affordable contract this season and next at only $4.5 million.
Marc Bergevin is one of the most secretive general managers in the NHL, so it's hard to know for sure if Pacioretty is being shopped - but we know, or think, that P.K. Subban wasn't being shopped and we all know the rest of that story.
Darren Dreger mentioned on a radio hit (Buffalo WGR 550) that he's had correspondances with team sources - and Pacioretty's name is floating around.
"But I’ve had a couple of teams this week ask me about him and ask whether or not I felt like Montreal would get to a place where they’d consider trading him. They’re not there yet. They’re not there yet. Could they get to that point? Of course they could with just about any player outside of Carey Price. I mean, he’s $4.5 million on the books this year, Pacioretty is, and he’s got one year left at 4.5. And if he were ever to hit the trade market, there’d be a list of teams that would jump on board."
This is clearly in its preliminary stages - we're not in the Matt Duchene territory yet, but there's a lot to consider here. Pacioretty's contract is extremely tradable and only increases his value as an asset, and the Canadiens need a major shake up after falling 1-6-1 to start the season.
The Habs obviously need offense, and trading Pacioretty seems counterintuitive - but this could allow the team to retool, have a high draft position in a deep draft, and become contenders within a couple years.