By now it's one of the worst kept secrets in the National Hockey League that the trade involving then Montreal Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty was prompted in large part due to the deterioration of the relationship between Pacioretty and Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Begervin. Although the story has never been officially confirmed by either Pacioretty or Bergevin himself, Bergevin's rumored history of personal beefs with his former players has been one of the main points of criticism fans have had for the Canadiens general manager and it has made it rather easy to believe the problems between him and Pacioretty were very real.
Unsurprisingly given the disagreements between the two men both of them have walked away from the trade with very different versions of what happened behind closed doors. If you were to listen to Marc Bergevin it would seem rather straight forward that it was the Habs captain who demanded to be traded last season, something that would undoubtedly be damaging to Pacioretty's reputation. Pacioretty maintained throughout the trade rumors, and even after the trade itself, that his desire was to remain in Montreal and to sign a long term contract with the Canadiens organization and any evidence to the contrary would likely impact fan perception of him moving forward.
“Last season, there was a request,” Bergevin said as per Sportsnet's Mike Johnston. “He asked for a trade. I will not go into detail. But that’s a fact, yes.”
Unsurprisingly Pacioretty wholeheartedly rejected this assertion and indicated that it is his belief that he never made any such demand. That being said though Pacioretty did admit that there had been some discussions that had escalated between himself and the Habs general manager.
“I don’t agree with that,” Pacioretty said. “Heated conversations like that could get taken in different ways. I don’t believe that that’s what I said and I’ll just leave it at that.”
Now I have no insider knowledge to suggest that one or the other is telling the truth, but based on their wording alone I have to lean towards Bergevin on this one. Bergevin's statements seem definitive, meanwhile Pacioretty himself appeared to be leaving room for interpretation with his comments. It seems the issues between these two men may never be resolved.