Bon voyage, Max Pacioretty.
In a move that was hardly surprising, the Montreal Canadiens traded their captain and five-time 30-goal scorer to the Vegas Golden Knights for Tomas Tatar, first-round pick Nick Suzuki and a 2019 second-rounder.
With no talk of a contract extension — and Pacioretty’s wish not to negotiate during the regular season a sticking point — Habs’ GM Marc Bergevin pulled the trigger on the deal.
Pacioretty, who was drafted 22nd overall by the Canadiens in 2007, played all 10 seasons with the team, scoring 226 goals and adding 222 assists. He won the Masterton trophy in 2012 and was a plus-minus leader (+38) in 2014-15.
“As I learned last year, it is very difficult to play to the best of your abilities when you have this much of a distraction,” Pacioretty told a reporter at the Montreal Gazette about not wanting to haggle with team brass on a contract extension during play in 2018-19. “I think this will make it much easier on focusing about just playing hockey and that’s what I have to get back to doing and that’s what I’m looking forward to doing and that’s, I guess, the reason behind that.”
Tatar, a seven-year veteran who split time between Detroit and Vegas last season, scored 20 goals for the fourth straight season and had 34 points in 82 games. Suzuki, the Golden Knights 13th overall selection in the 2017 entry draft, tallied 100 points for the Owen Sound Attack of the OHL in 2017-18.