The Montreal Canadiens may have just shot themselves in the foot.
In a stunning report on Tuesday Marc Antoine Godin of The Athletic revealed that the Montreal Canadiens have effectively put an end to their relationship with one of their top players over the past several years. Godin reports that he has a source inside the National Hockey League that is now claiming the Montreal Canadiens have informed their captain that they have no interest in negotiating a potential contract extension with him. Additionally Godin reports that Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin has informed his captain that he intends to trade him as soon as is possible.
It now appears that Bergevin will not even so much as negotiate with Pacioretty or his representation and you have to wonder what could possibly be the motivation for such a harsh stance on a player that has put up at least 30 goals in 4 of his last 5 seasons as a member of the Habs organization. There have long been rumors of Bergevin making deals in Montreal based on his personal feelings towards his players and it's no secret that his relationship with Pacioretty has deteriorated over the course of the past two seasons. The last time Marc Bergvevin was rumored to have a bad personal relationship with one of his players we saw star defenseman P.K. Subban dealt to the Nashville Predators for then Predators captain Shea Weber, and now it looks like Pacioretty will be next.
There is however one major issue now for Bergevin with this news leaking to the public. The trade value on his captain was likely already at an all time low after the poor season he had during the 2017 - 2018 National Hockey League regular season and now it's going to drop even lower now that teams know a long term deal is off the table for the Canadiens. Bergevin has given away the fact that he now must trade Pacioretty who will be entering the upcoming NHL season with just a single year remaining on his current contract, and that combined with Pacioretty's most recent performance will make it tough for him to get solid value.
For what it's worth it seems that Pacioretty himself would be willing to sign a long term deal with the Canadiens organization and it also seems like his comments about wanting to stay in Montreal have been genuine.
“I’ll reiterate what Max has said a number of times, that he loves Montreal, he holds Montreal dear to his heart and he hopes to stay,” said Pacioretty's agent Alan Walsh as per The Athletic.
That being said though Pacioretty has been one of the best value deals in the entire NHL over the past several seasons and now word is he is seeking a monstrous payday in order to make up for that fact. There was talk recently of a potential deal between the Los Angeles Kings and Canadiens that would have involved Pacioretty, but the contract negotiations between Pacioretty and the Kings are believed to be what caused a break down in those talks. If the rumors are to be believed the Kings offer Pacioretty a deal with an average annual value of $6 million per season, while Pacioretty is believed to have asked for a whopping $8 million per season.
If Pacioretty were coming off another 30 goal season that likely would have been a no brainer, but after his 17 goal performance last season many NHL organizations are likely very concerned that his best years are already behind him.
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