It looks probable that Max Pacioretty has played his final game in a Montreal Canadiens uniform.
The Athletic’s Marc Antoine Godin is reporting that Canadiens’ GM Marc Bergevin will not negotiate a contract extension for Pacioretty, and that his intention is to trade the team’s captain “as soon as possible.”
Pacioretty, 29, is about to enter the last year of a six-year contract that pays him $4.5 million per season.
Just a reminder of Pacioretty's play with the Canadiens.
Scored 15% of the team's goals himself. Participated in almost 30% of them.
For $4.5M per season. Definitely the best value contract in team history. pic.twitter.com/TZjgVxio2x
— Marc Dumont (@MarcPDumont) July 10, 2018
Pacioretty is coming off his least productive season in seven years, scoring just 37 points (17-20-37) in 64 games. Prior to that, Pacioretty was one of the most consistent goal-scoring wingers in the league, topping the 30-goal plateau in four straight years.
While there will be no shortage of suitors for Pacioretty, trading him now, with just one year left on his contract – particularly after the season he just had – would be selling low.
The Habs reportedly had a Pacioretty trade fall through at the draft last month. A three-team deal, it would have sent Pacioretty to the Islanders, a first round pick to Buffalo, and Ryan O’Reilly to Montreal.
Bergevin is in a tricky spot though (for that, he has himself mostly to blame), as the Habs are in a rebuild of sorts – one which may not have room for the soon-to-be 30-year-old.