According to Sportsnet’s Eric Engels, Habs GM Marc Bergevin had a three-team deal in place that would have sent Pacioretty to the New York Islanders for a first-round pick, which would have then been swapped to the Buffalo Sabres for centre Ryan O’Reilly.
Pacioretty and O’Reilly have both been rumoured to be on the trading block this summer, and would be conceivably good fits with their new potential teams.
The plan apparently fell through when the Islanders, who held both the 11th and 12th overall picks, drafted prospects Oliver Wahlstrom and Noah Dobson respectively.
Had things worked out properly, Bergevin would have walked away from the draft with a completely replenished Canadiens farm system, acquired an established centreman in Ryan O’Reilly, and resolved an awkward situation with his captain that doesn’t want to play in Montreal anymore.
The trade would have also had a far-reaching impact across the league.
The Islanders would have gained a former 30-goal scorer to play with Matt Barzal and tempted John Tavares to stay, the Sabres would have sealed another first-round pick to go along with Rasmus Dahlin, and the Habs, after drafting Jesperi Kotkaniemi, would have impressive depth at centre.
Keep an ear to the ground Habs fans, things are only just getting started in the NHL offseason.