Canadiens owner Geoff Molson says Max Pacioretty asked for trade

Aubrey Yates
September 11, 2018

Considering that the Habs appear to firmly be in rebuild mode, it would have been hard for the team to justify giving a long-term extension to Pacioretty, who will be 30 when his new deal kicks in.

Pacioretty has played 626 career games with the Canadiens since Montreal drafted him in 2007. And it would have been one more enormous obstacle to overcome in the quest for redemption from a fourth-from-last place finish a season ago. While he undoubtedly still has several strong years left in him, if those correspond with down years for the Canadiens, they won't really benefit much from the contract. Third-liner Joel Armia was brought in via trade with the Winnipeg Jets, long-time Canadien and depth centre Tomas Plekanec was brought back on a one-year deal after being traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs at last year's deadline, centre Matthew Peca was signed away from the Tampa Bay Lightning, and winger Tomas Tatar and prospect Nick Suzuki came over in the Pacioretty trade. The likely candidates are veterans Shea Weber and Brendan Gallagher, though the organization has not indicated when it will make that decision. I'm sure he's probably excited about going to Las Vegas.

Meanwhile, the Canadiens re-signed forward Michael McCarron to a one-year, two-way contract on Monday.

"It's definitely not the way we wanted things to turn out".

Suzuki was the key piece in the deal, according to Bergevin, who said the Canadiens had him 11th on their draft list in 2017. The 27-year-old has scored 20+ goals in four straight seasons though, including a career-high 29 in 2014-15.

Suzuki has one year of junior eligibility remaining, but Bergevin and head coach Claude Julien said the youngster will be given a chance to earn a spot in the National Hockey League this year.

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Pacioretty is also familiar with Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant, who was an assistant coach under Montreal's Michel Therrien in 2012. He was also a healthy scratch for all but eight games of Vegas's run to the Stanley Cup Final.

Domi, who's coming off a down year himself, is expected to take on some of the burden.

Suzuki could very well factor into the mix, too. "When you experience it for yourself, that was a treat to play, and I wish we played them a few times a year". You have to start over for 82 games to make it into the playoffs, so you know, you have to realize it's not going to be easy, and people are going to be ready for us.

What Happened Last Year: The 33-year-old Bergeron battled groin issues early and a fractured foot late in the season, and missed 18 games with his assorted injuries throughout the regular season.

Bergevin said Vegas general manager George McPhee was reluctant to give up Suzuki, but realized it was part of the price for adding a 30-goal scorer.

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