NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 10, 2018

by | Sep 10, 2018 | News, NHL | 25 comments

Canadiens trade Max Pacioretty to the Golden Knights plus latest on Andrew MacDonald, Sean Couturier and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

TSN: The Montreal Canadiens traded left wing Max Pacioretty to the Vegas Golden Knight in exchange for winger Tomas Tatar, prospect center Nick Suzuki and a second-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. The draft pick originally belonged to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Montreal Canadiens trade Max Pacioretty to the Vegas Golden Knights. (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This isn’t a great return for the Canadiens but it isn’t bad. It’s a clear indication they’re rebuilding, even if management can’t bring themselves to publicly say it. 

While Tatar isn’t on the same level as Pacioretty, he’s reached 20 goals in each of the last four seasons. Cap Friendly indicates he’s under contract through 2020-21 with a $5.3-million annual average value. He’s also listed as having a full no-trade clause for this season but perhaps he waived it to go to Montreal.

Tatar was hampered last season by shoulder surgery from the previous summer. If he’s now fully recovered he should be good for 25 goals per season. Listed as a left wing, he can also play the right side, giving the Habs some flexibility there. He could also be used as a future trade option.

Getting a second-round pick in 2019 is also worthwhile as the Habs can use it themselves or as a bargaining chip in a trade. The real key here is Suzuki, who was selected in the opening round (13th overall) of the 2017 NHL Draft. He has the potential to blossom into a first-line center, something the Canadiens have been lacking for years.

With training camp just days away, the Canadiens wanted to move Pacioretty as soon as possible rather than have questions over his future becoming an unnecessary distraction. Pacioretty forced the issue by saying he wouldn’t discuss a contract extension once the season opened next month. He’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

The addition of Pacioretty gives the Golden Knights some additional experienced scoring punch and leadership this season. He’s expected to skate on the second line along center Paul Stastny and right wing Alex Tuch. Golden Knights general manager George McPhee wants to give his club every opportunity to prove last season’s unexpected success was no fluke. 

Pacioretty’s time in Vegas could stretch beyond this season. According to Sportsnet’s John Shannon, the Golden Knights and the left winger’s camp are hopeful of getting an extension done. 



NHL.COM: Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Andrew MacDonald suffered a lower-body injury during off-season training and is expected to be sidelined for six weeks. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: MacDonald’s absence raises some questions over what the Flyers might do for a short-term replacement. I’ll have more later this morning in the Rumors section. 

PHILLY.COM: Speaking of the Flyers, GM Ron Hextall said sidelined center Sean Couturier will be ready for action when the season opens next month. Couturier is sidelined by a knee injury but has already resumed skating. 

MLIVE.COM: Winger Matt Puempel agreed to a two-year contract with the Detroit Red Wings.



  1. That’s a very good return for Pacioretty, considering what skinner got! Tatar can put the puck in the net but Suzuki is a real good pick up.

    • It’s not bad. The rumored deal with the Kings (Toffoli, Vilardi, draft picks) would’ve been better. Still, your point about the Skinner deal is well-taken.

      • If that was what the Kings offered then Montreal should not be happy MP wouldn’t sign with the Kings. I feel like Vegas will look more and more fleeced with this deal especially considering what they gave up for Tatar in the first place.

      • I agree deee and Suzuki is a good looking prospect

      • Dee, Know the Habs asked LA for the return you said I heard Vilardi was a no-go from LA. I do not know what the deal actually was but heard your suggestion as a potential ask by MTL…….

    • It’s a junk return!

    • I agree. Pu a 3rd round pick, 69th in 2016 isn’t Suzuki a 1st round pick 13th in 2017 at least by pedigree nor abilities displayed yet at any level. Mon adds a solid C prospect something they really needed. Plus Montreal gets Tatar a proven 20 goal, 45 point player signed for 3 years at what will shake out to be 4.8 after this season. Each team essentially ate 10% for each player but Patches only has a year left.

      • No way, tatar was a dump to make the money work. Vegas made a mistake getting him in the first place and wanted to rid that contract. Suzuki being a first rd pick somewhat eases yet another questionable trade by MB. He took what he could get considering the circus in Montreal and it’s not great at all

      • Vegas traded for Tatar as injury insurance going into the playoffs & to have a replacement for Perron & Neal when lost as UFA’s.

        He has scored 20 goals 4 years in a row. That’s a solid production. Tatar will play as Mon’s #1 or 2 LW & see 1st or 2nd line PP time to be determined, he will score 20 to 25 goals & 45 to 50 points as long as he plays at least 75 games, possible even pushes 55 to 60 if everything went right. I’m not a big believer in everything going right but it happens occasionally I just don’t budget for such.

      • It’s hilarious listening to fd try to say that was a bad trade for Montreal! Lol he was the same guy saying patches was a terrible player, hey fd what did kessel get for Toronto when they had to hold salary as well lol Suzuki is a very good prospect plus Tatar scored more than patches last ya and a second! Sorry fd that was a good trade for the habs

      • Now I’m starting to remember why I gave up on this place… Vegas traded a first a second and a third round pick to have a guy sit on the bench the majority of the playoffs and as an insurance policy for guys they may let go as ufas? Give me a break striker pretty sure they were expecting more out of him than that. Maybe just maybe he can be a bit of a coaching conundrum the same as he was in Detroit. Not saying he is not going to be decent in Montreal but, pretty sure they didn’t wait till deadline day to figure out they may lose a player or 2 to free agency and traded all that away for a maybe he will play

  2. Vegas really living in the now. Curious to see if they extend Patches. How much and how many years for a guy that’ll be almost 31 when he starts new deal. Gave 32 y o Statsny a 3 year 6.5m deal. Traded away this years 1st rd pick for Tatar. Now you’ve moved him with one of your 3 players taken in 1st rd. Big gamble imo…

    • Nick Suzuki could come back to haunt the organization or this keeps Vegas contending while MAF is still a game changer.

      Tatar keeps getting bounced around but he can score 20 without much thought.

      Compared to some of the Habs deals this one is solid for them.

    • Well, I assume more than the 6 mil per for the 6 years LA offered.

      That 1st round pick to acquire Tatar was 30th overall, next seasons 2nd will be a mid to late 2nd as will the Pick included with Tatar, Columbus’s & 2021’s 3rd who knows nor cares.

      Based on what those players picked that late usually become if they even make it to the NHL which is incredibly rare it’s almost meaningless but as Chrisms pointed out, the more picks you have the better your chances of actually getting an NHL player in the 2nd or 3rd round & they do have value in trade if not in actual player eventually acquired.

    • I would assume Vegas had already spoken to Patches & a deal will be signed very quickly based on what was paid to acquire him.

      Vegas had such great success last season that it makes sense they are willing to give up players who’s future is tomorrow to be better today. They made the cup final & although there has been some change, gone are Neal & Perron but in are Stastny & Patches I see that as an upgrade.

      I feel a little sorry for Haula, he went from 2nd line C to what I assumed would be 2nd line LW, he played LW in Minny but now he gets bumped by Patches pushing him to the 3rd line with Eakin, between Haula & Glass? I assume is a solid 3rd line. Perhaps Haula C’s that line Eakin moves to RW the position he played in Was & occasionally in Dal & Carrier retains his 3rd line LW position in Vegas. All depends on if Glass is NHL ready or simply held back for business reasons.

      Vegas isn’t that old nor is the prospect kitty bare.

      Marchesseault 27, Karlsson 25, Smith 27.
      Patches 29, Stastny 32, Tuch 22.
      Carrier 23, Haula 27, Eakin 27.
      Nosek 26, Bellemare 33, Reeves 31.
      Spare. Lindeberg 26.

      McNabb 27, Schmidt 27/ Holden 31.
      Theodore 23, Engelland 36.
      Merrill 26, Miller 25.
      Hunt 30.

      MAF 33, Subban 24.

      Lots of players in their mid 20’s & the prospect kitty is far from bare with Glass, Brannstrom, Hague, Gusev, etc. & Vegas still has all it’s picks for the next 3 years but their 3rd in 2021 but has 2 extra 3rds this year & 2 extra 2nds in 2020.

    • Hey bigbear…its one deal, get a grip fella! It’s funny to hear bigbadbruins as bigbear. Btw, I said Patxhes was a good player but, that he wanted out of Montreal – guess what, he did and got the hell outta dodge. What did Kessel get? Ahahh…who cares…Leafs should contend for years. No defence but, it could be worse…as you already know! Say hello to Ottawa for us, will you?

  3. Really nice trade for each side.

    Pacioretty is a clever replacement for James Neal.

    • Patches+Stasny vs Neal/Perron. Upgrade IMHO as long as team chemistry stays as tight

    • Agreed.

    • Wait and see for me on both sides, Montreal did well to get Suzuki but trading a player of Patches caliber you should receive a good prospect, Tatar while still having potential but not quite as high a ceiling as once thought and had been a scratch for most of last year’s playoffs and played a different kinda role and further down the line up in Detroit with Sheehan and Nyquist than I think he will be used in Montreal so I’m not sure he is a legit 25 goal guy on the Habs especially this year. On the other hand if you look at what McPhee gave up for Tatar at the deadline the price for 1 year of Patches seems a little steep if he doesn’t resign

  4. So with the outta left field deals made by MB this summer we now have 2 players in return both under 5 foot 9 hahaha,both play wing an not all address our needs of a top 4 center or a top 4 D what a joke, fire his ass already excuse my language…

    • Tatar is 5’10” 185 lbs, Domi is also 5’10” but 198 lbs. What about Armia 6’3″ 205 lbs. Both Schrebak 6’1″ 175 lbs & McCarron 6’5″ 235 lbs have to clear waivers this season. Schrebak’s staying in the NHL McCarron who knows, he does or he gets traded, I assume someone would claim him off waivers if waived.

      I was calling for Bergevin’s head by Christmas last season but I actually like what he did this summer with the exception of not just extending Patches but obviously, money & term were an issue & he got a solid return especially considering what Carolina got for Skinner.

      As for the D easier said than done. Losing Weber again for 1/2 the year is unfortunate, Mon’s D wasn’t all that good with him but without him, it isn’t pretty but Mete & Juulsen are in the NHL to stay now.

      I have no idea what the pairings are going to look like in Mon at D this season. I assume Petry & Alzner are broken up to try & balance out 3 pairings.

      Mete, Petry.
      Alzner, Juulsen.
      Benn, Schlemko.
      Reilly, Ouellete.

      Again no idea about pairings just a total guess & it will be in flux until Weber returns. Mon is retooling, rebuilding on the fly. It isn’t going to be a great season for Mon I assume they get more than 71 points but actually finish 1 spot lower in the standings.

  5. What about drouin what about Gallagher an shaw all well under 6 feet, an has for macaroon hes had plenty of opportunity over the last few yrs an continues to burn his bridges in front of him goes into the corners to rub on guys doesn’t use his body has effectively has he could which makes him expendable with a draft pick an maybe get some1 over 6 feet in return some1 willing to crash bodies in the corner an force turnovers not get caught 200 feet for rubbing on some1 in the corner..

    • I’m just saying these players you identified weren’t 5’9″ as you felt necessary to post. Moving on to Drouin 5’11” 188 lbs, Shaw 5’11” 179 lbs, how is that well under 6′, that’s an inch & you finally nailed 1 in Gallagher 5’9″ 182 lbs who plays like he’s 6’2 225 lbs.

      What are you expecting from Mon? How does their current physical size matter?

      These players aren’t as small as you seem to wish to imply & bigger players are coming. The NHL is transitioning to a speed, puck possession game & small players are finally getting a chance to play in the NHL as the days of clutch & grab mauling hockey is over.

      A bunch of teams in the NHL are slow to adjust to this & still play a bang & crash lets punish the opposition type game but it is going the way of the dinosaur.

  6. I’m not sold on suziki’s potential. But time will tell.