NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 10, 2018
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.
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.
Tomas Tatar doesn’t have any no-trade protection for the remainder of his contract. It was negotiated into the original deal with Detroit, but hadn’t kicked in before he was sent to Vegas — voiding it, as per the NHL’s CBA.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) September 10, 2018
Montreal retained 10% of Max Pacioretty contract.
Vegas retained 9.434% of Tomas Tatar contract. https://t.co/GBLAKrzOGj
— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) September 10, 2018
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.