The New York Post’s Larry Brooks dropped a bomb on the rumor world on Sunday morning, claiming that the Montreal Canadiens are willing to trade left winger Max Pacioretty. According to Brooks, the 25-year-old winger “apparently isn’t Michel Therrien’s ideal”.
This strikes most people as crazy talk, mainly due to the fact that Pacioretty has a great six-year, $27 million contract, with a cap hit of $4.5 million a season. So who are the main suitors for Pacioretty? None other than the Islanders and Flyers.
Now, one would think that the Islanders would be done trying to acquire big offensive pieces after the Thomas Vanek trade and the team’s subsequent struggles, but hey, you apparently can’t keep Garth Snow down.
As far as the Flyers go, the 6’2”, 210 lb Pacioretty seems to address one of the team’s needs, in that he is a large top-6 forward. He hasn’t been big in the assist column this season, but his fifteen goals is 5 more than Flyers leading goal scorer Matt Read, and would surely address a huge need for this pass-first team.
So, what’s the cost for Pacioretty? If number 67 isn’t Michel Therrien’s ideal, then what is? Perhaps he’d be interested in a promising young center/winger who has just as many points as Pacioretty named Brayden. Would the younger Schenn plus a draft pick be enough to net Pacioretty? They do have the same number of points this season (19). Schenn is a restricted free agent this offseason, so his cost isn’t about to skyrocket.
A big potential piece in such a trade (that was pointed out to me by our own Kevin Christmann) is Samuel Morin. The 6’7”, 203 lb defenseman was taken by the Flyers with the 11th pick in the 2013 NHL draft. The Canadiens actually tried to trade up for Morin, but were not able to work something out with the Flyers.
It seems likely that Montreal would demand Morin in any trade for Pacioretty. The young defenseman looked far better than anyone anticipated in training camp and could be a force once he makes it to the NHL. The Flyers might be hesitant to trade Morin considering how thin they are on defensive prospects.
One other factor here is Sean Couturier. His name always seems to pop up in trade talks, as he is arguably the Flyers’ most valuable commodity. The young center has stepped up this season and been matched up against the NHL’s best defensively, and is starting to produce offensively.
Montreal can certainly request Couturier in a trade, but I can’t imagine that the Flyers would part with the toothless terror, even for someone as valuable as Pacioretty.
Of course, this is all dependent on Montreal even dealing Pacioretty. There’s really no reason for them to do this. He’s a 25 year old power forward that has a 30-goal season under his belt and has averaged 0.82 and 0.89 points per game in each of the last two seasons. But, if Montreal does want to send Max packing, Paul Holmgren will be waiting with open arms.
WINTER CLASSIC ))))))))
This rumor is a few months old, but seems to be popping up like it’s fresh and new again. The Washington Capitals will be hosting the 2015 Winter Classic. The question is, who will the Ovi and the Caps be taking on? The rumor mill pointed to the Flyers back in September, and is pointing to them once again (yes, that’s a HockeyBuzz link, deal with it).
This would be the third time that the Flyers will be involved in the Winter Classic, after playing the Bruins in Fenway and taking on the Rangers at Citizens Bank Park. The Flyers are a huge name in the NHL, bring in a lot of money, and blah blah blah. You know the old song and dance. The Caps and Flyers also had a great little rivalry in the late 80s, that seems to be heating up again with the teams sharing the poorly named Metropolitan Division.
Speaking of those 80s teams, I’m sure a number of people agree with me when I say that there’s really only one choice for the jerseys in this one. Come on Flyers, I need some of that classic look back in my life.
Still no word on whether or not the Stadium Series and its mid-90s chrome logos will return to water down the Winter Classic as well.
Remember that the NHL is on a roster freeze until December 27th. They really just hate ruining people’s holiday parties. “Hey, you in the Santa hat, pack your bags and get to Edmonton!” Anyway, here’s all of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s terrible Mr. Freeze puns in commemoration of the roster freeze.
Let us know what you think about a potential Pacioretty trade, or any potential Flyers moves in the comments below.