The Montreal Canadiens have traded forward Max Pacioretty to the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for forwards Tomas Tatar, Nick Suzuki and a second-round pick for the 2019 NHL Entry Draft.
The trade was announced Sunday.
The 29-year-old Pacioretty was named the captain of the Habs in September of 2015, but he has a year to go on his current six-year contract and was set to become an unrestricted free agent come July of 2019.
Pacioretty said Wednesday that he wasn’t going to enter any negotiations on a new contract during the upcoming regular season. In late August, he disclosed a lack of contract negotiations with Montreal and reports emerged that he’d asked for a trade a number of times during the 2017-2018 regular season.
Those reports were denied by Pacioretty’s agent, but that didn’t stop the story from engrossing the summer hockey media.
Of course, many stories get blown up over the off-season but very little was done to quash their substance. And now it appears that talks of trouble between Pacioretty and the Habs have delivered the goods, with the captain out and the team moving on as the new season looms in short order.
Pacioretty has scored at least 30 goals in a season five times in his NHL career, but last season was a misstep. He had just 17 goals and 20 points in 64 games, a step back from his 35-goal output a season prior. He also finished a dismal -16, a career-worst rating.
In Tatar, the Habs collect a 27-year-old forward who scored 20 goals last season with Vegas and the Detroit Red Wings. His best season to date was a 56-point campaign with Detroit in 2014-2015.
Suzuki was the 13th selection in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. Vegas signed him to a three-year entry level deal in July of 2017. He spent last season in the Ontario Hockey League.