September 5, 2018 | 4:28pM ET
PACIORETTY’S SEASON REMAINS IN LIMBO
Max Pacioretty, left wing
Contract talks between the Montreal Canadiens and captain Max Pacioretty have been nonexistent all off-season, as it has been well documented by multiple media outlets, and not much has changed with training camp less than two weeks away.
On Wednesday, sources confirmed to TFP the Canadiens have still not yet engaged in contract negotiations with Pacioretty, who is in the final year of his contract.
As reported by Le Journal de Montreal’s Marc De Foy and Sporstnet’s Eric Engels, once the regular-season gets underway, Pacioretty will no longer be willing to negotiate an extension – providing the Habs don’t trade him by then.
Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin has had trade talks involving Pacioretty going back to last season, and talks escalated around the NHL Draft in late-June, but despite reports to the contrary, a deal was never in place with any team.
Multiple sources with knowledge of the situation have confirmed to TFP on numerous occasions that the Habs never had a trade agreed upon with any club for Pacioretty. Various reports have suggested a deal was ironed out with the Los Angeles Kings, while speculation ran wild at the draft that a deal was worked out with the San Jose Sharks, but those are, as one source this week proclaimed, “inaccurate.”
With camp set to open at the end of next week, Pacioretty’s future with the Canadiens will remain a focal point. Trade talks will certainly pick up, but it’s unclear what Bergevin and the Habs are specifically after.
It has been speculated that Montreal wants a young, NHL-ready player as part of a package that may also include a top prospect and a high draft pick, presumably a first-round selection. Whatever the price, to date, the Habs haven’t found a suitor.
In 64 games with the Canadiens last season, Pacioretty registered 17 goals and 20 assists for 37 points. Without a new contract, he will become an unrestricted free agent July 1, 2019.