Considering that the Habs appear to firmly be in rebuild mode, it would have been hard for the team to justify giving a long-term extension to Pacioretty, who will be 30 when his new deal kicks in. Over the last two seasons in the OHL, Suzuki 87 goals and 109 assists for 196 points in 129 games. He spent the last 10 seasons with the club and became a fan favorite due to his production and leadership qualities on and off the ice. While he undoubtedly still has several strong years left in him, if those correspond with down years for the Canadiens, they won't really benefit much from the contract. He has three years left on a contract that carries a $5.3 million cap hit. I'm sure he's probably excited about going to Las Vegas. The likely candidates are veterans Shea Weber and Brendan Gallagher, though the organization has not indicated when it will make that decision.
The Canadiens got Tomas Tatar, prospect Nick Suzuki and a second-round pick for Pacioretty, who topped 30 goals and 60 points in each of the previous four seasons prior to slumping to 17 goals and 37 points in 64 games a year ago.
Meanwhile, the Canadiens re-signed forward Michael McCarron to a one-year, two-way contract on Monday.
"It's better for him and for us", said Bergevin, who added he was very satisfied with the return in the deal. Suzuki is from London, Ont., and was selected in the first round, 13th overall, by Vegas at the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. The 27-year-old has scored 20+ goals in four straight seasons though, including a career-high 29 in 2014-15.
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After some productive seasons in Detroit, Tatar never seemed to fit in with the Golden Knights after being acquired in February.
Domi, who's coming off a down year himself, is expected to take on some of the burden. The core that general manager Marc Bergevin was touting a few years back has been eradicated as Pacioretty joins P.K. Subban, Alex Galchenyuk, Lars Eller, Andrei Markov, Alexei Emelin and defence prospect Mikhail Sergachev on the list of players who have been deemed expendable. "We're aware that past year he played a lot on the wing, but he played at centre too". What exactly happened to make this relationship so sour?
However, on Monday, Bergevin told reporters that Pacioretty asked for a trade last season - something the player and his agent have publicly denied, as recently as last week. "We have some good centres coming through the system, and with the departure of Max there's room on the wings too".
Tatar, a 5-foot-10, 185-pound native of Slovakia, is a proven National Hockey League player, but he is four inches shorter than Pacioretty and has never reached the 30-goal plateau, a mark Pacioretty hit five times.