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Sports Canadiens have backed themselves into a corner with Pacioretty situation

02:06  13 july  2018
02:06  13 july  2018 Source:   thescore.com

Would Duclair fit into the Canadiens’ roster?

  Would Duclair fit into the Canadiens’ roster? Max Domi’s former teammate didn’t receive a qualifying offer from the Blackhawks, and is now free to join the fourth team of his NHL career. When the Montreal Canadiens made the trade to bring Max Domi into the organization, one of the first thoughts many had was of his play at the 2015 World Junior Hockey Championship and the incredible chemistry he showed with Anthony Duclair on Team Canada’s top line. Both players ranked among the top 10 scorers in the tournament and kept the goaltenders on their toes with a constant barrage of shots. Knowing Domi would be ready to make the jump to the NHL 20 months later, his Arizona Coyotes made the decision to acquire Duclair at the 2015 trade deadline, adding him to their roster in the transaction that sent Keith Yandle to the New York Rangers. The Coyotes were rewarded for that move when the next season began, as both players started their year on a tear. Domi had two-point nights in three of his first four NHL games and had 11 points by the end of October. Duclair had his first NHL hat trick by the third game of the season. When all was said and done, Domi had put together an incredible rookie-season total of 52 points, while Duclair had hit the back of the net 20 times and finished with 44 points. Both players received votes for the Calder Trophy for their efforts. The following season was one to forget for Duclair.

The Montreal Canadiens are trapped in a no-win situation . After a tumultuous 2017-18 season that yielded just 71 points - their lowest total in a full The Canadiens have a few glaring needs on their roster, primarily down the middle of the ice and on the blue line, but does Pacioretty currently fetch a

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The Montreal Canadiens are trapped in a no-win situation.

After tumultuous 2017-18 season that yielded just 71 points - their lowest total in a full schedule since the league expanded beyond six teams in 1967 - things don't appear to be getting easier for the Habs. Making things even more uncertain for the team are recent reports that indicate general manager Marc Bergevin wants to trade captain Max Pacioretty as soon as possible, and there won't be any contract negotiations between the two sides.

Pacioretty's name swirling about the trade market is hardly news. He was frequently discussed as an expendable piece at February's deadline, after which he wholeheartedly denied any perceived desire to leave the team. The 29-year-old was also in the mix at the draft, but despite some close calls, nothing ever materialized.

Report: Bergevin intends to trade Pacioretty, won't negotiate contract

  Report: Bergevin intends to trade Pacioretty, won't negotiate contract Max Pacioretty's days with the Montreal Canadiens appear to be numbered. Habs general manager Marc Bergevin told his captain there will be no contract negotiation, and that his intention is to trade him as soon as possible, an NHL source told Marc Antoine Godin of The Athletic.

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While it wasn't a direct swap, the two will seemingly forever be linked, since Duchene came to Ottawa as an expected upgrade over Turris. "I do not look at it that way, at all," said Duchene. "He's a great player, but I think we're different players, and different situations for sure.

So now, with one miserable season in tow, and another seemingly on the horizon, the Canadiens have the remainder of the offseason to move on from Pacioretty, and are forced to deal him for less than he's worth.

Without coming to terms on a contract extension, Montreal's lost significant leverage with any suitor vying for Pacioretty's services. A sign-and-trade is now off the table, and much like the Erik Karlsson situation in Ottawa, buying teams won't be willing to sacrifice significant pieces for a single-season's worth of Pacioretty in their top six without the guarantee that he'll stick around for the long run. In addition to Pacioretty's diminished value, the idea of Bergevin acting on a deal out of desperation is cause for concern considering how the club has made out in the aftermath of his recent major trades.

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  Canadiens invite Despres to training camp on pro tryout offer The Montreal Canadiens have invited veteran defenseman Simon Despres to training camp on a professional tryout, the team announced Thursday. The 26-year-old spent last season with the KHL's Bratislava Slovan, netting four goals and seven assists in 44 games. He last appeared in the NHL in 2016-17 with the Anaheim Ducks but was limited to just one game due to concussion symptoms. The Ducks bought out the final three years of Despres' contract inThe 26-year-old spent last season with the KHL's Bratislava Slovan, netting four goals and seven assists in 44 games. He last appeared in the NHL in 2016-17 with the Anaheim Ducks but was limited to just one game due to concussion symptoms.

Canadiens have backed themselves into a corner with Pacioretty situation .

Canadiens have backed themselves into a corner with Pacioretty situation .

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At this juncture, it's hard to imagine the circumstances surrounding a Pacioretty trade being much worse. Supplementing the contract extension scenario, Pacioretty is coming off an uncharacteristically poor season, further damaging Montreal's chances at getting a sufficient haul for its best forward.

Pacioretty only appeared in 64 games in 2017-18, accumulating just 37 points - two shy of what he managed in the lockout-shortened 2013 campaign. Before last season's dreary showing, Pacioretty was among the most productive goal scorers across the NHL. In fact, from 2011-12 to last season, the Habs' captain ranks ninth in the entire league with 206 goals in 503 games, all while carrying a remarkably team-friendly $4.5-million cap hit.

Surely his productive past will be Montreal's main selling point, but there doesn't appear to be a way Bergevin and Co. escape this saga without collecting their fair share of criticism - a recurring theme of late in La Belle Province.

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HEADLINES. Canadiens have backed themselves into a corner with Pacioretty situation . Spoelstra downplays reported rift with Whiteside.

Canadiens have backed themselves into a corner with Pacioretty situation .

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Montreal's always under the microscope, but Bergevin's already taken heat for saying "the answer is in that dressing room," after a 2-6-1 start to last season, then followed up his sentiments months later in the club's year-end press conference, saying his team's attitude needs to be better. A failure to accurately assess what went wrong, on top of a handful of questionable personnel decisions over recent years, has Montreal's fan base ready for something positive, and Pacioretty's impending departure isn't that.

The Canadiens have a few glaring needs on their roster, primarily down the middle of the ice and on the blue line, but does Pacioretty currently fetch a roster player that can sufficiently step into either of those roles next season? With no term attached, does he even pull an A-level prospect or a first-round pick? If not, Bergevin will be forced to rummage through the bargain bin of future assets while giving up a player that's eclipsed 30 goals five times since 2012.

Pacioretty is certainly due for a raise next summer, as his career production speaks for itself. And even with a projected $12 million in cap space next season, the Canadiens - who ranked 29th in goals for - are depositing their captain's future into the hands of another team.

Potential avenues for a Pacioretty trade are limitless, and there's always a possibility Bergevin gets creative and finds a way to maximize Montreal's return. But the possibility of Pacioretty succeeding in greener pastures are much greater, and they'll only have themselves to blame if they have nothing to show for him down the line.

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