There’s no better way to improve while also twisting the knife on your rivals than to sign their captain.
So! Big news!
The Habs are going to be bad this year!
Yes, I know you might already think they were hitting the bottom of the barrel already what with…well…
[gestures to the entire Montreal Canadiens. As a whole.]
But they’ve well and truly committed to the art of being terrible by apparently not even attempting to re-sign their captain; Max Pacioretty.
— Аrpon Basu (@ArponBasu) July 10, 2018
Thanks for all the blood, toil and work, I guess.
So, with that brought up…We now have to ask a bunch of interesting questions.
Namely, should the Bruins be the team to pick him up?
The Case For:
Well, for one thing, it’d be really, and I mean really, funny for the Montreal Canadiens to lose one of their remaining good players to their hated rivals. Especially one that has all the reason in the world to not go to them.
As for more reasons beyond the lizard brain hatred of the habs (which we all have, let’s admit that), Max Pacioretty is a good hockey player, in spite of all the shit he gets from his…own…market.
Montreal is a weird town.
Pacioretty is a productive, two-way point-getter who is usually top 3 or even top 2 of the Canadiens’ scoring, only taking an unprecedented dive this year as the Habs imploded in on themselves. From the eye-test, there was almost nobody Montreal relies on more for goalscoring and point-getting than Patches over the last few years. The man’s performance and reliability in that performance makes him a world class athlete.
From the perspective of analytics…more of the same. Patches billing as 200 foot winger doesn’t take many hits, at least when looked at from something like the SKATR comparison tool. Plenty of shots, not many coming back the other way. The only knocks you might find was that his shooting-% was down this year. All in all a really, really quality forward.
But with all this to gain, there has to be drawbacks, and regrettably…there are some reasons to stay away.
The Case Against:
Thankfully none of these are player concerns but there are some concerns outside of his shooting-% taking a tumble for whatever reason, perhaps because of the slump the team was going through that had his incredibly mobile contract up for grabs on the rumor mill, and also a knee injury that derailed the last few weeks of his season.
All the other problems are the ones the B’s have.
First of all, you’d have to trade for him. In-division. With your rival. Who is extremelydesperate to make the playoffs next year and will probably ask for the sun and the moon to get there. There is the chance that Claude Julien and Marc Bergevin see guys like Joakim Nordstrom and try and break the bank for him but…the likelyhood of that being the case is slim.
Second, you have to make space. The Bruins relatively quiet offseason has had it’s impact on the team’s salary cap, and right now they only have $2.9 Million in cap space. Theoretically you fix this in your theoretical trade for Patches, but you’re still gonna be cutting it really, really close.
Third, and probably the biggest…is that Patches is a LW. Who would be coming to a team whose LW depth is perfectly fine on it’s own right now. Figuring out where he’d place and how they’d use him would be one of the biggest self-inflicted challenges the B’s make, no matter how good he is.
Fourth…he’d be a rental. His deal makes him a UFA by 2019-20, and if he has a good year, you can either re-sign one of the kids that has made the Boston Bruins so much fun to watch over the last couple of years and just tell …or you can kiss at least a couple of them goodbye. Not just one, a couple.
Finally…Pacioretty’s biggest moment regarding the Boston Bruins is not a pleasant one to say the least. And the guy who did that to him…is still there. And that event is still regularly mocked by Bruins fans at games. I know, for I have seen it. At least one or two fans show up in a neck brace and a Habs #67 jersey during the regular season.
It would be a tough sell to a lot of people, is what I’m getting at.
What would he cost?:
Conventional wisdom says “The Center depth of the Montreal Canadiens is so shallow there are warning signs like there are at the public pool on their RosterResource page“, and to an extent that is still very much true.
The reality is, the Habs are going to try and mask it as much as they can, but they are desperate for centers and defensemen right now. Boston has plenty of prospects that they can choose from to possibly send the other way, but the Habs likely won’t bite unless a player along the lines of Danton Heinen or better ended up as part of the deal.
Oh yeah, and picks galore, because if they decide to actually go through with this they’re gonna need all the picks they can get.
Would he be worth it?:
…It’s really hard to say no to Pacioretty. Both from a “nyah nyah screw you habs” perspective, and from a roster perspective. A player who can be a 200 foot presence and a point getter who rarely, if ever, gives up on the puck and can be a nightmare from weird angles. One bad season where everything went wrong cannot erase the fact that he is a very good player that has been marooned on a crappy team for one more year. There’s a lot (and i mean a lot) of cap finagling and an almost assured moving of young talent that would come up but…
…You could pretty easily convince yourself it’s worth it.
I dunno, what do you think?