Montreal Canadiens’ captain and former leading scorer Max Pacioretty is reportedly being ‘actively shopped’ by GM Marc Bergevin. If this is true I’d ask one simple question…what is the return for a 29 year old who likely has minimal top tier seasons ahead of him. A 5 time 30 goal scorer, Pacioretty, like the rest of the Canadiens, has found scoring difficult this year. He has 8 goals and is on pace for 42 point season to follow up 4 straight 60 point seasons.
Truth be told, he is the only asset Montreal has to trade that has any real attractive value. Any team would be crazy to take on Price’s monster contract at this point and the oft-mentioned Galchenyuk hasn’t been given enough ice time to truly see his potential. If Bergevin is looking for goal scoring, odds are slim trading Pacioretty would yield that unless he were to package some draft picks which surely would be the beginning of the end of his tenure in Montreal.
Are the LA Kings For Real?
This year the LA Kings were set for a minor rebuild after underachieving in previous seasons. 4 years now removed from their last Stanley Cup title, they made a change at coach promoting John Stevens and were expected to take a step back. Apparently no one told this to Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown, or Jonathan Quick who all have enjoyed a resurgence. Kopitar is 10th in NHL scoring while Brown is 4 points away from his point total from last season. Quick has also rebounded after a major injury last season and is top 5 in all major goaltending categories. This team also has some youth in the forms of Adrian Kempe who has 12 goals as a rookie. Right now they are in the shadow of the red hot Golden Knights, but are just 3 points back. This team is built like the ones in 2012 and 2014 who raised Lord Stanley.
Vegas is RED HOT
The Vegas Golden Knights are the hot topic all around the NHL and for good reason. Vegas’ 3-0 win over a good Nashville team runs their point streak to an astounding 13 games (12-0-1). It also was their 8th win overall. They are doing this as seemingly a team of ‘misfit toys’ with Panthers outcast Jonathan Marchessault leading the way with 37 points and former Blue Jacket William Karlsson the leading goal scorer with 20 goals. Then there is the goaltender cast away by the Penguins, Marc Andre Fleury (I bet Pittsburgh wishes they had kept him now) who has his second shutout in 10 games to go along with an amazing 1.77 GAA and .943 save percentage. Time will tell, but it looks like these Knights are here to stay atop the Western Conference.