Pacioretty: When, Where And How Much?

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With the Montreal Canadiens’ 2017-2018 season taking a turn for the worse, at risk of missing the playoffs, many fans and media members have reached the decision making point. In fact, there are three options: start a full rebuilt, a reload or load up at the deadline, a very unlikely scenario. With 40 points in 42 games, the Canadiens have to leapfrog six teams in hope to make the playoffs, or three teams to make it to the bottom three in the league for a better shot at the number one overall draft pick.

While showing his disappointment and acknowledging that the odds were stacked against his team, General Manager Marc Bergevin said, during his recent press conference, that he still believes that this group can turn things around this season. For that to happen, everyone knows that some changes need to happen and that’s where the rumour-mill is going wild around the NHL.

The most often mentioned name out there for the Habs? Captain Max Pacioretty who, with his 10 goals in 42 games this season, is far from his steady 30-39 goals production in the past few years. Many will agree, Bergevin included, that his failure in finding an offensive centre worth that title is what’s holding Pacioretty back and no one knows better than the GM that if traded to a team with such asset, the sniper would likely heat up wherever he’s traded. And that’s why Bergevin must be very careful. The “step back” from this season weights a lot and if he doesn’t get full value for his best asset, he might as well submit his resignation.

Pacioretty’s worth

But how much can the Canadiens realistically expect for their captain if they were to trade him? Everybody and anybody can take a stab in the dark in hope to find Pacioretty’s trade value but let’s take a more… logical approach. Let’s find parallels, similar situations that will at least give us a gauge of what such player can fetch.

Some have brought up the Phil Kessel trade when acquired by the Leafs from the Bruins… but that was over eight years ago. A better barometer might just be the most recent trade of a saga which finally came to an end: Matt Duchene. The Avalanche’s centre was rumoured to be on the trade market for a long time and team GM Joe Sakic stuck to his guns… and got full value for him. Here’s how the trade broke down:

To Ottawa
(C) Matt Duchene

To Nashville
(C) Kyle Turris

To Colorado
OTT’s 1st round pick
OTT’s 3rd round pick
NSH’s 2nd round pick
(C) Shane Bowers
(G) Andrew Hammond
(D) Samuel Girard
(LW) Vladislav Kamenev

In other words, the Avalanche received a first, second and third round pick, a prospect recently selected in the first round (Bowers), two prospect recently selected in the second round (Girard and Kamenev) and, watch your food, the Hamburglar. They received all of that for a guy who came out of 41 points season with a not-so-flattering minus – 34 rating. It sure makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

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In fact, just looking at the last three years, we can compare Pacioretty to Duchene very favourably. The Habs’ captain had more goals (obviously), but also more assists and more points than his counterpart. While playing similar minutes on the powerplay, Pacioretty has been more productive and to top it up, the winger can be used in shorthanded situations.

Duchene playing centre is a plus, definitely, but Pacioretty is one of the NHL’s top goals’ scorers over the past few years, a legitimate, fast left winger who has never had a true number one centre feeding him the puck. Duchene has one year left to a contract with a $6 million cap hit, while Pacioretty also has one year left, but with a $4.5 million cap hit.

So put yourself in Bergevin’s shoes for a minute. What is your asking price for Pacioretty? We know that the Canadiens have two glaring needs: a top line offensive centre and a mobile left-handed defenseman to eat up minutes alongside Shea Weber.

Taking into consideration that Pacioretty does not have a no-trade or no-movement clause in his contract, meaning that he can be traded to the most offering team, adding the fact that American teams would love to have one of their own, a member of Team USA, rest assured that Pacioretty’s value is quite high and that, in spite of his sub-par season thus far.

Trade deadline

Some people are arguing that Pacioretty could be moved prior to the February 26th trade deadline but allow me to doubt that. Not that it couldn’t happen, but the likeliness is minimal, unless a team offers Bergevin the moon, which teams tend to avoid doing in a trade.

“If [a trade] happens, it happens. I’m very proud of the past success I’ve had in Montreal.” ~ Max Pacioretty

If you’re Bergevin, why not wait until the NHL Draft before pulling the trigger? For one thing, the picks’ position (if any) would already be assigned, avoiding the conditional clauses in a trade. But also, there are those teams who would love to add Pacioretty but find themselves in a playoffs’ spot battle, so they can’t afford to give up enough, as much as they might be able to during the off-season… particularly for those teams under the gun after an early exit or those who will go through a GM change.

If I were a betting man, I would say that when comes March, the Canadiens will have the same captain in place but as the Draft approach, I would definitely keep my ear to the ground to listen for that freight train coming. Go Habs Go!

 

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Rumour Blogging for Dummies

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Do you ever feel like everyone around you has NHL scoops? Get the feeling that you’re the only one without sources about rumours? Feeling unpopular and bullied? Do you like role play? Feel the need to be popular and appreciated? It’s easy. Become a Rumour Blogger!

Rumour blogging is becoming more and more popular, as shown by the number of them coming out of the woodworks in the past couple of years. Move over Eklund, you have company, as more regular Joe’s want to take advantage of people’s naïve nature to make themselves look important!

But how does someone become a Rumour Blogger? I’ve created an easy to follow, step by step guide to help you do just that. Try it, it’s really simple!

 

  • Create a username. Don’t use your real name and ensure no one finds out, at all cost;

 

  • Get a Twitter account. A web site to post on is preferable, especially if you can edit at a later date, but optional;
  • Find at least one big, gullible and desperate fan base and focus on them mostly, especially when you’re in dire need of attention;

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  • Proper spelling is preferred, but not crucial as people are so desperate for juicy rumours, that they will overlook the fact that GM’s, scouts or other personnel would want their message written by an illiterate;
  • Don’t give too much information. The more info you give, the higher the risk of getting caught in a lie;
  • Be vague, yet leave some meat on the bone;
  • Tell your followers not to believe everything that’s out there, but insist that they should trust YOU as you’re not like others;
  • Once in a while, make something up to be the first to come out with that rumour, so that people don’t think you’re stealing from others. You’ll be surprised to see how many others will say they’ve heard the same thing;
  • Come up with a rumour quoting one source, and then contradict that rumour a few days later saying you got information from another source. You can’t lose that way;
  • Often mention that you can’t divulge your source not to burn them or compromise their job;
  • Agree with some other rumours, other times say that you haven’t heard that;
  • Pretend to have appointments with your sources, meeting, phone calls. This will bring credibility to the untrained eye;
  • Often use the line that most rumours don’t result in trades. People can defeat that no matter how hard they try;
  • Make sure to use the canned answers: “Cap space can be cleared” and “don’t shoot the messenger”. It’s an easy cope out of difficult situations when confronted;
  • If they catch you in a lie, ask them why they’re following you if they don’t want to believe;
  • Tweet something immediately after a traditional media or another insider. If someone challenges you, pretend you didn’t see it or that you have the same info, so it must be true;
  • Re-tweet everyone who agrees with you. While it may not add to your credibility, showing the world that some are gullible to believe you will make you feel better;
  • Make sure to piggy back what others are reporting, especially if it’s more than one. You wouldn’t want to be left out if it were to materialize;
  • Always claim to have a source better than your other ones. This will bring more attention to yourself when you feel the time is right, like at the trade deadline or at the amateur draft;
  • When a trade actually happens, pretend to have predicted it. People are lazy and won’t go check, some will concur;
  • And remember that the more crap you throw on the wall, some will eventually stick!

 

While I’ve created this guide in good humour, don’t think for one second that it isn’t true. GM’s and team officials don’t reveal information to that many people. Very few are legitimate and all claim to be the ones to be trusted.

In conclusion, I highly suggest you read The story of Dallas Dave, a Rumour Blogger who, after reaching some success, decided to come clean. Great story!