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New York Islanders Should Re-Explore a Max Pacioretty Trade

By David Lazar
MONTREAL, QC - FEBRUARY 10: Max Pacioretty #67 of the Montreal Canadiens skates the puck in overtime against the Nashville Predators during the NHL game at the Bell Centre on February 10, 2018 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The Nashville Predators defeated the Montreal Canadiens 3-2 in a shootout. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
MONTREAL, QC - FEBRUARY 10: Max Pacioretty #67 of the Montreal Canadiens skates the puck in overtime against the Nashville Predators during the NHL game at the Bell Centre on February 10, 2018 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The Nashville Predators defeated the Montreal Canadiens 3-2 in a shootout. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /
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Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty is on the trade block, and the New York Islanders need to do everything they can to acquire him.

During the NHL Draft, the New York Islanders reportedly backed out of a deal that would have sent a first-round pick to the Canadiens for Max Pacioretty. At the time, this was understandable: Noah Dobson and Oliver Wahlstrom had fallen in the Islanders lap and scoring was not an area of need.

Oh how times have changed. After the departure of John Tavares, the Islanders have 84 points they need to replace. Lou Lamoriello has been trying to address his team’s weaknesses by adding physicality to the roster, but when an opportunity to acquire an elite talent arises, you have to jump on it.

According to Marc Antoine Godin, the Canadiens have informed their captain that they will not be re-signing him and will explore a trade. Given how uneasy that relationship has gotten, it appears as if Montreal will look to trade him as soon as possible.

Max Pacioretty’s one-year, $4.5 million contract is widely regarded as one of the best bargains in the NHL, so he will look to get paid after his deal runs out next offseason. The team that trades for him will need to express interest in a long-term deal, and the New York Islanders are the perfect match.

A Possible Trade Proposal

The Islanders were willing to part ways with a first-round pick at the NHL Draft, but times have changed.

Pacioretty’s feud with the Canadiens is now public, and Pacioretty is having agent issues (he fired his old agent, Pat Brisson, and is now represented by Allan Walsh).

Coming off the worst full season of his career, Pacioretty could be gotten for cheap. Lou Lamoriello needs to pounce.

Devon Toews is a restricted free agent who has not signed a contract. He is a young prospect that will immediately be a top-option in the Canadiens farm system. Scott Mayfield is a physical, bottom-pairing defenseman with term that will slot into the NHL lineup.

The New York Islanders explanation for this trade is obvious: Pacioretty would slot into the top-six and make fans forget about that player who used to be on the team and happened to wear 91.

Last season was an outlier. Pacioretty’s 8 percent shooting percentage was the worst of his career and this led to a 17-goal season. If he scored on his career-average 11 percent of shots, he would have scored 24 goals.

Pacioretty also was a victim of the team around him. His 2.3 offensive point shares were four points off his career average, which is indicative of someone playing with poor line-mates on a bad offensive team.

Next: The Islanders Have Too Many Fourth-Liners

Max Pacioretty is an all-star in this league who needs a fresh start. Lou Lamoriello needs to pounce while his value is the lowest it will be and make a move that could bring the New York Islanders back to the Playoffs.

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