The New York Islanders were linked with Max Pacioretty for months, but the package that Vegas sent to Montreal shows that Lou was not interested in trading away young talent for aging talent.
Thomas Tatar, a second-rounder and the Golden Knights’ 2017 first-round pick for a proven 30-goal scorer seems like a very reasonable deal and one that the New York Islanders likely could have matched.
That they didn’t try and match it makes me think that either Lou Lamoriello didn’t like Max Pacioretty as a fit or that he didn’t want to give up young talent for aging talent.
Since there were rumors that the Isles were considering either of their 2018 first-round picks for Pacioretty, logic would lead to the idea that Lamoriello has plans for the young talent.
Off-season moves would contradict that theory since players like Komarov, Filppula and Kovar seem to be blocking young prospects from moving up, but
. Or he’s working on another plan.
He’s Got Another Plan
Or the trade deadline. Aging or overpriced talent does tend to fetch some good young talent during the deadline frenzy (see: Red Wings haul for the very same Tomas Tatar).
Comparing the package that the Canadiens received with what the Isles could have offered, this is a fair, comparable offer.
If there was a need to sweeten the deal since Brock isn’t on Tatar’s level or because Suzuki’s ceiling is higher than Ho-Sang’s, the Isles could have easily added a fourth rounder, Dal Colle or whatever reasonable asset would have swayed the Habs.
Over the past five seasons, Tatar has averaged 23.8 goals and 44 points. Brock Nelson compares well at 19.8 goals and 37.6 points over the same time.
Nelson is also a year younger and has a lower cap hit at $4.25 million compared to Tatar’s $4.8 million and for only one year more, compared to the three additional expensive years that Tatar carries.
These are easy assets to move, and comparable to Vegas’ offer. To me, this says that Lou Lamoriello has been telling us the truth all along. He wants to see what he has before he does anything with the roster.
And it tells me that young talent is not going anywhere. Sending Anothny Beauvillier, Kieffer Bellows and a high pick to Columbus for Artemi Panarin would quickly do the trick, but that rumor has not even been heard, thankfully.
We all held our breath after the string of strange moves Lou made after losing John Tavares, just hoping to avoid another Alexei Yashin-like deal in order to make a splash and stamp his name on the roster. Not ponying up for Pacioretty, for me, extinguishes any doubt I had for the Hall of Famer.
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Build from the minors and sign the players that suit your strategy. Lou knows it, and I think we all know he knows it now.