NY Islanders UFA Target: Max Pacioretty

Minnesota Wild v Carolina Hurricanes
Minnesota Wild v Carolina Hurricanes / Jaylynn Nash/GettyImages

This picture defines Max Pacioretty's time spent with the Carolina Hurricanes, after only playing five games due to a second Achilles injury that he suffered in a game against the Minnesota Wild. Despite this, Pacioretty would instantly be a top-six level player for the NY Islanders if healthy and would give New York a true finisher that fans have been clamoring for.

In those spare games that he gave Carolina, Patches got on the scoresheet three times. The former Montreal Canadien and Vegas Golden Knight is a well-known sniper, and even though his best days may be behind him goal-scoring-wise, he remains very efficient after hovering around a point per game for the last three seasons. He scored 30 or more goals in six of his 14 seasons and was on pace in two other seasons that were either interrupted by a shortened NHL season or an injury.

NY Islanders UFA Target: Max Pacioretty

The uncertainty is there for Patches, considering nobody has a clue when or if he will be cleared to play again soon. An Achilles tear is as tough of an injury to come back from twice now, let alone once, but that makes him a cheaper commodity in the Isles' favor. It's hard to see Pacioretty making much money at all on his next deal, and will likely end up signing a one-year contract worth around $2 million, or even less. Whether that's with Carolina or not is a mystery given GM Don Waddell's recent comments on the matter.

The Islanders could get the job done with a low AAV, low-term deal, but the obvious concern is his health. It took him almost a full year to recover from his first injury of such sustained in 2021-22, so it could be another mid-season return for Pacioretty. Not an ideal situation for either party to be in, but Pacioretty would be a nice addition to any team by the time he is fully recovered and ready to play again.