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September 10, 2018

A Rare Win-Win In Vegas?

As NHL teams ready for training camp, fans were treated to a big trade on Monday. Montreal traded captain Max Pacioretty to Vegas for Tomas Tatar, Nick Suzuki and a 2nd round draft pick.

It could be a case of both teams winning this trade.

Many Montreal fans like to rip GM Marc Bergevin, but he did pretty well in this deal. He had to - he's likely out of a job if Montreal misses the playoffs again this year.

Bergevin traded a pending UFA for a top pick in Nick Suzuki, a 2nd round pick and Tomas Tatar - a serviceable replacement for Pacioretty. He comes with term, too, and is cheaper than Pacioretty. There have been far less returns for pending UFAs, so Montreal did okay in moving a player they clearly wanted to move.

I like that Bergevin kept the bigger picture in mind and kept the future as the focus. Chances are Bergevin will be gone before Suzuki becomes the difference maker he needs him to be.

Vegas seemingly couldn't make a bad move in their inaugural season, but fact is they made probably the worst deadline trade last year in giving up all those to draft picks to get Tomas Tatar. Tatar was supposed to be their big add for the playoffs, but he ended up as a healthy scratch far too often. George McPhee righted that wrong in moving Tatar for Pacioretty, though it cost them more futures in Suzuki and the draft pick. Kudos to McPhee for having acquired all the draft picks in the first place to be able to afford to make it happen.

Of course, Pacioretty is no longer a pending UFA after signing a four year, $28 million extension already with the Knights. Vegas has lots of salary cap space, but that's still a very big ticket for an aging player coming off of a bad year.

"Patches" should have a rebound year, though. He could nicely fill James Neal's spot. He has a good history with coach Gerard Gallant. Re-energized by the pace the Knights play the game at, he should fit in nicely for 25 goals, maybe more.

It looks like this deal could be a win-win for both teams. Only time will tell.

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