Ramblings: Pacioretty in Vegas; Rankings by Position – September 11

Michael Clifford

2018-09-11

 

Training camps officially start this week which means the march to the start of the season is officially on. If you haven’t snagged your copy of the 2018-19 Dobber Hockey fantasy guide, what are you waiting for? Head to the Dobber Shop and grab yours now!

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In the wee hours of Monday morning, the Canadiens finally traded Max Pacioretty after months (years?) of speculation. That he would be traded was only a matter of if, not when, so the return was all that mattered. Pacioretty was shipped to Vegas for Tomas Tatar, a second-round pick, and prospect Nick Suzuki.

Dobber had a pretty accurate take on the trade’s fantasy impact and most of his thoughts mirror my own.

I don’t have too much to add on top of what Dobber wrote other than this: Pacioretty was due to rebound regardless. For the last several years, Pacioretty was a top-end scorer, and one of the most consistent ones at that; from 2011-17, Pacioretty and Alex Ovechkin were the only two players to score at least 30 goals in every 82-game season. The Habs’ captain had one bad season and now he’s gone.

This is just to get out in front of the Vegas Rejuvenated Pacioretty’s Career narrative. He was always going to rebound. My projection, which weights the most recent season heaviest and thus wouldn’t be kind to a person in Pacioretty’s position, was 25 goals and 57 points with the Habs. If he posts those totals (or better), it’s not because of rejuvenation in Vegas. It’s because he wasn’t going to repeat a bad year like 2017-18. At least not for a few years yet.

That isn’t to say this isn’t a beneficial move for him regardless. A quote from Marc Bergevin stated that the 29-year old requested to be traded last year, and that’s no surprise. (Agent Allen Walsh said a week ago that a trade was never requested, so believe what you want to believe.) It’s a surprise that more Habs players aren’t requesting trades considering Bergevin has handled that roster with the deft touch of someone coming off a seven-day bender handling a live grenade. That kind of situation is bad for any player. With the trade and subsequent extension (four years, $28-million), Pacioretty gets essentially a fresh start and a good situation in which to re-establish himself as one of the elite goal scorers in the league.

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This does give the Habs the potential to run Kotkaniemi-Suzuki-Poehling down the middle in the not-too-distant future, and that’s if Jonathan Drouin doesn’t work out as a centre. This team went from desperately needing h