Carolina Hurricanes Makes Big Splash Acquiring Max Pacioretty from Knights

Max Pacioretty (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Max Pacioretty (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

The NHL off-season is in full effect as teams are finalizing free agent signings and making trades to try and help bolster their roster for this upcoming season. One team that made some very aggressive moves early on when Wednesday afternoon was the Carolina Hurricanes.

After trading away defenseman Tony DeAngelo and his free agent rights to the Philadelphia Flyers for draft picks earlier in the week, the Canes went out and acquired San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns in a deal that included goalie prospect Eetu Makiniemi, Steven Lorentz, and a conditional 2023 3rd round draft pick. But, the Hurricanes were not done after that.

The Hurricanes continued a very busy first day of free agency late Wednesday night when they announced the acquisition of former NHL All-Star Max Pacioretty from the Vegas Golden Knights.

The deal also included defenseman Dylan Coghlan going from Vegas to Carolina in a salary cap clearing move for the Golden Knights who needed to clear money to become cap compliant before the season started.

The Hurricanes acquired yet another former All-Star Wednesday night.

Pacioretty, who was acquired by Vegas in 2019 from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for a package of players and picks that included Nick Suzuki and Tomas Tatar, has been one of the more lethal goal scorers in the NHL during his career when healthy.

He has eclipsed the 30-goal mark five different times in his career and was nearly a point-per-game player for the Golden Knights each of his last three seasons there.

Pacioretty is scheduled to make $7 million this year but will be a free agent at the end of the season. This is a very low-risk, high-reward move for Carolina, who essentially got the forward for nothing due to the fact that Vegas needed to move money around before the season starts.

It is safe to assume that Pacioretty will slide in next to Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Teuvo Teravainen on the Canes’ second line, but he could see some time alongside Andrei Svechnikov and Sebastian Aho on the team’s top line as well.

Carolina was linked to several sniping goal scorers throughout the off-season, including St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko. Ultimately, they were able to steal Pacioretty away from the Golden Knights.

As for the Vegas Golden Knights, many teams anticipated a major trade coming from the organization due to their significant salary cap restraints, but not many expected it to be Pacioretty on the move.

This is not the first time that Vegas has had to settle for moving an important piece of their roster to fit within the salary cap as the team traded Vezina winning goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury to the Chicago Blackhawks last off-season for a prospect to be named later due to cap restraints.

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It will be a very critical off-season for the Golden Knights as they try to navigate their way through significant changes and salary cap hoops to get this team back to the playoffs after missing the postseason a year ago. Losing Pacioretty for next to nothing definitely does not put them closer to doing that.