Speaking at the Canadiens’ annual pre-training camp golf tournament, team owner Geoff Molson said all parties agreed a trade was the best scenario.
The Canadiens dealt Pacioretty to the Vegas Golden Knights for forwards Tomas Tatar and Nick Suzuki and a second-round pick in 2019.
“It’s been ongoing discussions,” Molson said of Pacioretty.
“When the request was made to look at making a trade, we started to actively go after that and the player and the organization agreed that it was probably in the best interest of Max and the organization to start to look for a trade.
“It’s been going on several months now that we’ve been trying to make this happen and here we are today, the morning after. From our perspective, we’re just going to focus on telling the truth, and that’s that a request was made.”
General manager Marc Bergevin said a contract extension was not on the table for the 29-year-old Pacioretty, who has one year left on his deal.
Molson was asked if the move signifies the Canadiens are now rebuilding.
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“But he’s also identified the players that he wants to keep in the organization and build around them. Slight re-tool, rebuild, whatever we want to call it. There’s no question we’re getting younger, we’re bringing in more talent and we’re also maintaining the core group of players that we believe can take us farther.”
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