In order to get cap compliant, the Vegas Golden Knights have traded six-time 30-goal scorer Max Pacioretty and 24-year-old defenseman Dylan Coghlan to the Carolina Hurricanes for future considerations. He marks the sixth player the Golden Knights have had to trade away in recent seasons for next to nothing, joining Evgenii Dadonov, Marc-Andre Fleury, Nate Schmidt, Paul Stastny and Cody Eakin.
The Golden Knights were put into their current cap crunch after trading for Jack Eichel’s massive $10 million average annual value (AAV) contract. Now they have to suffer the consequences and lose one of their most productive and dangerous players for literally nothing in return.
Hurricanes Upgrade Their Top-Six For Nothing
Hurricanes general manager (GM) Don Waddell was busy on Wednesday, not so much in free agency, but in the trade market. After making a huge deal with the San Jose Sharks for a Norris Trophy winner in Brent Burns, he went east to talk shop with the Golden Knights and came away with an impact winger in Pacioretty. Not bad for a day’s work.
With Pacioretty, the Hurricanes get a sniper that will be good for at least 25 goals and maybe even more if he plays with someone like Sebastian Aho. He will also boost the power play as he’s been pretty good in that department over the years. His contract runs through the 2022-23 season at $7 million AAV, after which he will be an unrestricted free agent.
Related: 2022 NHL Free Agent Signing Tracker
The 33-year-old was selected 22nd overall by the Montreal Canadiens in 2007 and has been a model of consistency for most of his career, hitting double digits in goals in all but two of his seasons in the NHL (and that was back when he was 20 and 21 years old). Over his 14-year career, he has accumulated 323 goals and 642 points in 850 games. He has also been a physical presence, throwing his 6-foot-2, 206-pound frame around to the tune of 1,072 hits.
Now a part of the Hurricanes’ Storm Surge, Pacioretty was first acquired by the Golden Knights for a package that included Nick Suzuki, Tomas Tatar and a 2019 second-round pick. Four years later, he’s worth only future considerations, by no fault of his own except for the size of his salary cap hit.
As for the other piece in this trade, the Hurricanes also received defenseman Dylan Coghlan, a 24-year-old out of Duncan, British Columbia. In 59 games last season, he had three goals and 13 points.
All in all, the Hurricanes ended up loading up on the first day of free agency, staying away from the open market (save for Ondrej Kase) and adding two veteran NHL stars in Pacioretty and Burns in two separate trades with teams desperate to shed salary. After losing Vincent Trocheck to the New York Rangers, you can’t help but think the Canes are in a good position to repeat their dominance after replacing him with a huge difference maker in Pacioretty.
Matthew Zator is a THW freelance writer, media editor, and scout who lives and breathes Vancouver Canucks hockey, the NHL Draft, and prospects in general. He loves talking about young players and their potential. Matthew is a must-read for Canucks fans and fans of the NHL Draft and its prospects. For interview requests or content information, you can follow Matthew through his social media accounts which are listed under his photo at the conclusion of articles like this one about Tyler Motte.