Golden Knights Extend Pacioretty

The Vegas Golden Knights have signed newly-acquired forward Max Pacioretty to a four-year contract worth $28 million, the team announced Monday. The Golden Knights acquired Pacioretty in the late stages of Sunday night (or early Monday morning for Montreal) and it didn’t take them long to negotiate a new deal for the veteran goal scorer.

Over the course of his 10-year NHL career, Pacioretty has scored an impressive 226 goals and 448 points in 626 games. One of the elite goal-scorers in the NHL despite a down season in 2017-18, Pacioretty has scored north of 30 goals in five consecutive full seasons, not including the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season when he would still score 15 goals and 39 points in 44 games.

Quick Work for the Golden Knights

While Pacioretty was unable to find common ground with the Montreal Canadiens – the team that drafted him in the first round in 2007, a team he was even the captain of for a few seasons, the Golden Knights had no issue negotiating a deal with him to get him locked up for the immediate future. This deal is as good a deal as it gets in the NHL as the Golden Knights are paying Pacioretty roughly market value, perhaps even a little less than he may have gotten on the open market, while also avoiding long-term ramifications that come along with a five-to-eight-year deal.

Pacioretty will play out the final year of his contract this season and his new deal will take him all the way through his age-34 season. For the Golden Knights, this timeline also intersects with what they believe their championship window should be given the fact that they shocked the world and competed for the Stanley Cup in their inaugural season.

The Golden Knights had an advantage that the Canadiens simply didn’t in that there is no state tax in Nevada, making a four-year deal look appealing to Pacioretty given the actual dollars he’d be earning in Vegas versus what he’d be earning had he stayed in Montreal. There’s also the fact that the Canadiens reportedly weren’t willing to negotiate with Pacioretty in the first place which might make the point moot altogether.

Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty
The Vegas Golden Knights have signed newly-acquired forward Max Pacioretty to a four-year contract extension (Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports)

The Golden Knights signing Pacioretty to an extension so soon after acquiring him given they’re very high on him as a player. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t have sent a prospect like Nick Suzuki to the Canadiens as a part of this package. Nonetheless, both the Canadiens and the Golden Knights should benefit from this deal given their current trajectories.

The Golden Knights are looking to compete right now and their future still has some bright pieces in the mix. The Canadiens, on the other hand, are a team looking to rebuild their team both in terms of personnel and culture. While Pacioretty may have been a fan-favorite, the writing was on the wall and a trade involving him went from a “what if” scenario to a “when” and “where” scenario. In the end, it was time to move on for both sides.