Max Pacioretty is a Vegas Golden Knight. The former Montreal Canadien’s captain arrived in Vegas in exchange for Tomas Tatar, prospect Nick Suzuki, and a 2019 second-round pick. It was a major shake-up for both teams. It also caught the attention of fans of the Ottawa Senators.
Past chatter linked Vegas as a landing spot for Senator’s captain, Erik Karlsson. The trade was close last season, but the deal collapsed in the dying minutes leading up to the trade deadline. It was so close that Bobby Ryan, who was also involved in these rumors, told Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun that “we [Karlsson and Ryan] thought we were gone”.
Although it was Pacioretty, and not Karlsson, moving to Vegas from the Atlantic Division, this trade could impact the Senator’s future.
The Vegas Advantage
At the very least, don’t count Vegas out of the Karlsson sweepstakes just because they have acquired and re-signed Pacioretty.
Vegas still has more than $9.4 million in salary cap space, according to CapFriendly. Cap space is an important asset in today’s NHL, especially when it comes to trade leverage and flexibility. Vegas has plenty of space left, possibly enough to take on a player of Karlsson’s caliber. They would have even more cap space available if they could manage to trade away a roster player in a deal. Alex Tuch, a former first-round pick of the Minnesota Wild, is a restricted free agent for Vegas at the end of the year and may be a player of interest during Ottawa’s rebuild.
In addition to salary space, the Golden Knights have other assets that the Senators would covet in a Karlsson trade. These include early-round draft picks and a deep pool of prospects. One prospect of interest to Ottawa is Cody Glass.
Vegas clearly wishes to repeat their magic of last season, and this is another reason why Karlsson could be Nevada-bound sometime this year.
After making the Stanley Cup finals in their inaugural season, the Golden Knights have made some serious moves this off-season. On July 1, they signed unrestricted free agents Paul Stastny, Nick Holden, and Daniel Carr. Now, they have acquired and secured a prominent goal scorer in Pacioretty. These transactions send a clear message across the NHL that Vegas is ready to repeat their success of 2017-18.
Latest From FPC on SportsCastr
However, the Golden Knights weakest area remains on the blueline. Currently, their best defenseman is Colin Miller, who collected 41 points in 82 games last year. Compare this to Karlsson, who scored 62 points in 71 games for Ottawa. Karlsson, as an offensive catalyst on the back end, could be enough to power Vegas to the Stanley Cup.
Race for Hughes
Perhaps the biggest impact of the Pacioretty trade will be its role in deciding who gets to draft Jack Hughes at the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMbPoOcQ3yQ.
Hughes, 17, is already regarded as the top overall prospect. He has been identified as a franchise centreman, who has drawn comparison to Patrick Kane.
The Senators are without their first-round selection this year. They gave it to the Colorado Avalanche last season in the Matt Duchene deal. Poised for a rough season ahead with a major rebuild on the horizon, the Senators won’t want the Avalanche to select Hughes with their former first-round pick.
In this regard, the Pacioretty trade may actually help Ottawa achieve this goal. Montreal’s lineup is immediately less competitive without Pacioretty. It’s further weakened with Shea Weber sidelined until the mid-season. If the Canadiens finish lower than the Senators this year in regular-season play, the value of the Senators former first-round pick will decrease. As the value decreases, so do the odds of the Avalanche using it to select Hughes number one overall.
Billy Morrison covers the Ottawa Senators and the NHL’s Atlantic Division for Full Press Coverage. Follow Bill on Twitter @BillyMorrison01.
Latest Ottawa Senators News
- Reminiscing On Colts’ Preseason Predictions
- Chiefs-Raiders Preview: Secure Home Field
- Chiefs Opinion: Eric Berry Can Save Chiefs Defense
- Chiefs-Chargers Recap: Chargers Comeback, Stun Chiefs
- NFL Draft: Players to Watch in Saturday’s Bowl Games
- Chiefs-Ravens Recap: Resilient Rally In OT
- Chiefs-Ravens Preview: Something’s Got To Give
- FPC Buccaneers Round Table: Can Dirk Koetter Save His Job?
- Chiefs Sign Kelvin Benjamin
- Jacksonville Jaguars: Seven-Round 2019 Mock Draft
- Matchup Breakdown: Los Angeles Rams vs Detroit Lions
- Chiefs-Raiders Preview: Get Back On Track
- Chiefs-Rams Recap: Monday Night Madness
- Chiefs-Rams Preview: Game of the Year?
- Chiefs-Cardinals Preview: Take Care of the Birds
- Chiefs-Browns Recap: Cleveland Boys Takedown Browns
- Chiefs-Browns Preview: Take Care of Business
- Chiefs-Broncos Preview: Another Division Rivalry Sweep?
- Chiefs Week 7: Three Up, Two Down
- Three Up, Three Down- Chiefs-Patriots
- Chiefs-49ers Preview: The Home Opener Has Arrived
- Chiefs-Chargers Preview: Turning Out the Bolts
- Chiefs Defensive Backs: Projected 53 Man Roster
- Three Things to Watch For: Chiefs vs Packers
- Three Things to Watch For: Chiefs vs Bears
- Three Things to Watch For: Chiefs vs Falcons
- Chiefs Offensive Line: Projected 53 Man Roster
- Three Things to Watch For: Chiefs vs Texans
- Chiefs Tight Ends: Projected 53 Man Roster
- Chiefs Wide Receivers: Projected 53 Man Roster
- Chiefs Running Backs: Projected 53 Man Roster
- Chiefs 2018 Breakout Candidates: Defense
- Chiefs 2018 Breakout Candidates: Offense
- 2018 Chiefs Draft Review: KC Addresses the Defense and Needs
- Our Newest Titan: Rashaan Evans
- 2018 Kansas City Chiefs Schedule
- Chiefs Draft Prospect: Parry Nickerson
- Chiefs Draft Prospect: Dorance Armstrong Jr.
- Chiefs Complete More Signings
- Chiefs Officially Release Tamba Hali and Ron Parker
- Chiefs Ink Sammy Watkins and Anthony Hitchens
- NFL Free Agent Tracker (Live Updates)
- Chiefs Free Agent Targets: Backup Quarterback
- NFL Week 15 Power Rankings
- Coming Home: Drew Lock Returns To Kansas City
- Red Zone Report Week 14
- Raiders Promise Changes, Deliver Little
- 2020 Raiders Draft Prospect: WR/RB Lynn Bowden