Dreger: ‘I don’t think Bergevin had a choice’

The long-anticipated Max Pacioretty trade is finally in the books.

Marc Bergevin pulled the trigger on a deal with the Golden Knights late Sunday evening, sending Pacioretty to Vegas in return for Nick Suzuki, Tomas Tatar, and a second-round pick in 2019 that originally belonged to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Pierre LeBrun noted Monday morning that there was also salary retention involved in the swap.

“Fascinating, fascinating deal,” noted Darren Dreger during his first Monday morning appearance of the season on Toronto’s TSN 1050. “I’ll give George McPhee and Kelly McCrimmon a ton of credit here from the Vegas Golden Knights. And look, it was decent work by Marc Bergevin as well.

“But when you look at the Vegas Golden Knights analytically or just from a pure hockey perspective, you’ve got to be impressed. I mean, as good as this team was last year - and they had fate on their side, and a lot of things positively happened - but at the end of the year, they’re left with some pretty significant holes. David Perron moves on. James Neal now with the Calgary Flames.

“Well, look at that lineup as of 2am last night. Now you’ve got Max Pacioretty, and they signed Paul Stastny as an unrestricted free agent who left Winnipeg. I would say that’s fine work by George McPhee, replacing Neal and Perron with Stastny and Pacioretty. And now you’ve got Alex Tuch, who was a No. 2 center in Vegas, probably slides into that 3 spot. So Vegas, not so quietly has done some pretty handy work here.

“And, I don’t think Bergevin had a choice. I think that even though Max Pacioretty was doing his very best to be an excellent soldier, a continued leader in the community and for the Montreal Canadiens, this story - because it was so public - had to go away. And Bergevin made that happen and got good return as well.”

There was further discussion on the trade in the 1050 segment, if you’re so inclined.

Pacioretty is in the final season of his contract and will be eligible to become an unrestricted free agent in July.


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