As one of two huge trades by the Carolina Hurricanes last week, the team acquired forward Max Pacioretty and defenseman Dylan Coghlan from the Vegas Golden Knights, in exchange for future considerations.
If you’re interested in reading some thoughts on Carolina’s other major move, being the Brent Burns trade with the San Jose Sharks, I've posted the link to an analysis of the deal here:
With Pacioretty, the Hurricanes are getting a high-end scoring winger. Despite missing significant time with an injury, Pacioretty scored 19 goals and 37 points in 39 games this season. He has a single year left on his contract at a $7 million cap hit.
Coghlan, on the other hand, is still just 24 years old and has spent the last two years in the NHL with Vegas. This past season, the defenseman averaged a little over 14 minutes per game and managed 13 points in 59 games.
In the trade, the Hurricanes completely capitalized on the Golden Knights’ cap mismanagement, adding a legitimate top forward for nothing. Pacioretty has had some trouble staying healthy and is now 33 years old but considering he only has a single year remaining on his deal, there’s really not much risk for Carolina here.
As good as Carolina’s offense was, they often struggled to bury chances, even despite generating a lot of good opportunities. The number of games in which they completely outplayed their opponent only to come up short was an issue. Pacioretty should help to change that, as a high-end scorer who averaged 36 goals per 82 games over his four-year tenure with the Golden Knights. He'll give the Hurricanes another key option in their top-six, to spread the scoring a bit between lines.
Then the fact that Carolina managed to get Coghlan as well, as a sort of sweetener just for taking Pacioretty in the first place, is a pretty wild feat. Coghlan is likely to take a role on the team’s bottom-pairing next season and is young enough to be a potential long-term fit if things go well.
The deal should help the Hurricanes continue to contend and certainly mitigates some key losses in Nino Niederreiter and Vincent Trocheck up front. The Hurricanes’ forward group arguably looks more dangerous than ever and hopefully, Pacioretty will help the team take the next step.