They tried hard to get it done at the deadline, and now the murmurs are starting...
In the years I have been doing this, every now and again it becomes obvious a player is heading towards a franchise and it is just a matter of "when?"
Brad Richards, Marty St. Louis, Kevin Shattenkirk were all going to be Rangers. Thomas Vanek was going to play for the Wild. And now, I'm confident saying Pacioretty will be a Panther.
Of course, Pacioretty is saying all the right things in Montreal, and based on his character we'd expect nothing less of the captain. But everyone I talk to is saying he wants to be a Panther. He already has a place and family in the area. And he wants a change.
The Panthers are also VERY good team and only getting better. I would argue this year's Panther team was the best team I have seen that didn't make the playoffs. Given another few weeks and they would have been in the postseason. They will be moving forward.
And Max will be there -- eventually. One Montreal source actually told me I could call it "inevitable." It may be via a trade or it may be an eventual free agent, but Montreal knows this too and they would be wise to get back as much as they can will they hold his rights.
So my question to you today is simple...
How much will it take and what can Montreal expect to get from Florida?