Chicago Blackhawks: What would a trade package for Max Pacioretty look like?

(Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
(Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /

What would a possible trade package for Max Pacioretty look like?

Over the past couple of days, there have been rumors circulating that the Chicago Blackhawks have been in conversations with the Montreal Canadiens about a trade for Max Pacioretty.

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Chicago has been rumored to have interest in bringing Pacioretty to the Blackhawks for most of the offseason.  However, a trade became more likely after the Blackhawks cleared cap space by trading Marian Hossa‘s contract to the Arizona Coyotes.

With that being said, let’s look at what a possible trade package could look like and if it would be worth it. Stan Bowman has repeatedly said that Nick Schmaltz and Alex Debrincat are untouchable pieces in the organization, so for this scenario, we will exclude those names from being traded. I will also exclude any names with a no-movement clause attached to them.

One of the players that could have been key in this trade is Vinnie Hinostroza. However, he was traded to the Coyotes in the Marian Hossa deal. Where the Blackhawks have a lot of depth is in young defensive prospects, while Henri Jokiharju and Adam Boqvist, as well as Ian Mitchelle, are almost untouchable, some of the other top defensive prospects could be used as playing chips in this trade.

The Blackhawks have plenty of young defensemen who have already had experience in the NHL, which could be enticing for the Canadiens who are sorely lacking in quality NHL defensemen. If the Canadiens are willing to accept a young defensive prospect, such as Gustav Forsling, then I think that would be a good starting point.

Another piece that could be apart of the package is Artem Anisimov. It’s been well documented that the Canadiens are in need of a second-line center, and I believe Anisimov fits that bill since the second-line center role is what he’s played his whole career.

While Anisimov is probably overpaid, some of the contracts handed out this offseason make his contract look extremely reasonable. Montreal has plenty of cap space to take on Anisimov’s contract, plus they would be shedding $6 million in cap space by trading Pacioretty so money is no issue here.

I believe with Montreal in a rebuilding mode, the Blackhawks would have to throw in a higher draft pick as well. While Bowman probably won’t part with a first-round draft pick, the Canadiens could ask for a second round pick to complete the package. If Bowman gives them that second round pick, then it would be apparent that the Blackhawks are still in win-now mode, since he would be giving up a higher draft pick for the future to win now.

I think that in the end, the Canadiens and the Blackhawks could make this work, as they have been trade partners many times in the past. The package that I have put together gives value to both teams and I believe puts both teams in a better position for what they are trying to achieve next year.

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What I would consider a fair package for both teams would be: Forsling, Anisimov, and a 2019 second-round draft pick for Pacioretty. If Bowman can pull this off, it would immediately upgrade the Blackhawks offense and make them a contender again. One thing is for sure, you never know what Bowman has up his sleeve.