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Rumor mill: Max Pacioretty could lift his no-trade clause to win the Cup
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot

Since leaving Montreal, Max Pacioretty has never been able to play a full season. He hasn’t been a bad player, but let’s just say that injuries have slowed him down.

Over the past few years, he’s been on the move. Teams simply didn’t trust his health.

On July 1, the Capitals didn’t take too big a risk by signing him for a season at $2 million a year. They never thought the American could be sold at the next trade deadline. And yet, as Pierre LeBrun reported, Pacioretty and his agent are evaluating the possibility of exercising his full no-trade clause ahead of the trade deadline.

Indeed, if the winger has a chance of winning the Stanley Cup, it would be in his best interest to do so.

And for a contending team, the addition of Pacioretty could only be a good thing. $2 million a year is a lot of money. Especially if Washington, which isn’t currently withholding any contracts, withholds 50% of his salary.

Anthony Mantha, Nicolas Aubé-Kubel and Joel Edmundson are other players who could change address. They are all unrestricted free agents at the end of the season.

Casey Mittlestadt on his way out?

As Elliotte Friedman reported in the most recent episode of 32 thoughts, negotiations between the Sabres and their leading scorer Casey Mittlestadt are arduous.

The forward, who has 42 points in 50 games this season, commands a salary of $2.5 million annually and after the season will become a restricted free agent. But with Buffalo’s season of misery, could Kevyn Adams trade him? That’s what Andrew Peters and Craig Rivet of the After the Whistle podcast suggest.

The American is on track for the best season of his career and should receive a nice raise on the free agent market.

I’m just saying, but the 25-year-old is the kind of player Kent Hughes likes to acquire during the draft.

He made deals, not afraid to give away high picks, for Kirby Dach and Alex Newhook. Let’s see if Mittlestadt finishes the season with the Sabres before speculating.

Craig Berube in talks with the Senators?

When D.J. Smith was fired in Ottawa, he was replaced by Jacques Martin, who was hired a few weeks earlier.

But so far, Martin hasn’t been a savior in Ottawa, far from it. The team has been doing a little better of late, but it’s still languishing at the bottom of the Eastern standings.

Their 9-10-2 record is far from stellar. Is he the man for the job in the nation’s capital? Perhaps not.

As former head coach, president and general manager Doug Maclean points out, the Senators have reportedly had conversations with Craig Berube.

Berube was fired by the Blues earlier this season, but he remains a winning coach who won a Stanley Cup.

He’s also well-liked by his players. Except for Jordan Kyrou, with whom he’s had his moments… Berube is a very demanding coach.

Quite frankly, the 58-year-old seems to be just the coach the young Sens need. It’s not the first time he’s been linked to the team. If he is hired, I’d like to think it will be at the end of the season.

Clearly, this is an issue to keep an eye on.

In bursts

– The Jets coach had nothing but good things to say about the Habs coach.

– Too bad.

– FVV back in Toronto.

– An exceptional one.

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