On Tuesday, the Carolina Hurricanes announced that newcomer Max Pacioretty would undergo surgery for his Achilles tendon and miss six an estimated time of months. Dr. Kevin Logel at Raleigh Orthopaedic will perform the surgery on Wednesday.
Pacioretty was, of course, traded to the Hurricanes along with Dylan Coghlan in a cap-space deal that gave the Vegas Golden Knights future considerations.
There is a lot to discuss here. Did the Golden Knights dodge a bullet, or would they rather have Pacioretty back and just place him on LTIR?
But before we go any further I just want to say best wishes to Pacioretty He is clearly going through some serious medical issues. Here’s hoping he can come back and be ready to play in 2022-23, no matter which team he plays for. The league is more fun to watch with him playing in it.
The Hurricanes will undoubtedly place Pacioretty on LTIR until he is able to eventually make his debut with the team in early 2023. This gives them cap flexibility with Pacioretty’s $7 million cap hit coming off the books until he can return.
The Golden Knights are no stranger to this method of salary cap flexibility as they did the salary cap shuffle last season after acquiring Jack Eichel. The argument from some Golden Knights fans online is that Pacioretty could have been kept by the Golden Knights and simply put on LTIR here.
Keeping Pacioretty would certainly improve the Golden Knights depth at wing. It would give the Golden Knights a pass in the salary cap department for a few months. But obviously, changes would have had to be made in anticipation of Pacioretty’s return.
Perhaps in an alternate universe the VGK ended up trading someone else instead, like William Karlsson?
The ‘Dodged Bullet’ Argument
On the other hand, I see many people taking this news as a positive for the Golden Knights. Pacioretty’s surgery means it is one less thing the have to worry about, and the hassle of throwing another player on LTIR and conducting a plan for getting him back doesn’t have to be made.
What was originally viewed as a lopsided trade now has a new narrative as the Hurricanes could potentially get less than half of a season out of 33-year-old Pacioretty, who is a free agent next summer along with Dylan Coghlan.
Whichever way you look at it, there is no denying this trade, along with the Marc-Andre Fleury trade, are two of the strangest trades not only in Golden Knights history but in the history of the entire NHL.
The Hurricanes are funnily enough the last team the Golden Knights will play for the first time in 2022-23. They meet Wednesday, March 1st at T-Mobile and Saturday March 11th at PNC Arena.