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Capitals and Pacioretty Likely on the Same Page About Trade

Max Pacioretty would be open to waiving his no-move clause to join a contender if the Capitals become sellers at the trade deadline.

As the Washington Capitals approach the trade deadline amidst a 3-6-1 record in the last 10 games, the playoffs look unlikely. They sit seven points outside of a Wild Card spot and the team seems poised to explore selling options. Among the potential trade candidates is winger Max Pacioretty, a pending unrestricted free agent who has played in limited games this season.

According to The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun, there is speculation that Pacioretty might be open to waiving his full no-move clause for the right fit and an opportunity to chase a Stanley Cup. Having signed a one-year, $2 million deal with the Capitals in July, Pacioretty recently returned from a re-torn Achilles that sidelined him for nearly a year. Despite missing most of the year, in 14 games, he still has a goal and six assists. He is capable of playing significant minutes in the top six and contributing to the power play.

The question becomes, can he stay healthy? And, is the risk worth the reward?

Max Pacioretty Washington Capitals trade talk

The next few games will be pivotal in determining the team’s direction. If they opt to sell, Pacioretty could be a valuable asset on the trade market, offering a potent combination of skill and experience. While there is some concern about his injuries, the cost to acquire him will be lower than other assets available at the deadline, and if the Caps retain salary, Pacioretty becomes a much less expensive player for a contender. At 35, he has proven he can still produce consistently at a high level.

Pacioretty’s full no-move clause provides him and agent Allan Walsh control over the process, but there’s a sense that, for the right fit and a chance at a Cup, he might consider waiving it.

The Capitals Have a Few Pieces They Are Trying to Trade

The Capitals may consider becoming active sellers beyond Pacioretty. In particular, with pending UFAs like Anthony Mantha, Nicolas Aube-Kubel, and Joel Edmundson on the roster, the expectation is they could be busy.

While moving Mantha could be challenging given his substantial AAV, Pacioretty, and Edmundson emerge as intriguing options. Meanwhile, Edmundson’s affordable AAV and Cup-winning pedigree make him an appealing option for contenders seeking depth in a secondary role. It will be intriguing to see how much action surrounds Pacioretty. He’s a bit of a risk, but he’s also the kind of player who offers a huge reward.

Next: Insiders Say Oilers Have Identified Their Top Trade Deadline Target

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