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Carolina Hurricanes

Hurricanes’ Max Pacioretty Could Return Within Next 10 Games

The Hurricanes could get an early trade-deadline acquisition from within. Can Max Pacioretty boost an offense that’s lagged this season?

The Carolina Hurricanes are about to get an early trade-deadline acquisition, but from within. Offseason trade acquisition Max Pacioretty, who has missed the entire season to this point after an off-season Achilles tear — is set to make his Hurricanes debut within the next 10 games, according to head coach Rod Brind’Amour.

According to Hurricanes team reporter Walt Ruff, Brind’Amour had this to say:

“He’s not in tomorrow. It’s definitely in the realm now where you could say are we going to see him in the next 10 games? Maybe. It’s progressing nicely now. The fact he’s starting to get into real practices is a good sign”.

Pacioretty tore his Achilles in August and was originally given a six-month timeline for a return to action. The Hurricanes acquired the 34-year-old along with defenseman Dylan Coghlan from the Vegas Golden Knights on July 13 in exchange for future considerations. Pacioretty was essentially a cap casualty as Vegas needed to unload a big contract to get under the cap for the 2022-23 season and Pacioretty’s $7 million qualified. The former Montreal Canadiens captain is a free agent at season’s end.

Early Trade-Deadline Acquisition From Within

The Hurricanes were more than happy to take on Pacioretty’s cap hit as he’s remained productive — when healthy — into his mid-30s. The 2007 first-round pick tallied 19 goals and 37 points across 39 games with Vegas last season while he’s notched 75 goals and 154 points over the last three seasons spanning 158 games played. However, he’s missed 77 games over the last two seasons due to various injuries and will clearly miss a good chunk of this season as well.

Max Pacioretty Carolina Hurricanes
Max Pacioretty Carolina Hurricanes

While teams around the league scramble to get their trade-deadline plans in order, the ‘Canes are getting a big piece from within. Carolina is already sitting pretty in the Metropolitan Division as they hold a six-point lead over the New Jersey Devils for the top spot in the division, while only the Boston Bruins have accumulated more points than the Hurricanes have to this point in the season.

Pacioretty’s return should certainly be able to boost a Hurricanes offense that’s tied for 20th league-wide along with a 17.5% power play that sits 27th. There are very few holes on this Hurricanes team but an injection of a pure-goal scorer will be a welcomed addition to one of the very best teams in hockey.

Next: “Gap in Positions is Real” Between Bruins and David Pastrnak

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