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Pacioretty says trade rumours are ‘lightweight stuff’ after time in Montreal

When the going is good in Montreal, there are likely few better cities to be a hockey player. But when times are tough, well, the spotlight can be harsh and unforgiving. And that can lead to a trade rumour or two.

It’s familiar territory for Max Pacioretty as the former captain of the blue, blanc et rouge, who was shipped out of town prior to the 2018-19 season after a decade in Montreal following months of trade talk and speculation.

So after his name recently came up in trade rumours, the Vegas Golden Knights power forward was hardly hurt or taken aback — he’s seen it all with the Canadiens.

“I played in Montreal for 10 years, so this is lightweight stuff. I’ve heard a lot worse … This is nothing,” Pacioretty told reporters Tuesday, per David Schoen of the Las Vegas Review Journal.

The Golden Knights’ blockbuster seven-year, $61.6-million signing of star defenceman Alex Pietrangelo, their ensuing cap crunch and the team’s penchant for making big splashes has seen several names swirling, including Pacioretty, who led them in goals (32) and points (66) last season.

Team owner Bill Foley tried to dispel the rumours last week, telling KLAS TV in Las Vegas that they’re “not shopping” the 32-year-old, who is coming off one of best campaigns of his career.

“We do have cap issues, and so some of those things have to be resolved as we go forward, we started getting into the season. But he definitely is not being shopped,” said Foley.

Pacioretty carries a $7-million cap hit as part of the four-year, $28-million contract extension he signed a day after his trade to Vegas.

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