Pacioretty, Plekanec may not return from road trip with Canadiens

BROSSARD, Que. — You have to wonder if either one — or both — of Max Pacioretty and Tomas Plekanec have played their last games at Bell Centre as members of the Montreal Canadiens.

The Canadiens are on their way to Denver, where they’ll take on the Colorado Avalanche Wednesday. Then they’re off to Arizona, Las Vegas and Philadelphia before returning to Montreal on Feb. 21, just five days ahead of the NHL’s trade deadline. There’s a chance both Pacioretty and Plekanec will still be members of the team by then, and there’s a chance both will remain through to the end of the season — and perhaps even beyond.

But there’s also a chance either one of them will be traded between now and Feb. 26. It’s a distinct possibility both will move, considering the Canadiens are 10 points out of a playoff spot and in such desperate need to accumulate assets that can help them avoid being in a similar position at this time next year.

It’s the end of an era if things end up playing out that way. We’re talking about two players who were drafted and developed by the Canadiens, and two of the three longest-serving, active members of the team (goaltender Carey Price is the other).

Plekanec was selected 71st overall in 2001, spent three full seasons with Montreal’s AHL affiliate, and has now appeared in 976 regular-season games with the Canadiens. It was just a week ago that the alternate captain breached 600 points in their uniform, becoming the 13th-highest scorer in team history.

Pacioretty was chosen 22nd overall in 2007, and he has since become Montreal’s most prominent goal scorer over the 617 regular-season games he’s spent in a Canadiens uniform. He was named …read more



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