Report: Habs almost traded Pacioretty, landed O'Reilly in draft day blockbuster

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Max Pacioretty was nearly on the move to Long Island. (Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Max Pacioretty was nearly on the move to Long Island. (Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The 2018 NHL Draft was dull for the most part, but my word was it close to absolutely knocking the roof off American Airlines Centre.

In the midst of having to ponder who he would select with the third overall pick, Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin also had his attention turned elsewhere. The team was trying to swing a three-way deal that would send Max Pacioretty to the New York Islanders for a first-round pick, one they would flip immediately to the Buffalo Sabres for Ryan O’Reilly, according to Sportsnet’s Eric Engels.

Sabres GM Jason Botterill was originally after Montreal’s third overall pick, but Bergevin was completely unwilling to part with the piece. Still interested in O’Reilly, however, the Canadiens GM then sought to acquire a first-rounder from the Islanders who possessed both the 11th and 12th pick in the draft. The other details of the negotiations are unclear, but when Oliver Wahlstrom and Noah Dobson fell into New York’s lap, the Islanders decided to hold off, Engels added.

What a crazy turn of events that would have panned out to be.

With both Pacioretty and O’Reilly’s names swirling around the rumour mill, there is still a chance that either or both of them are traded sometime this summer.

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