Coghlan's Departure Officially Makes the Pacioretty Trade a Loss for the Hurricanes

What started with so much hope and excitement for the Hurricanes has developed into an unfortunate loss that no one could've expected.
Carolina Hurricanes v Columbus Blue Jackets
Carolina Hurricanes v Columbus Blue Jackets / Jason Mowry/GettyImages

July 13, 2022, was meant to be a historic day for the Carolina Hurricanes. Then-General Manager Don Waddell shocked the Caniacs by going out and making two huge trades. The first brought Brent Burns and Lane Pederson to Carolina from San Jose for a package that included Steven Lorentz. The second saw Max Pacioretty and Dylan Coghlan brought in from Vegas for future considerations. One of them has panned out. The second, as of Friday, clearly didn't.

Honestly, the circumstances never allowed the trade with Vegas to work out for the Canes. While Pacioretty was expected to be a big part of the offense, an Achilles tear during offseason workouts put him on the shelf less than a month after the deal was made. It was an unfortunate loss for the team before the season started.

Meanwhile, Dylan Coghlan, who is often an overlooked part of the trade, was a candidate to start on defense for the Hurricanes once the season began. While he didn't get the nod on Opening Night, Coghlan saw considerable playing time in October. However, the results weren't there, leading to Coghlan's playing time being less and less.

Max Pacioretty would re-enter the fold shortly after the new year began, playing his first game with the Hurricanes on January 5, in a losing effort to Nashville. He wouldn't have to wait long to score his first goal with the team, doing so in the team's next game in Columbus by scoring twice. Pacioretty added one more in the next game, giving him three goals in three games, but the good times would end in short order.

Two weeks after returning from his initial injury, Pacioretty suffered another Achilles tear late in the Hurricanes' 5-2 win over the Minnesota Wild on January 19, ending his season after five games. The mood throughout the fan base after the injury was somber. An offseason full of anticipation ended with one of the sadder moments in recent memory. In the final year of his contract, the Hurricanes opted not to re-sign Pacioretty as he recovered from his second tear, allowing him to sign with Washington as a free agent last summer.

Dylan Coghlan remained with the organization last season, spending most of his time in the AHL. Coghlan was named a mid-season all-star before being called up to play in the Hurricanes' season finale in Columbus. On Friday, the Canes traded Coghlan's signing rights as a restricted free agent to the Winnipeg Jets for future considerations, ending the trade for the organization.

Pacioretty and Coghlan combined to score just six points in 23 games with the Hurricanes, making it a trade that ultimately failed to produce much for the team. While injuries prevented Pacioretty from making an impact, it was depth and a failure to separate himself from the rest of the defensemen that hurt Coghlan's tenure. The lasting memory I'll have of Coghlan's time in Raleigh was a mid-January home game against the New Jersey Devils in which Coghlan was in the middle of several goals allowed in a 5-3 loss.

I remember being excited about the move when it was first announced. I expected great things from both players, but nothing came of it. It's hard to look at this as anything other than a loss for the organization. It's not completely their fault, but there's little denying that it's one of the biggest "What ifs" in franchise history. Hopefully, Pacioretty will remain healthy and Coghlan will get a chance to establish himself as a mainstay in Winnipeg's lineup.