Does a Reunion Between the Carolina Hurricanes and Max Pacioretty Make Sense?

Minnesota Wild v Carolina Hurricanes
Minnesota Wild v Carolina Hurricanes / Jaylynn Nash/GettyImages
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The news around the free agent market has started to go quiet, which is expected this time of year. The top free agents have signed elsewhere and there are limited amounts of quality players available currently. The Carolina Hurricanes have some holes to fill at the forward position and could be shopping for a bargain discount as they continue to work out the Martin Necas situation.

Depending on if Necas leaves, the need for scoring depth will be greater. This will be increased greatly if Necas is traded for future assets.

A familiar face is sitting on the UFA market and could be a good addition in the locker room and on the ice. Max Pacioretty had a cup of coffee with the Canes in the 2022-23 season. The Connecticut native was coming off Achilles surgery and had a delayed debut in Raleigh.

The 35-year-old was traded to Carolina from Vegas to provide the final scoring piece to a contending team. The Canes were struggling with putting the puck in the net and Pacioretty likes to shoot. Brought aboard the same offseason as Brent Burns, the two veterans were going to solidify the lineup.

Pacioretty ended up playing in just 5 games before re-injuring his Achilles and as a free agent the following summer, signed with the Washington Capitals. Despite playing just 5 games, Pacioretty had an impact with 3 goals, and off the ice, he was an asset to the organization.

The need for proven scoring led the Canes to look elsewhere while Pacioretty had a chance to start fresh with a new organization. He finished the season with the Capitals, playing in 47 games and 4 additional playoff games. Coming off of two Achilles surgeries, the former Montreal Canadiens captain eased his way back and produced 23 points in the regular season.

Having a normal summer to train for the first time in three years, Pacioretty will be able to strengthen the Achilles even more and has mentally moved past the injury by playing a good chunk of the games last season in Washington.

Now a depth piece, Pacioretty would bring the scoring punch missed by the departure of Stefan Noesen on the bottom lines and the man advantage. Additionally, Jesper Fast's health is a question this offseason and another reason to prepare for him missing time to start the season. Pacioretty had 95 shots on goal in just 47 games in Washington and that would strengthen the depth scoring undoubtedly.

The real question will be if Pacioretty is willing to take a cheaper contract of around $1.5 million for a season or not. He had a good relationship with the organization and enjoyed his time in Raleigh so I would be surprised if it is not considered an option for both parties.