The clock is ticking for Max Pacioretty to sign a contract extension - with the Montreal Canadiens or elsewhere.
Sources close to the Pacioretty camp tell TSN's Gino Reda that he will not negotiate in-season, which means if the winger is traded after this month it will most likely be as a rental.
Pacioretty revealed at his annual charity golf tournament last month that there have been no negotiations with the Canadiens on a contract extension, while his agent, Allan Walsh, has repeatedly stated the 29-year-old would like to re-sign with the team. Walsh also confirmed last week that the Canadiens had a deal in place in June to send their captain to the Los Angeles Kings, but it fell through when his client couldn't reach an extension with the Kings.
"Max Pacioretty has stated repeatedly that he loves Montreal and wants to remain in Montreal," Walsh wrote on Twitter last week. "To this date, he’s never received any offer from Montreal. You can have 3 sources or 10 sources, how many times does Max have to state that he wants to remain in Montreal long term?
"Obvious these “sources” are coming from the club. Max will always take the high road and repeats again, he is ready to sign an extension with Montreal TODAY. It was Montreal that traded Max to LA at the draft and it was a DONE DEAL subject to Max signing an extension with LA."
Pacioretty had 17 goals and 37 points in 64 games last season, his lowest totals since breaking into the NHL as a full-time player in 2011-12.
Trade rumours have circled around the winger dating back to February's trade deadline. He's entering the final season of his current contract with a cap hit of $4.5 million this season.