New Golden Knights forward Max Pacioretty looked right at home with his new teammates as the team officially opened training camp on Friday, days after he was acquired from the Canadiens.
It wasn’t the week’s only trade that could significantly impact the Pacific Division standings.
San Jose nabbed star defenseman Erik Karlsson from the Senators on Thursday, giving the Sharks three of the league’s top blueliners.
“You knew the trade was going to happen sooner or later and you knew his name was coming up,” Knights coach Gerard Gallant said. “He’s a big player. He’s a good hockey player, and he’s definitely going to help San Jose. But it doesn’t change anything we’re going to do.”
Of course, Knights antagonist and Kings star Drew Doughty chimed in on the deal during a scrum with reporters in Los Angeles.
“Pacioretty is going to make them better, there’s no doubt about that, but the Karlsson trade is obviously quite a bit bigger and quite a bit more significant than that one,” he reportedly said.
Pacioretty, who will continue his Las Vegas welcome week by attending his first boxing match when Saul “Canelo” Alvarez fights Gennady “GGG” Golovkin on Saturday at T-Mobile Arena, found the comment humorous.
“I hadn’t seen that,” he said with a laugh. “I’ve been pretty unplugged from social media, but you know what, this team has kind of built a reputation in a short amount of time on people doubting them, so maybe I can be a part of that situation now and use it as motivation.”
Theodore still missing
Defenseman Shea Theodore did not participate in practice Friday as he remains unsigned.
The restricted free agent doesn’t have many options should he choose not to re-sign, though the sides aren’t believed to be close on terms. Gallant said he has not talked to Theodore.
“When he gets here, I’ll talk about him,” he said. “I’m sure he’s skating on his own.”
Theodore’s agent Craig Oster did not respond to a message from the Review-Journal.
Schmidt saves voice for ice
Forward Nate Schmidt was unavailable to media after the opening practice of training camp Friday.
It doesn’t mean he was completely silent.
“(He) helped me the whole scrimmage,” said prospect Nicolas Hague, who was paired with Schmidt in a scrimmage. “He talked me through everything.”
Schmidt is allowed to practice, but not participate in preseason games ahead of his 20-game suspension for a violation of the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy.