Habs general manager Marc Bergevin told his captain there will be no contract negotiation, and that his intention is to trade him as soon as possible, an NHL source told Marc Antoine Godin of The Athletic.
The Canadiens reportedly had a deal in place at this year's draft to trade Pacioretty to the New York Islanders for a first-round pick, then flip it to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for Ryan O'Reilly, who was eventually dealt to the St. Louis Blues. It's unclear what other pieces were involved, but the deal fell through once Oliver Wahlstrom and Noah Dobson fell to the Isles at picks 11 and 12.
Though the Canadiens are clearly ready to part ways, the feeling isn't mutual.
"I'll reiterate what Max has said a number of times, that he loves Montreal, he holds Montreal dear to his heart and he hopes to stay," Pacioretty's agent Allan Walsh told Godin.
Pacioretty, 29, is coming off a down year with the Habs in which he scored 17 goals and added 20 assists in 64 games played. He has one year remaining on his deal, which carries a cap hit of $4.5 million, before he becomes an unrestricted free agent.