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Vegas signs Pacioretty to extension after trade

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Golden Knights wasted little time in making sure Max Pacioretty will be around for the long haul after pulling off the trade that is bringing the former Montreal Canadiens captain to Las Vegas.

The team announced Monday that it had signed Pacioretty to a $28 million, four-year contract extension that runs through the 2022-23 season. The 29-year-old Pacioretty was entering the final season of a six-year deal.

“He can score goals, he’s a productive player, he brings speed, he brings some size and he fits our club,” Vegas general manager George McPhee said. “He fits the personality of this club. He’s a very good two-way player. He can play in a lot of different situations.”

The Stanley Cup runner-up Golden Knights acquired the All-Star forward Sunday night from the Canadiens for Tomas Tatar, prospect Nick Suzuki and a 2019 second-round pick.

The additions of Pacioretty and veteran center Paul Stastny, whom the Knights signed earlier this year, upgrades a line that lost James Neal and David Perron to free agency over the summer. It also includes Alex Tuch, who enjoyed a breakout rookie season during the Golden Knights’ run to the Stanley Cup Final.

“We’ve added a couple of players in Stastny and Pacioretty that are very good two-way players, very good character people,” McPhee said. “I hope we’re a better team than we were last year.”

Pacioretty, who scored 226 goals and added 222 assists in 626 career games with Montreal, is expected to arrive in Las Vegas this week. He’s already familiar with Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant, who was an assistant coach with the Canadiens under Michel Therrien in 2012.

Stastny has already been getting familiar with his new teammates during optional workouts and team scrimmages.

“Everyone has kind of opened their arms up and helped me out with anything I need,” said Stastny, who had 16 goals and 37 assists last season and helped Winnipeg reach the Western Conference Final. “It’s always nice to get out here, get a couple of skates and get to know the guys a little bit. Once camp rolls around I’ll be a lot more comfortable.”

Speaking after a team workout Monday, Tuch lauded Pacioretty.

“He’s great on the faceoff dot, good defensively and a solid all-around player; he’s one of the top players in the game right now, especially with his goal-scoring ability,” Tuch said.

Forward Jonathan Marchessault, who ranked second on the team with 75 points last season, said he is eager to open camp knowing the Golden Knights brass has one thing in mind after seeing the team’s offseason moves.

“It means they want to win,” Marchessault said. “They want to win and as a player you couldn’t be more happy to be in an organization that wants to win right now.”