Pacioretty Is Happy — And Relieved — To Be A Golden Knight

Pacioretty Is Happy — And Relieved — To Be A Golden Knight

While it may take a while before he has his own burger like he did in Quebec, it’s clear the newest Golden Knight is happy to be in Las Vegas this season.
Max Pacioretty took to the City National Arena podium today, introducing himself to his new city — and there was something Max hadn’t revealed in months:
A smile.

“I feel I have the opportunity here right now to just take out my brain and play hockey,” Pacioretty said with a grin.

That fact alone may help bring Pacioretty’s game get back to the dominant goal-scoring force that it was before running into an injury-riddled, drama filled season last year.

“This is the [where] I want to be; I want to worry about playing hockey.”

There’s no doubt that Pacioretty will have less media pressure in Vegas compared to the one he faced in Montreal. Despite going to the Stanley Cup Finals last year, he will be under less scrutiny here than he was as the captain of the middling Canadiens. Max was visibly uncomfortable whenever someone from the Montreal media asked any questions regarding the deal, or his time in Montreal. All smiles disappeared — just like they did during the ‘Will-They-Or-Won’t-They’ season he experienced last year.

Another benefit? Max will more than likely reunite with Team USA linemate Paul Stastny as his Center — something he says was a very important detail in the deal bringing him here.”We talked many times about how great it would be if I ended up here … I had to sign an extension to come here, and there were many reasons why I signed the extension, but Paul Stastny was definitely one of them.”

“Our wives are friends, our parents are friends; we’re friends. We do have chemistry … He’s a very reliable Center who takes care of his end; slows down the game. [He’s] more of a give and go player — that’s why I’m drawn to him and why I like playing with him a lot.”

Chemistry will be important on a team that already has pretty intense camaraderie. Whereas Paul Stastny was previously more than likely tasked with helping revive Tomas Tatar’s downturn, he’ll now have a much easier job with someone he already knows. Someone the rest of the league recognizes as elite: Since 2011, Pacioretty is third in the league when it comes to even-strength scoring — behind only John Tavares and Alex Ovechkin. And again, this is after a down year in the ’17-’18 campaign.

The Stastny-Patches reunion won’t be the only one for Max: he’ll be coached by a familiar face, too. Gerard Gallant was an assistant with Montreal during part of Max’s career there, and Max remembers the time well.

“I know what Turk brings. I know that he knows when to be hard on people, and when he is, you listen, because he knows what he’s talking about. That being said, he’s someone I trust very well. I know that if I just go out there and do the right things, he’s going to reward me. Everyone has the same mentality here; they’re all on the same page and they all believe their coach. You don’t see that very often.”

“…the way he speaks to people, the way he listens to people, and his honesty. He gives you confidence with how he talks to you; with his honesty [and his] approach of giving you opportunity to make mistakes and learn from them … I don’t want to take anything away from his hockey knowledge at all, but I think his most valuable asset [is his] approach to coaching, and how he treats his players. It’s a big reason why they had success last year.”

While the rest of the press conference was spent gleaming about the city, the franchise, and endearing stories about his children’s bedsheets, one themewas abundantly clear throughout. Max Pacioretty wants to be here.

“I’m not someone just chasing the dollars. I just want to be a part of this team right now … I couldn’t think of a better position to be in.”

Game Calendar

September 2018