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A Dip Into Max Pacioretty’s Cold Gameday Routine

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The list of why professional athletes are professional athletes and the rest of us are just fans is a long one that probably doesn’t need any more entries added to it. But,  we’re going to add one anyway.

Max Pacioretty was recently on the Agent Provocateur podcast with his agent, Allan Walsh, where he discussed his gameday routine, one that clearly shows he is much closer to a machine than a normal human being.

I wake up, go to the rink, eat breakfast, get treatment, stretch, roll out a little bit, then go on the ice for pregame skate. Then I do a little bit of a lift. Cold tub. Eat lunch, come home, nap. I do my Normatech (recovery boots that “flushes your legs and squeezes them with air”), then some breathing stuff and meditation.  Wake up from the nap, have a snack, go to the rink, another cold tub. Meetings. (Pre-game) Warm-up. Another cold tub. Go out on the ice and play the 1st period, then another cold tub. And then after the game probably another cold tub as well. -Pacioretty on Agent Provocateur podcast

Yes, you read that right, four to five dips in a tub of water filled with ice cubes every single game day.

Just something to shock the body, and makes your feel a little bit more fresh. -Pacioretty on Agent Provocateur podcast

It’s just one of the things that makes Max Pacioretty, Max Pacioretty. This is a guy who has played more than 800 games in the NHL. He’s one of the league’s elite scorers and a veteran that’s respected by players across the league. He’s established, has signed a massive contract, and is probably better than 99.9% of people in the world at playing hockey the moment he rolls out of bed, yet he puts himself through the harshness of dipping his entire body into a cold tub five times a day just to get a tiny edge.

You get in these routines and it’s not even superstitious, I just feel better while doing it. And mine’s not even too crazy, a couple guys have weirder things but it does help me I think. -Pacioretty on Agent Provocateur podcast

I’m literally shivering just writing this article and I had to put on a coat while I was listening to him describe it, but it should serve as a reminder of the incredible rigors these guys put themselves through to entertain us night in and night out for an 82-game season.

It’s not fun, getting in that ice bath is never fun but you feel like if you can go through that you can go through anything. -Pacioretty on Agent Provocatuer podcast

If this doesn’t make you respect Max Pacioretty, and all NHL players for that matter, I’m not sure what will.

**Make sure you give a listen to the Agent Provocateur podcast with Pacioretty as it does a great job of telling his story both in Montreal and then once he got to Vegas. Here’s the link.**






  1. Tim

    Patch is a big piece of the team but every time he’s on the ice you have to worry about another injury occurring. Poor Arizona them and Ottawa are not very competitive.

  2. THE hockey GOD

    today’s games, like athletes’ programs are all about the same routine and process. That is why NHL is boring to watch. You can turn off the labels on the uniforms and the style of play is all the same. The individuality making up the game, from past, is gone. That ended when they put helmets on players and you could no longer see the individual any more. That started with introduction of slap shots, and the loss of respect for the other player’s body and head. The same is true for rules of NHL. All leading towards more socialistic approach. No longer rewarding teams , coaches, players, and management for putting together a successful franchise because it’s all going to get torn down to the ground so you have to start over from square one. No more dynasties, out the door. The same with individualism , stylish play, and players playing their own game. Everyone has to follow the “system”, everyone has to go to same spot on the ice. All the goalies use same style of play.

    The NHL “spruces” up the boring game by calling more penalties. Which we all know, in the Stanley Cup finals will not be called at all. In order to make the game more enjoyable they should a) allow more fighting, stop taking the mucho macho man out of the game 2) get rid of two ref system 3) put off side “linesmen” at elevated stations on each blue line (like in horse racing), get rid off the challenge for off side call 4) add two refs at end of each rink by the goal scorers box and add another two refs on the red line on each side of the ice in slightly elevated boxes. So all in all you only have three officials on the ice, none of which are allowed in offensive zone except for faceoffs. And you have one chief ref for the whole game with assistance from the two “rink” side refs. In lieu of all that, expand the ice surface because the game right now is too “clogged up” and the players are too fast and big from prior decades. Do a version of expansion in size , increasing it from what it is now to about one half the size of what the olympic / international surface is. This would put more skating, passing, shooting, and puck control into the game. But at expense of paying seats for management.


  3. Pistol Pete

    Amazing Ken, thanks for doing that piece. With Eichel coming on board, returning from injury and considering his daily routine before the injury, we can really appreciate the dedication and hard work of NHL players and what it takes to stay at the top of their game.

  4. Daryl

    I hit the ice bath twice a week, maybe a 3rd if I have a hard roll. I’ve done more but didn’t see or feel the benefits

  5. Pistol Pete

    For sure the VGK culture and environment will be a great fit for Jack—no surprise we topped his list. Patch is a good example of an older player who will mentor Eichel along with others. I did not realize he broke his neck early in his career. More serious it sounds than Jack’s herniated disc, but definitely a potential area of mentorship.

    Am I stoked by the thought of having Eichel center Patch? I think we know the answer.

    • Daryl

      Considering almost every one of your posts is about Eichel, yeah we all know you are stoked lol

  6. Tim

    At first I was against the Jack Eichel trade 10 million cap plus losing Krebs and Tuch but I’ve come to realize we weren’t set up to make a run. If he’s healthy that will change all our lines for the better but the elephant in the room will still be the goaltending. I guess we’ll take it one game at a time and first qualify for the playoffs which may not be as easy as people think.

    • Daryl

      Just remember there are still a couple other players that will need to go before we are Cap compliant

      • Tim

        Daryl yes we have to get creative but remember we will be getting a return on the trades so lets just see how it plays out.

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