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Pacioretty: We All Thought We Were Capologists

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Golden Knights goal leader Max Pacioretty opened up this week when he joined former NHL’er Ray Ferraro and NHL reporter Darren Dreger on the Ray and Dregs podcast. The forward that recently crossed 600 career points and 800 career games touched on the competitive culture in Vegas, his bromance with Mark Stone, and trying to resolve the Golden Knights salary cap issues.

It’s a pretty volatile league right now and we have been steady. A lot of that has been our depth. We have run into salary cap problems where we couldn’t dress enough players and on some nights even two. Currently, we have a D-man stepping in the forward position. I think all of that adversity and all of those different situations brought us together a little bit closer as a group. I think everyone has felt a little more important about their role on the team. –Max Pacioretty on Ray and Dregs Podcast

When word got out that the Golden Knights organization would have to juggle the lineup in order to be cap compliant, the locker room stepped up. However, it didn’t take long for the players to realize they weren’t qualified.

It was wild because we all thought we were capologists. ‘Why don’t we this and do that? We could’ve played that guy.’ Nobody knew the rule that you have to miss one game and then call up an emergency. We were so out of touch with what the rules were. It was funny at first. Everyone was trying to figure out a solution and it just never came. The fact that everybody has had the right mind set in those situations it’s let our team play differently on some nights and being able to adjust that and being able to win hockey games ultimately while doing so. –Pacioretty on Ray and Dregs Podcast

Maneuvering through murky cap waters was just one example proving Vegas’ dedication towards their future endeavors. It became apparent to Pacioretty how driven the players and front office were when arrived in the summer of 2018.

The 13-year veteran also came to realize how many of the NHL’s top players want to play in Vegas, and the organization was willing to acquire them. The Golden Knights win-first culture is no secret around the league.

I can kind of relate it to my childhood being a Rangers fan. They always brought in a top guy and all of the top players wanted play there. Everybody wants to play here. We talked to Mattias Janmark as soon as he came we were like ‘How do you like it here?’ He said ‘This is the one spot I dreamed of playing in.’ It’s a two-way street where everyone wants to play here and we want to bring on the best players as well. That type of culture makes guys want to hold their roster spot and do whatever they can to do so because you know everybody is champing at the bit to try and play here. –Pacioretty on Ray and Dregs Podcast

The 32-year-old just surpassed 800 career NHL games, and his 183rd for the Golden Knights. Although he wasn’t around for their 2018 Cup run, Pacioretty has been a strong voice in the Vegas locker room since his arrival. However, he still believes his voice pales in comparison to one of the original Golden Knights.

(Marc-Andre Fleury) speaks, you listen. No matter what, because everything he says is the right thing. And he backs it up. This guy is just unbelievable and it’s so nice too see him get rewarded. He means so much more to our team than on the ice. His presence is far beyond that. –Pacioretty on Ray and Dregs Podcast

By now I think we can all recognize how much Marc-Andre Fleury means to the Golden Knights and Pacioretty.

Another player that has become more than just a teammate is the former Canadiens old eastern conference foe. We’ve heard and seen how well Pacioretty and Mark Stone have gelled since they began playing together in Vegas, but we never knew how the two rivals would connect outside the rink.

Off the ice, me and Mark Stone absolutely hated each other with a burning passion before we started playing together. When Ottawa played Montreal it was like ‘alright, me and Stoney will be going at it all game chirping each other.’ As soon as we teamed up here in Vegas we are like brothers. We talk every day, we text each other away from the rink everyday. He’s one of my best friends on the team. It’s just funny how the game works like that. You can hate someone for so long but the reason why you probably hate him is because he’s a lot like you on the ice. –Pacioretty on Ray and Dregs Podcast

The Golden Knights captain may have become a close friend but he’ll always be a thorn in Pacioretty’s side. And the rest of the team.

You should see this guy get around a golf course. Everything this guy does he just wins and he’s the best at. I could see why it would be frustrating playing against him. We had a N64 in the playoffs, he doesn’t play video games and he’s beating everybody in these games. You’re like ‘God why are you so good at everything?’ It’s frustrating for sure. –Pacioretty on Ray and Dregs Podcast

Overall, it was entertaining to hear Pacioretty talk off the cuff and not in a controlled Zoom conference environment. The top-line forward raved about his center Chandler Stephenson and gave an amusing peek inside a locker room full of armchair GMs trying to fix daily cap dilemmas. Ultimately, Max spoke confidently about his teammates and the one silver mission all Golden Knights share.

**You can listen to the whole interview here.**


Less Than 100% Colorado Team Leaves Plenty Of Room For Debate




  1. DOC (Go Knights Go)

    Ok, back to back with the Yotes. Their playoff chances are dwindling, but they will play hard just the same.

    No matter the opponent, these final games will all be tuff, except maybe the last one vs SJ, when hopefully it’s not needed?

    We need to just take care of business and get the needed points.

    Panda has been playing very well and we need him to do so tonight!

  2. Larry

    Yesterday, Gary, Lawless and Order, on Serius NHL w/Kuhlus, was an absolute hoot! Especially on the issue of keeping playoff teams at the current number versus 20. “You want in the playoffs, play harder and win more games”! I almost spit my coffee.

  3. Mike StG

    Jason, this was really interesting and well written. Fine job and thank you for sharing it with us!

  4. Tim

    We’ve just have to look at it as one game at a time. Win tonight and worry about tomorrow tomorrow. With 8 games left keep tightening the rope around Colorado’s neck. San Jose could help us tonight and they do have an experienced team not like LA there other opponent who has basically given up.

  5. THE hockey GOD

    the article brought tears to my eyes

    % %

  6. A VGK Fan

    Thank you Jason for another upbeat article. Its always nice to read your work compared to Ken’s doom and gloom analysis

  7. DOC (Go Knights Go)

    AMEN Jason ….. I’m said to be your favorite. Tell me it’s so! 😉

  8. sb

    At the conclusion of his first season here, a lot of commentors were questioning the ability of MGT for bringing Pac here, paying him that kind of money and giving up Suzuki. Later, some even complained about paying Stone $9 mil. And they said Smith should be Captain over Stone. And they complained when MGT paid Lehner $5 mil. No one seems to be complaining anymore. Maybe it’s time for everyone to thank and give credit to this great MGT team and Mr. Foley for bringing together the most successful 4th year team in N. American sports history.

    • Mike StG

      sb, agree 100%. All the moaning about how Vegas overpaid on the Patch deal was ridiculous. Last season he scored 32G in a shortened season, and this year he’s on a 90-pt pace (if the season was a full 82 games). Suzuki won’t ever be more than a decent C2. Tatar couldn’t be successful here because Gallant didn’t like the way he played. So, in view of what the management’s goal was – to improve a solid team and hopefully win a cup – they’ve done a great job all around. Even Petro, by playoffs and into next season he will gain full form. Both he and Max played a decade in a different system, and it takes time to adjust to new style of play and teammates (not to mention the shortened preseason and missed games due to hand injury and Covid). It’s also taken time to see who is best paired with him, which now appears to be Marty.

    • Julie

      No one is complaining because they have the maturity to observe, discern and move forward and not dwell on things too long. Or keep bringing up old stuff.

      • Mike StG

        They also lacked the patience to wait and see how things developed. Results not immediate led to all the whining and calls to unload him. They’re doing the same to Petro now. Just sayin’…

    • DOC (Go Knights Go)


    • Stephanie

      No , I recall people saying Smith or Stone . And I don’t recall anyone complaining about that ….oh ..And management could have used the fact there’s no state taxes to save a little cap space on all those contracts .We are LUCKY that WK took a team friendly deal while Patch took a yr and a half to acclimate .Now we have to hope AP does the same a bit faster than it took Patch .seems to me when you get pd that much it should be pretty darn quick or a yr at the most .but hey whatever.. Still it’s hard not to believe if between a bunch of contracts they couldn’t have been a tad less generous and they wouldn’t be in a cap bind .
      I feel people whine more about the players that make less and who are consistent

  9. Tim

    Personally I had two legitimate complaints with management ( 1 ) giving a first, second, and a third for Tatar that was a waste of draft picks. (2 ) Every time I see the Blues play I get sick we let David Perron go for a measly 4 million a year. Otherwise I was always for keeping 2 good goalies which I’m thankful we did. Nobody complained about the Mark Stone deal, Patch last year wasn’t playing to the level he is this year. Martinez, Stephenson, and hopefully Janmark were steals. Petro at 8.8 million is questionable but let’s hope he catches fire. I wonder how Nate Schmidt is liking Vancouver the fact is he was not performing got beat to many times and as much as we all liked him he dug his own grave. Moral of the Nate Schmidt saga is if you don’t perform your gone. Cody Eakins, Colin Miller end up in Buffalo for lack of performance I wonder how much they miss the Golden Knights. Erik Haula I think we all miss but that horrific injury had end of career written all over it. Now this summer who’s underperforming and should be worried about shuffling off to Buffalo I can think of a few. Please resign Martinez at a reasonable price same goes for Nosek always one of my favorites. If Janmark performs I’m sure they’ll resign him. Dugan and Krebs make the team next year and possibly Lucas Evelens. I’d love to see Cody Glass get his shit together. I can only see sunshine and rainbows in the Golden Knights future.

    • Mike StG

      Tim, Patch wasn’t playing to the level last year? So 32G and 66 points in 70 games wasn’t good enough? He’s not making 10mil, he’s making 7. Probably the only player who really didn’t live up to expectations was Stastny, and he missed a large part of his 1st season when Eichel fell on his outstretched leg and injured him. Tatar had a fairly serious shoulder injury earlier in that season, so he wasn’t 100%, and Gallant didn’t want to play him. Unfortunate but pickings were slim at TD that year and Tatar was the best they could manage. If you recall Reilly was out injured and Perron too, so they had to add some depth at forward going into the playoffs.

    • Stephanie

      Agree Totally Tim

  10. sb

    Regarding Pacioretty’s comments posted yesterday, it was very revealing that he said, “everyone wants to come to Las Vegas to play.” Now that’s quite a different take, coming from a player, which is exactly contrary to the scenario a couple of contributors and commentors were pushing just a few months ago. The bloggers said that because of the experience of the two Russina players and the MAF situation, that it was the feeling around the League that players DID NOT want to come to Las Vegas. That the VGK management were seen as backstabbers and couldn’t be trusted by the players. Many, many commentors also jumped in making these claims. I didn’t buy this line of c___ at all. That did not line up with the Pac/Stone/Petr/Lehner signings. Those players ABSOLUTELTY wanted to come to Las Vegas. And these bloggers keep pushing this false agenda against MGT and it got picked up by the national sites – ‘players don’t want to come to Las Vegas’. Now Pac sets the record straight. He – a player – says that EVERYONE in the NHL WANTS TO COME TO LAS VEGAS. It’s time for the bloggers who pushed this false agenda against management to apologize and retract their false stories.

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