When forward Max Pacioretty was acquired in 2018 the Golden Knights added a sharpshooting veteran to an already strong offensive team. Pacioretty was coming over from an icy situation in Montreal freeing himself from the heavy scrutiny he dealt with as Canadiens captain. It was a fresh start and a chance to help a Western Conference finalist.
With Pacioretty’s scoring ability the Golden Knights made two deep playoff runs, which probably should have been three. In 224 games the top-line winger posted 194 points and was three goals shy from scoring 100 with Vegas. All in all, Pacioretty did what he was paid to do.
When you’re around the league a little bit longer people will start reaching out when they hear stuff. I thought that it could be a possibility I was going somewhere. I didn’t know specifically where. When I found out that it was Carolina, the GM of Vegas called me and we spoke briefly. I got confirmation from Don [Waddell], Rod [Brind’Amour] and even Tom [Dundon]. Once I spoke to everybody about how they wanted me and how I fit in, it was really exciting to join an organization like this and a team that is trying to win right now. – Max Pacioretty during Hurricanes media availability
The 14-year veteran sounded genuinely excited to begin his next NHL chapter when he spoke with Hurricane’s media last week. His departure from Vegas didn’t sound contentious, in fact, he received a call from VGK’s front office, a courtesy that pal Marc-Andre Fleury didn’t get.
It was just a weird year where it seemed like everything went wrong. My injuries were really one offs and bad luck. It was a broken foot and another bone injury in my hand, and then it was a little bit of a core situation there but it didn’t keep me out too long. I hope that’s in my past. I’m doing everything that I can to move on from that. But in reality, as a group we had a lot of tough luck on the injury front and a lot of goofy or fluky injuries. Mine were no different from the rest of the guys in that sense. -Pacioretty
Just like Mark Stone, Reilly Smith, Alec Martinez, Robin Lehner, and the front office, Pacioretty would like to put last season behind him. When he was on the ice there’s no doubt the sniper’s shot was the most lethal on the team. Which will be difficult to replace.