ALRIGHT so here we go my hand has been forced and ill probably sound extra but I’m way past that at this point. These are some essentials you need to know about Max Pacioretty and why I think he’s one of the most underrated players.
1.) I just want to point out, right off the bat, that this beautiful man plays out his heart and fucking soul. Sometimes, he has his moments. Sometimes, he isn’t 100% and that’s okay, because he still plays with all that he is able to give. You know who ELSE has their moments? Every single player in the NHL. Including Carey Price and including Sidney Crosby idk just name any NHL star’s name and they have most DEFINITELY had their low moments.
Can we also remember that Max Pacioretty played with a broken ankle, and that he scored a goal and got two assists in a game while he was sick with the flu? So for all the people claiming he didn’t try his best throughout the 2016-17 season, please rethink this.
2.) A lot of people forget that Max Pacioretty was nearly paralyzed from the neck down. Y’all know who Travis Roy is? Long story short, Travis Roy was basically a hockey prodigy and got to play on varsity his freshman year at BU. However, he only got to play for eleven seconds before he went to check someone and fell head first into the boards and broke his C4 and C5 vertebrae. Travis Roy is fascinating and I actually had the pleasure of meeting him earlier this year, so if the spirit moves you, you should check out his story.
Why is that important? Well, because of that injury, Roy was paralyzed from the neck down.
You know what happened to Max Pacioretty? He received an illegal check that broke his C4. People who survive spinal cord injuries above this level need ventilators or machines to breathe. Yet here he is, six years later, and now the fucking captain. Idk about y'all, but that’s so amazing to me. Sometimes I wonder what health issues he still deals with today, but that’s a mystery.
I feel like surviving and recovering from an injury like that MIGHT leave a guy a bit traumatized? But that’s just me. I’ve never had someone nearly snap my neck so I can’t speak from experience. I certainly would be scared shitless to play the dangerous sport of hockey again.
3.) This gift to humanity scored his first NHL goal on his first NHL shot when he was brought up from the AHL. They sent him back down after that, but when he was brought up for a second time, he ended up being the highest goal scorer that season. When he returned from this injury? He had a 33 goal season and won the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.
I’m a bit petty and hold grudges, so I personally wouldn’t have forgiven him. This isn’t a hate post towards the guy, which is why I didn’t name him.
His teammates stick up for him no matter what, and that’s when you know you’re a good and respected captain. Your teammates want to defend you and value your reputation. Let’s not forget the time that rumor was passed around that Therrien claimed Max Pacioretty was the worst captain in Habs history, and Nathan Beaulieu came quick to his defense with:
So please don’t tell me that Max Pacioretty isn’t allowed to have his moments. Or that he single handedly let the Habs down this season. Or that he doesn’t deserve to be the captain.
Please stop using Max Pacioretty as a scapegoat for everything that goes wrong in the Montreal Canadiens season.
If anyone has more to add to this list, please do.
NHL teams have began to name their 2013-14 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy nominees. The annual award is given to a player who demonstrates the “qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.” So far, a handful of teams have released their candidates, including the Montreal Canadiens' David Desharnais (pictured above) and the Carolina Hurricanes' Manny Malhotra.
For those who criticize Phil Kessel for his “lack of character”, I urge you–please tell that to the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy he won in 2007 for continuing to play after being diagnosed with testicular cancer, you fucking idiots.