In an announcement made by the Montreal Canadiens, forward Max Pacioretty became the team’s 29th captain in their franchise history.
Max Pacioretty was helping to get his two kids ready for bed when a call came from Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin. P.K. Subban, Andrei Markov, Tomas Plekanec and Brendan Gallagher will serve as alternate captains.
Pacioretty, 26, spent just one season (2007-08) playing for the University of Michigan, but it was a dominant one in which he scored 15 goals and 23 assists in 36 games.
He is the third American-born player to don the “C” for the Habs, following Chris Chelios and Brian Gionta. He would be the first left-winger since the legendary Bob Gainey wore the “C” for the Canadiens.
Pacioretty read a long statement in French to begin his press conference Thursday. “Maybe when you’re younger you don’t really appreciate it as much or you don’t understand how important it is, but… the last couple of years, I’ve really understood what it takes to be a Montreal Canadien and every time I put on the jersey I’m thankful that I’ve been given this opportunity”.
Montreal Canadiens’ Max Pacioretty looks on during NHL hockey…
“What’s there to be disappointed about?” said Subban. Even if I’m not out there with the team at first, I think I’m able to do a lot on my own with the trainers to maybe even be more beneficial for what I’m going for right now.
Players hailed Pacioretty’s selection and were also glad to see 23-year-old Gallagher added to the leadership group. “A little more responsibility, but other than that it’s the same”.
The 26-year-old Pacioretty is now recovering from a knee injury he suffered during an off-ice workout in Florida in July. He said he has extra motivation to be healed in time for the season opener October 7 against Toronto.