Max Pacioretty is no stranger to playing under a lot of pressure after spending 10 seasons with the Montreal Canadiens, three of which he was captain.
When his request to be moved out of Montreal was accepted in a trade with the Vegas Golden Knights, there was some relief for Pacioretty. What he didn’t expect was how vastly different the environment was, especially for a side struggling in their first season as an expansion club.
In a recent appearance on the Raw Joints Podcast With former NHL players Chris Nilan and Tim Stapleton, Pacioretty opened up about his time in Vegas, which ended after being traded to the Carolina Hurricanes at the start of free agency.
“I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. When I got to (Vegas) it was weird that there was no accountability.” Pacioretty explained. “And I’m not talking about the team, I’m talking about like always, you couldn’t feel the pressure coming from anyone else, from the coach to the management.
“There was a relief when I got there, but I found myself like I have to pull that up and hold myself to a higher level than I’ve always done, but maybe I don’t. distant when I had everyone holding me accountable (in Montreal).”
For the first time in team history, the Golden Knights failed to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season. Part of the reason is that the team has lost nearly 500 games to a man this season, especially against entry-level players like Pacioretty, captain Mark Stone, Alec Martinez, starting goaltender Robin Lehner and l successful acquisition Jack Eichel.
Pacioretty believes that without the outside pressure to perform, it was difficult to get the best out of the players.
“I mentioned that at the end of the year no one really holds us accountable. If we have a bad year like this, the city would be half on fire in Montreal and here it’s Vegas it it’s 80 degrees and it’s sunny and we wash our car, get our organic food and go golf,” Pacioretty said. “I was kind of like we need to control this thing between us a little bit better. I don’t mean it was a country club, but you don’t have anyone outside holding you accountable.”
During his four seasons in Vegas, Pacioretty scored 97 goals and 194 points in 224 games.