Pacioretty reflects on stint in Montreal: 'Everybody has a shelf life there'

Jeff Bottari / National Hockey League / Getty

Max Pacioretty has nothing but love for his time with the Montreal Canadiens. However, he admitted Tuesday that the pressure of playing in the Quebec market takes its toll on players.

"Montreal is an amazing place, and I'm so proud of what I accomplished there, but I just feel like everybody has a shelf life there," Pacioretty told Adam Wylde and Allan Walsh on the "Agent Provocateur" podcast. "Everyone told me it - ex-players, current players, fans."

He added: "I was stubborn, I was hard-headed. (I thought), 'No, that won't happen to me. I'm gonna be here for the rest of my career, I love it here. I live in Westmount. I'm down in the city with the fans going out to dinner every night.' And even when I did get traded, I still thought I could be here forever and not have it affect me."

But when Pacioretty was traded to the Vegas Golden Knights in 2018 after spending his first 10 seasons with the Canadiens, he realized the stark contrast between Montreal and a less hockey-centric market.

"There just seems to be so much less pressure, and whether you admit it or not, you just go about your everyday life in such an easier manner that it really (takes) so much less of a toll on you," he said. "Whether you're a leader or a young guy, there's no media here. Even if you don't read the media in Montreal, you know what's being said."

He added: "I was so used to (coming) to the rink after a loss - two or three losses - and it's the end of the world. No one's talking to each other, and it's heavy. You go out to dinner and everyone's complaining about the team, and the traffic, and the weather. In Vegas, you can lose three in a row and everyone's still positive."

Pacioretty enjoyed tremendous individual success while lacing it up in Montreal, scoring 30-plus goals each season from 2013-17. His Canadiens teammates voted him captain in 2015.

Pacioretty has continued his dominant play since arriving in Vegas. He led the team in goals (24) last season, and he ranked first in goals (32) and points (66) during the 2019-20 campaign.

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Pacioretty reflects on stint in Montreal: 'Everybody has a shelf life there'
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