Montreal, QB, Canada (4E Sports) – Forward Max Pacioretty is ready to be the leader for the Montreal Canadiens as the team went through drastic changes during the off-season, losing key pieces to their successful campaign last year.
Included in the list are defenseman Josh Gorges and former team captain Brian Gionta.
The exit of these players sent a strong message to Pacioretty that he needs to step up his game.
“Now that we’re going in a different direction, I feel I’m going to have to play a much bigger role on this team,” Pacioretty stated.
He also did not expect Gorges and Gionta leaving the team after a successful run last season.
When Gionta left the team, the issue of his team captain replacement started to surface.
Two of the leading candidates were Pacioretty and P.K. Subban, both are 25 years old.
According to Pacioretty, after Subban inked with the Canadiens they had a discussion about playing significant roles for the team after all the changes.
He told Subban, “Now it’s our time to step up and be leaders. We don’t have to worry about contracts now; we just have to worry about winning and helping the team win.”
Pacioretty, who signed a contract that will give him $4.5 million annually until the end of the 2018-19 season, stated it is not about the contract and its worth anymore.
He just shared that he is happy that Subban will stay with the team for a longtime.
Subban is the highest paid defenseman after inking an eight-year, $72 million deal.
Pacioretty also believes they will have some healp from young players forwards Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher after the veterans left.
The Canadiens reached the Eastern Conference Finals last year but fell short to the runner-ups New York Rangers.