Monday, July 25, 2011

Eastern Conference Eye Candy [and Newly Wedded]: Max Pacioretty (Montreal Canadiens)

Max Pacioretty began skating at the age of five and, unlike alot of players, was the first in his family to play hockey.  It was a genuine love of the game he acquired on his own (and not a deep-rooted family love of hockey) that led him to where he is today.

At age six, Pacioretty joined a mite B team after they needed someone to play on the team.  He enjoyed it so much that he decided to continue to play.

His next step was high school hockey at New Canaan High School where he only played during his freshman year (2004-05) and moved on to a private, prep school (The Taft School) located in Watertown, Connecticut (2005-06).

The next season (2006-07), Max joined the USHL playing for the Sioux City Muskateers and earned a few honors (USHL Rookie of the Year; named to the USHL All-Rookie Team) before deciding to play collegiate hockey for the Wolverines of the University of Michigan for a single season in the CCHA (2007-08).  He had a productive freshman season helping to lead the team to the 2007 CCHA championship (but was ultimately defeated by Notre Dame); ranking fourth in scoring (15 goals, 24 assists in 37 games), and fifth in US college hockey among rookies in points (39) and PPG (1.05); being named CCHA Rookie of the Year, and making the College Hockey News All-Star and CCHA Rookie teams.

While playing his freshman year in college, he was drafted in the first round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft by the Montreal Canadiens (22nd overall) and gave up the remaining three years of his college eligibility in order to play professionally.

He also played in the World Junior Ice Hockey Championships for Team US in 2008 (the team didn't win a medal, but they came in fourth place).

On July 17, 2008, the Canadiens signed Pacioretty to a three-year, entry-level contract.  And after a season of spending equal amounts of time with both the Canadiens and their AHL affiliate the Hamilton Bulldogs (2008-09) playing his debut NHL game on January 2, 2009; then another season spending the majority of his time on the NHL roster (2009-10), Max proved himself worthy of wearing the Canadiens jersey full-time last season (2010-11).  He scored his first "career winningpgoal, in overtime" on January 8, 2011 against the Boston Bruins and played in his 100th NHL career game on January 12, 2011 against the Pittsburgh Penguins.  He recently extended his contract with Montreal by signing a two-year deal last month (June 20, 2011).

He's probably most known to those who aren't avid Canadiens fans for two unfortunate incidences last season (which, coincidentally or not, involved the Boston Bruins):
  1. the hit he took from Boston's Zdeno Chara that had him carried off the ice in a stretcher after laying motionless during a game on March 8th; he suffered from a concussion and neck injury (CLICK HERE TO WATCH VIDEO); and
  2. his "ill-timed tweet" that caused quite a stir comparing the length of a game that took place on April 23rd (which went into two overtime periods) to Brad Marchand's nose (I'll leave it for you to make your own assumption or to read the article that includes the actual tweet!)
Pacioretty is an American player who was born in New Canaan, Connecticut.  The majority of his family is actually from California, but his mom and dad moved to Connecticut before he was born (thus the reason why he was the first one in his family with an interest in playing hockey).  He also has some family residing in Quebec, Canada who he visited all the time and enabled him and his father to attend a couple of games when he was younger.

He's called "Patch" or "Patches" because of [the pronunciation of] his last name.  And, interestingly, he is the first player in Montreal's franchise history to wear the number 67.

And some of you may recall reading it here this past weekend, "Patches" is a newly married man.  He tied the knot this past Saturday, July 23, 2011, in NYC.  His newly blushing bride is the sister of former NHLer Maxim Afinogenov (Buffalo Sabres), Katia Afinogenov.

courtesy of @DesyStorm (Phil DeSimone)
NHL Team - NY Rangers
TV Show - The Chapelle Show
Comedian - Dave Chapelle
Movie - Tommy Boy
Video Game - Halo
Band - O.A.R. (Of A Revolution)

Information found in this post obtained from the following sites:
Max Pacioretty's Montreal Canadiens Player Profile page "Checking In With Max Pacioretty"
Max Pacioretty Wikipedia
Hockey'sfuture Player Profile: Max Pacioretty

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