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Canucks Guest Column: Vegas Not So Golden – Pacioretty Rips Lack of Accountability

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Vancouver Canucks foe, Max Pacioretty
Former Golden Knight Max Pacioretty will see the Vancouver Canucks with the Carolina Hurricanes on October 24th at Rogers Arena.

Vancouver Canucks fans might find this interesting; a peak behind the scenes of the apparent Shangri-la that is the Vegas Golden Knights. Owen Krepps, the writer behind our brother/sister site in Vegas, nails this one down at Vegas Hockey Now.

When particularly tantalizing, we’ll share items from around the Pacific Division for Vancouver Canucks fans when appropriate. The link above will take you to the site in general.  Soon we’ll all be connected more directly.  In the meantime, introducing Mr Krepps …

Max Pacioretty is no longer a member of the Vegas Golden Knights. He was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes along with Dylan Coghlan for future considerations and cap space, but it did not take long for Pacioretty to slam the culture surrounding his former team.

The former Golden Knight joined the Raw Knuckles Podcast with Chris Nilan and Tim Stapleton.

Pacioretty’s opinions were less about the trade itself and more about the Golden Knight’s past season, where they missed the playoffs for the first time in team history.

“When I first got to Vegas, it was weird that there was, like, no accountability. And I’m not talking about in the team; I’m talking about like ever. You couldn’t feel pressure coming off anyone else, from the coach to the management,” said Pacioretty.

The Golden Knights acquired Pacioretty from the Montreal Canadiens for Tomas Tatar, Nick Suzuki, and a second-round pick. With the Canadiens, Pacioretty played a decade with the original-six team and was their captain from 2015-2018. The pressure of being the captain of the NHL’s most historic franchise is something Pacioretty has talked about in the past.  But in 2018, he went from the NHL’s oldest franchise to the league’s newest.

“There was a relief when I got there. But then I found myself being like, ‘I’ve got to reel this in and hold myself to a higher standard which I had always done.’ But maybe I got away from it when I had everyone else holding me accountable (in Montreal).” Pacioretty continued.

Pacioretty continued by mentioning how some of the other Golden Knights players , who “don’t know really what it’s like,” to have mounting pressure on them as they “haven’t played somewhere else.”

In 2021-22, Pacioretty scored nearly a point-per-game in the limited action he saw with the VGK. Multiple injuries restricted him to just 39 games. But he scored 19 goals and 18 assists in that time. The Golden Knight’s push for the playoffs late in the season was unsuccessful as they missed out on a playoff berth.

There were a lot of reasons why the VGK missed the playoffs, from injuries to under-performing players to straight luck. For Pacioretty, he cites accountability, going as far as to say that he even missed the pressure that he had in Montreal “a tiny bit when things went wrong this year.”

“I mentioned that at the end of the year that no one is really holding us accountable. If we have a bad year like this, the city would be half on fire in Montreal. Here in Vegas, it’s 80 degrees, and it’s sunny. We’re getting our car washed and getting our organic food, and going to play golf. I was kind of like, ‘we’ve got to police this thing a little better amongst each other.’ I don’t want to say it was a country club, but you have no one from the outside holding you accountable.”

You can listen to the full podcast here. Pacioretty starts to talk about the Golden Knights at around the 54-minute mark.

The Vancouver Canucks will twice see the Vegas Golden Knights in November, at home at Rogers Arena on the 21st and on the road on the 26th.

VHN Managing Editor Rob Simpson has been covering the NHL for three decades on live TV, radio, and as a journalist. He worked his first ever game getting postgame sound as a teenager; it was Vancouver vs. Detroit.

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