My summer vacation: Max Pacioretty
BROSSARD – It may be the middle of summer, but that doesn’t mean things have gotten any less busy for Max Pacioretty.
Between lacing up for the World Championship and touching down in the desert to nab some hardware at the NHL Awards, Pacioretty has been balancing a full schedule since the siren sounded on the Habs 2011-12 campaign. But if you think a long to-do list is enough to affect the young power forward’s training, you clearly haven’t been paying attention to his MO.
“I’ve been training out of New Canaan in Connecticut. There are always a lot of other professional players that come down and train around the area. Plus, Aaron Palushaj moved there too, and we’re pretty much on the same schedule so we work out together a lot,” explained Pacioretty, who originally hails from the small community of 20,000 people. “Martin St-Louis is also living there so we train together too. Then there are guys like Matt Moulson, James Van Riemsdyk and a lot of guys from the AHL as well. So far it’s the best summer for training that we’ve had and I’ve become a lot stronger and more explosive over the course of this offseason.”
|Max Pacioretty winning the Bill Masterton Trophy|
He may be training harder than ever before, but rest assured, Pacioretty is leaving himself enough time to catch a case of Olympic fever along with the rest of the world.
“I love watching the Olympics, especially all the track and field events. Those athletes are by far some of the best on the planet,” pointed out Pacioretty, who’s currently doing his best to get ready for a particular treadmill test he’ll be faced with when training camp starts up in a few weeks.
“I’ve done a ton of running this summer. I have a lot of respect for guys that do this as their sport. It might not seem like the most interesting thing to watch, but these athletes that are running the 5000m are really impressive.”
Before diving head-first into his intense summer training regimen, the 23-year-old forward made sure to live it up a little too, getting the most out of his experience at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas.
“It was incredible. To be surrounded by that many talented players, to be in the same room with all those guys was unbelievable,” shared this year’s recipient of the Bill Masterton Trophy. “I was honestly like a kid in a candy store when I ran into Pavel Datsyuk in the lobby. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that. I just want to be the best hockey player possible and be considered in the same league as guys like that.”
Away from the awards ceremony, the Habs’ 2011-12 scoring leader had a much different Vegas experience than he had expected in his first visit to Sin City.
“It was pretty different from how I pictured it. Most of the guys I know that had been to Vegas were friends from college who scraped together a few buck to be able to make the trip. When I was there, the NHL took really good care of us. I think it’s safe to say that my situation was just a little bit different from my friends’ when they went,” he added.
Now, with the 2012-13 season on the horizon, Pacioretty is looking forward to nothing more than getting back into his Canadiens jersey and picking up right where he left off.
“Before last season, I always had the feeling that I was trying to prove myself and let people know that I belonged in the NHL,” explained the left-winger, who suited up for 79 games with the Habs in their latest campaign. “I think I’ve established myself now. I know it’s only a start, but I’m looking forward to playing an important role on this team.”
Vincent Cauchy is a writer for canadiens.com. Translated by Justin Fragapane.
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