Montreal Canadiens Name Max Pacioretty Captain

Montreal Canadiens Name Max Pacioretty Captain&h=235&w=320&zc=1

The Montreal Canadiens have named Max Pacioretty as the 29th captain in the team’s iconic history. Pacioretty was one of the alternate captains last season along with P.K. Subban, Andrei Markov and Tomas Plekanec. The team decided to go without a captain after the previous one–Brian Gionta–signed with Buffalo as a free agent. The previous three players will be joined by Brendan Gallagher as the alternates this season.

Pacioretty’s vote by his teammates marks a change in practice from the previous regime of Pierre Gauthier and coach Jacques Martin. They named Gionta as team captain without consulting with the other players. Pacioretty is also the third US born captain in team history along with Gionta and Chris Chelios (Chelios was co-captain with Guy Carbonneau in 1989-90). It’s an honor to be named captain on any team but with the legacy of the Canadiens franchise it’s even more so. Pacioretty joins a list of former captains that include a ‘who’s who’ in NHL history–men like Jean Beliveau, Maurice Richard, Doug Harvey, Serge Savard, Henri Richard, Toe Blake and Yvan Cournoyer previous wore the ‘C’ for the Habs.

Asked last week if he thought he was ready for the honor of captainship, Pacioretty replied: “I think so. I think last year prepared me a lot for this. Whether you have the C on your sweater or not, you’re expected to lead this team, and we expect everybody to lead the team. But I would be honored if that opportunity came.”

Reports suggested that Pacioretty or defenseman P.K. Subban were the most likely candidates to be named captain. The brutally classy Subban is always in the news for some cool gesture or another, usually for the benefit of disadvantaged children. He really outdid himself earlier this week when he announced that he and his foundation made a $10 million (CN) pledge over the next seven years to the Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation. The hospital calls it “the biggest philanthropic commitment by a sports figure in Canadian history.”

Pacioretty, general manager Marc Bergevin and coach Michel Therrien will hold a press conference Friday afternoon to formally make the announcement.

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