Maximillian Kolenda Pacioretty (born November 20, 1988) is an American professional ice hockey left winger and captain for the Montreal Canadiens of the National Hockey League (NHL). Pacioretty was drafted in the first round, 22nd overall, in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft by Montreal.
Pacioretty played high school hockey at New Canaan High School in which he led the state in points during his freshman year, and then moved on to The Taft School in Watertown, Connecticut. Pacioretty then played junior hockey for the Sioux City Musketeers of the United States Hockey League (USHL) for one season in 2006–07. He then signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Canadiens on July 17, 2008, thus forgoing his remaining eligibility at the University of Michigan.
Pacioretty made his NHL debut with the Montreal Canadiens on January 2, 2009, scoring his first NHL goal on his first NHL shot in a 4–1 loss against the New Jersey Devils. Upon his debut, he also became the first player in Montreal's lengthy franchise history to wear jersey number 67. After starting the 2010–11 season playing for the Hamilton Bulldogs of the American Hockey League (AHL), the Canadiens' top minor league affiliate, Pacioretty was recalled for the second time to the NHL on December 12, 2010.
Returning to action during the 2011–12 season, Pacioretty would end the year as the team's points leader, finishing with a career-high 33 goals and 32 assists in 79 games, also winning the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy for "perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey." He recorded his first career hat-trick on February 9, 2012, against the New York Islanders.
On August 12, 2012, Pacioretty signed a six-year, $27 million contract extension with the Canadiens. In September 2012, as a result of the impending labor lockout, he signed a contract to play overseas with Swiss National League A team HC Ambrì-Piotta.
On February 6, 2014, Pacioretty became the first Canadien to have two penalty shots awarded in the same game against the Vancouver Canucks and goaltender Roberto Luongo, also becoming just the second player in NHL history to be awarded two penalty shots in the same period. These were his second and third NHL career penalty shots, the first occurring earlier in the season on October 12, 2013, coincidentally also against the Canucks and Luongo. Pacioretty missed all three penalty shots, but nonetheless still scored a hat-trick in the February 6 game.
On September 18, 2015, Pacioretty was voted by the team to become the 29th captain in Canadiens history after going without a captain in the 2014–15 season with the departure of Brian Gionta.
On March 8, 2011, Pacioretty suffered an injury following a hit by Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chára. The force and location of the hit resulted in Pacioretty colliding with the stanchion at the end of the bench. He was taken off the ice on a stretcher after laying motionless on the ice for several minutes. The extent of the injury was revealed the next day to be a fracture to the 4th cervical vertebra (C4) and a severe concussion. One Bruin, Mark Recchi, questioned the severity of the concussion during an interview stating that Pacioretty was at a movie theater four days after the incident. For delivering the hit, Chára received a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct, and after reviewing videotape of the play the NHL decided no further punishment was warranted. However, a criminal investigation was announced by the Montreal Police Service. Additionally, Air Canada threatened to remove its League sponsorship if the NHL did not take any action to prevent further violence on ice. Pacioretty recovered in time to start the 2011–12 season with the Canadiens.
For Pacioretty's part, he could not remember the incident, but after seeing the tape said that he was "disgusted" that there was no fine or suspension. About two months later, he said that he thought Chára regretted his actions and that he forgave him.
Pacioretty is the brother-in-law of former NHL player Maxim Afinogenov. In July 2011, Pacioretty married Afinogenov's sister, Katia. The couple welcomed their first child, a boy named Lorenzo, on December 23, 2013, in Montreal. They welcomed another child on June 12, 2015, named Maximus Raymond.
Regular season and playoffs
|2006–07||Sioux City Musketeers||USHL||60||21||42||63||119||7||4||6||10||10|
|2007–08||University of Michigan||CCHA||36||15||23||38||59||—||—||—||—||—|
Awards and honours
|All-CCHA Rookie Team||2007–08|
|Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy||2012|