Friday, November 05, 2010

There's No Team In X Paciorty

I've written many times about how Max Pacioretty is no goalscorer, no power forward. It turns out he's no diplomat or power thinker either. He times a quote like he times his shots.

Yesterday, we learned via RDS that Max Pacioretty had told Renaud Lavoie of his wish to stay in Hamilton the whole season. Today, we hear more from his Team 990 interview.

There's a lot of sound thinking in what Max Pacioretty has to say. Letting players make mistakes for development sounds about right. Taking a year to build his game is something most would have advised anyway.

It's not always what he said that is the problem, it is the fact that he said it on the radio, that he said it at all.

I don't know about you, but I don't think I've ever heard a 21-year-old hockey player state that he would rather spend a whole season on the farm rather than jump at the chance to prove what he can do in the NHL. It's almost unnatural. The reason it's unnatural is that it shows a distinct lack of ambition and a very worrying lack of confidence.

Never mind that he also slagged off the current coach of the Canadiens, you know the one who will be here when he's done his year in Hamilton. And he questioned the value of working under "one of the best coaches of all time?" for his personal development.

It's an immature set of interviews all around, and a set that could well be forgiven but for a few things.

The first is that forgiving Max may be more effort than it's worth for the organization. Having offended coaches, and from the sounds of it players, immediate recall is not on the books. In August I asked and we all joined in on the fact that Pacioretty's window of opportunity was closing compared to what it had been.

"The Habs are loaded with middle talent on the wings through Hamilton and beyond. Pacioretty is a good player, but is likely replaceable via internal promotion." is what I said at the time, and it's only truer as Desharnais shines brighter, Eller shows good glimpses and others put up numbers just as interesting without the sour attitude. Asking to be in the AHL all year might be the easiest request Max has ever made. Hamilton, though? We'll see.

The second is that Max is now broadcast over the internet on an interview that drags on and on without hardly a mention of anyone other than Max Pacioretty. They say there is no "I" in team, Well, despite appearances there's no team in Max Pacioretty (X Paciorty). It's a stunning tirade of self-absorption that sendsoff alarms of Christopher Higgins.

Mathieu Darche, the consummate professional, and one who knows far more about learning how to play hockey in sub-NHL situations than the precocious American summed up the whole affair best when he said:
«Un joueur peut se retrouver sur un quatrième trio, mais doit apprendre que les décisions ne sont pas toujours prises juste en fonction de lui.»
"A player may find himself on the 4th line, but has to understand that not all decisions made are a function of himself alone."

Martin then closint it out with a wry thought:

«Malheureusement il s'est blessé.»

The good side

Even in stories like this there's always good.

Cunneyworth and co. have been winning, but the fact they are getting good reviews is encouraging. There was plenty of worry about losing Guy Boucher from the Hamilton organization. The team won't perhaps learn the same things, but at least if they all learn something and take lessons from the winning they are currently doing, that would be a good step.

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