Smart, passionate and somewhat biased commentary about the Montreal Canadiens (HABS) from a lifelong fan now living in Toronto (LeafLand).

Captain Max Pac

The torch has now been passed to Max Pacioretty, as voted by the players.

The torch has now been passed to Max Pacioretty, as voted by the players.

Max Pacioretty was named the 29th captain of the Montreal Canadiens this week.

As voted by the players — the way it should be — the Habs put this ongoing story to rest so the team can focus on more important tasks at hand.

He was my choice as well.

The story just seems be getting better and better for Max Pacioretty: coming back from a career-threatening, let alone life threatening injury at the hands of Zdeno Chara in 2011, Pacioretty has been one of the top goal scorers in the league the past three seasons and has been the Canadiens’ most consistent offensive threat.

Now, he’s the third U.S. born captain of the Canadiens following Chris Chelios and the most recent Brian Gionta. He’s also the first left winger to be named captain since HOF’er Bob Gainey.

Interestingly enough, Pacioretty is one of the good stories from Gainey’s legacy as Canadiens GM, having traded for the pick that would become Pacioretty in the 2007.

He’s in some pretty darn good company and from his presser this past week, he doesn’t take this responsibility lightly.

Four players will wear the “A” this year as alternate captains, with Tomas Plekanec and P.K. Subban wearing them together, while Andrei Markov will team with forward Brendan Gallagher either on road or at home.

Pacioretty displays the kind of courage, strength and perseverance that defines what it is to be a Montreal Canadien. Over the past season he displayed all the hallmarks of leadership and mental toughness the team needs from their captain and leader. My biggest criticism of Pacioretty had been consistency as he has been at times somewhat of a streaky scorer. Last year, he upped his consistency while displaying a much better two-way game. He now is trusted in practically every game situation — another important characteristic for the captaincy.

And he’s learning French — and plans to speak French to the media and the fans — something the team hasn’t seen since Vinnie Damphousse was le capitaine.

We all look forward to the day, hopefully soon, when Captain Max Pac raises the Stanley Cup over his head then passes it to Carey Price.

It’s nice to dream eh?

The Canadiens pre-season begins this week.


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