Following the Montreal Canadiens‘ 1-0 shootout loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty met the media to discuss the speculation he’d be traded ahead of Monday’s trade deadline.
This is a transcript of his comments:
On getting through the trade deadline:
MP: It’s no surprise my name is out there, and I don’t know what else you guys want me to say other than I’m ready to go home and get a good night’s sleep. It’s been an emotional couple days here and I’m happy to be still a part of this team, and obviously moving forward everyone has to hold themselves accountable for where we’re at right now and I definitely do so. To my knowledge I think there’s been no finger-pointing as to why this year has kind of been the way it is. I think if everyone involved looks in the mirror and takes full responsibility for where we’re at, then we’re going to be able to move forward and build off that and I definitely have that mindset right now.
Is it a relief now for you and your family?
MP: Yeah. You know, I have three kids and you always prepare for the worst, just in case, and actually Max Jr. went to school today with a Habs jersey on and I said we want to pick him up and feel good about walking through the school with that jersey. I mean, it’s just little stuff like that that you worry about your family. And at the end of the day we’re all human, right? I take full responsibility for where my game is at and how I feel I’ve contributed to the negatives of this season. But to be honest, guys, I can’t shoulder the whole thing. That’s unfair to myself and to my family and I don’t know if people have taken it wrong—my kind of shortness with the media as of late—but I appreciate the people that kind of did respect the fact that I’m a human being and I have a family to worry about.
Has it been harder to deal with as captain?
MP: Captain has nothing to do with this. If anything it makes it easier because when you get down, instead of thinking negative being captain has made this much easier for myself in the sense where it’s easier to kind of talk yourself out of the negatives and just worry about the team rather than myself. So I know I’ve been asked about that and people want to assume, ‘heavy letter on the sweater.’ But you know what, guys? If anything it’s helped me through this situation.
On reports he wanted out:
MP: I did not ask for a trade. I still have 20 games to worry about finding my game and you know what, I’m not on social media and I don’t have all this stuff. But even just having the TV on today I hope you guys can realize I’m a human being with three kids, and there’s been a lot of stuff… whether it be… I don’t want to go into details… but there’s been a lot of stuff and some of it has been hard to swallow and I care because I care so much about playing here. But you guys want to say, or people have asked me if maybe the role of a captain made it harder on myself. But I’ll dispute that all day and say that it’s made it easier on me. I’m looking forward to hopefully finding answers as to why this happened. I want to be a part of this group. It’s obvious that given my contract, given where I stand on the team that there’s holes to plug in this lineup and I could be a candidate to fill those holes, but I hope that’s not the case and maybe making it through the trade deadline, with some conversations I kind of already started in the sense where trying to get on the same page and trying to work through this together as a group hopefully we can figure out a way to keep this group intact and win hockey games building up to next year.
About conversations with Marc Bergevin:
MP: It’s a privilege to play hockey and conversations like that should always be held private and it’s no disrespect to anybody but either way you say things you guys can spin it or people can interpret things in a different way. I said all I think I need to say about where I stand here in this city and in this organization. I live here 12 months out of the year. Maybe the only guy other than maybe [Jonathan Drouin or Paul Byron], so Montreal is home to me. Once again, I can’t say it enough, I’m a human being and I have three kids and I want things to work here.
On Bergevin suggesting the situation might have affected his play:
MP: Everybody. I spoke to Marc after and part of our job is to diffuse the situation. You guys throw so much stuff at the wall you just hope things stick. And just from the brief stuff I’ve seen, so much of it is inaccurate so you pick and choose what you want to tackle when we speak to you guys and that’s the truth. I’m not here to debunk every theory and rumour that’s out there; I’m here to tell you guys that honestly I hope things can work out here but whenever you have a season like this in Montreal I’m sure everyone from the top to the bottom is being evaluated right now and I’d say… just about everyone in this organization should feel right now that they didn’t—I guess I don’t want to say compete—but that they didn’t perform whether it be on the ice or off the ice to where this team needs to be for us to succeed because we feel this should always be a playoff team. We should always be a team that’s buyers at the deadline not sellers and that wasn’t the case this year.