Max Pacioretty wasn’t on the big club because he was a grinder or checker or specialty player of any kind. He was there to contribute offensively, to provide spark and garner points and be all the good things that come with that long-legged skating style he has.
This was a guy given a big shot over the past couple of years and who has now basically played himself off the team for the time being at least. Because 3 goals and 11 assists in 52 games just isn’t getting the job done in the way the brass expected.
Imagine how much help he would’ve provided his team if he hadn’t slumped for most of the season?
So now Max is in Hamilton to work on his game and ride the buses, much like Sergei Kostityn did previously and who is now back where he wants to be. Who knows how long Max will be with the Bulldogs, but it’s up to him now to show that he’s a major leaguer.
He’s a player who seems to have the tools but maybe his confidence has gone on a road trip and gotten lost. And he probably fully understands that a demotion was in the cards because now is not the time for the Canadiens to be more than patient and understanding with players not getting it done.
The team needs everyone going at this stage, that’s for sure. Unfortunately, Max was sort of spinning his wheels.