Will Max Pacioretty be forced to retire?  

Will Max Pacioretty be forced to retire?

The veteran forward answers tough questions today.



After tearing his Achilles tendon for the second time in a year, veteran NHL forward Max Pacioretty thought that his playing days might be over.

The 34 year old endured the toughest season of his NHL career last year with the Carolina Hurricanes, playing just five game for the team after being traded to them essentially for nothing by the Vegas Golden Knights. So, not only did Pacioretty have to sit in the stands and watch his team for the entire season, but he had to then watch his former team hoist the Stanley Cup.


But Pacioretty signed a one year deal with the Washington Capitals this past offseason in the hopes of getting his game back on track. He's still nursing his injury though and has yet to play a game for the team yet, prompting questions about his NHL future. Is he done?

“I feel like we have a really good grasp as to what happened in the past and what we need to do in the present and the future for me to continue my career,” Pacioretty said to's Tom Gulitti earlier today. “I do know that I have a lot of hockey left in me. There was a time where maybe I wasn't as confident in that, a time where I didn’t know if I’d play hockey ever again, but I'm coming to the rink every day thinking that this could be my last day here and just enjoying it.”

Pacioretty has been skating on his own in the past two weeks and is still hopeful to make a return this season.

“I feel like I'm getting my life back,” Pacioretty said. “I’ve only skated three times, but this is what I was born to do so it feels like some normalcy in my life, and definitely have much more of a smile on my face now that I'm skating.”

So... when might he return to action?

“A lot of that is out of my hands,” he said. “Really taking it one skate and one day at a time. Good news is I've responded well to being out there and whether that means we ramp things up quickly or slowly, that's kind of out of my control. So I'm just listening to what I'm being told in terms of that while giving feedback with how I feel, and the only thing I can say, the good news, is that I've responded really well to everything up to this point.”

Pacioretty believes that he has pulled through the dark times and he can see light at the end of the tunnel now.

“There was a good, solid two, three months where I was ready to stop playing,” he said. “I’ve spent a good portion of the last year in bed, not being able to do things with my family and my kids, travel to their hockey tournaments, stuff like that. And for me, that was really difficult. But when I do look at the situation and my kids and my family, I don't want to ever say that I gave up on something that I could have continued doing. It's important for me to do this for myself but also for my family and my kids to kind of show them that we can get through this together.

“I know I have so much more hockey in the tank. I'm a different person when I'm out there skating, even if it's for 15 minutes without pucks. This is what I was born to do, and I want to do this as long as I can.”

Source: Tom Gulutti