Max Pacioretty

Now a member of the Carolina Hurricanes, Max Pacioretty has played in some very different hockey markets throughout his career. After spending the first decade of his career in the pressure cooker that is Montreal, Pacioretty had to adjust to a much laxer environment with the Vegas Golden Knights.

In 2018, the Canadiens dealt Pacioretty to the Golden Knights in a blockbuster trade. In an interview with the Raw Knuckles podcast, Pacioretty said he immediately realized he was in a very different environment.

"There was a relief when I got there, but then I found myself being like, 'Okay, I've got to reel this thing in and hold myself to a higher standard,'" Pacioretty said.

Pacioretty also noted the more relaxed atmosphere in Las Vegas seemed to have an effect on the entire organization. As a result, the veteran forward said there was less "accountability" within the Golden Knights franchise.

"There are good sides to everything," Pacioretty said. "When I first got there, it was kind of weird that there was no accountability. I'm not talking about the team; I'm talking about everyone. You couldn't feel pressure coming off anyone else, from the coach or from management. I had an awful game, and everyone is coming in saying hi to me. I'm like, 'Okay, this is a little weird.' Normally, we walk by each other and stare at the carpet."

The Golden Knights entered the 2021-22 season as one of the Stanley Cup favorites, but a rash of injuries led to a frustrating season, and the team missed the playoffs entirely. Pacioretty said that, while the scrutiny in Montreal might be a little over the top, the Golden Knights could benefit from more of that.

"I even mentioned that at the end of the year," Pacioretty said. "I didn't say this specifically. I didn't want this to be like playing in Montreal, but I told them, 'No one is really holding us accountable.' If we had a bad year like this, the city would be half on fire. Here we are showing up to the rink, and it's 80 degrees, and it's sunny, and we're getting our car washed, getting our organic food, and playing golf. I was kind of like, 'We've got to police this thing better amongst each other.' I don't want to say it was a country club, but you have no one from the outside holding you accountable."

Pacioretty himself battled injury last season and only played in 39 games, but he still managed to score 19 goals while notching 18 assists. In July, Vegas traded Pacioretty to the Hurricanes for the paltry return of future considerations.