MONTREAL – Max Pacioretty will have to make room for some extra hardware in his bag for the return flight from Las Vegas.
Every year around this time, the NHL Awards gala gets set to hand out its annual slew of hardware to the league’s most deserving players.
After a season filled with personal bests, Max Pacioretty became on Wednesday the 2012 recipient of the Bill Masterton trophy, awarded to the player that best exemplifies qualities of perseverance, team spirit and dedication to the sport of hockey
After being nominated for the award along with players from each of the NHL’s 29 other teams, it was up to an appointed committee to narrow the list down to only three finalists. Sharing the shortlist honors with Pacioretty were Ottawa Senators’ captain, Daniel Alfredsson and Toronto Maple Leafs forward, Joffrey Lupul.
Pacioretty earned his finalist standing after bouncing back from a near career-ending injury sustained in 2010-11 to have a breakout season, leading the Habs with 65 points over 79 games in the following campaign. The 23-year-old finished the season having lit the lamp 33 times – good enough for second on the team behind only veteran, Erik Cole.
Pacioretty’s successes in 2011-12 extended well beyond the ice and into the community as the Canadiens forward founded the Max Pacioretty Foundation with the goal of raising funds to help provide the Montreal General Hospital with an Advanced Functional MRI for their Traumatic Brain Injury Centre – a worldwide leader in the field of concussion research and treatment.
Taking his contributions a step further, Pacioretty also participated in a number of charitable endeavours including a poker tournament and an All-Star soiree in conjunction with Alexander Ovechkin and Vladislav Tretiak.
Pacioretty becomes the fifth player in Canadiens history to take the honors, putting him in the company of Claude Provost (1968), Henri Richard (1974), Serge Savard (1979) and Saku Koivu (2002).
Vincent Cauchy is a writer for canadiens.com. Translated by Justin Fragapane.