NEW YORK -- A well-timed road trip to play the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils is giving Montreal Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty the opportunity to spend Thanksgiving with some family members for the first time since he was a teenager.
"A long, long time ago," Pacioretty said.
Pacioretty, who turned 27 last week, is from Connecticut, but he will be in Manhattan on Thursday because the Canadiens have to play the Devils on Friday before traveling home. They defeated the Rangers 5-1 at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday.
He said his parents sold their home in Connecticut and moved to Florida, where they are spending the holiday. However, Pacioretty's sister Katie lives here, and his sister Christine is flying in from Dallas to be with her siblings.
Pacioretty said he, his sisters and some close friends from Long Island will go out for a Thanksgiving dinner in Manhattan. Pacioretty said Katie's apartment is too small to host a holiday.
"My sister's apartment is like 300 square feet," he said. "She said she's never cooked in it. I think they have something all set up. I'll just tag along. Normally, most of the cities we're in [on Thanksgiving], everything is closed, but we just happen to be in Manhattan, so we'll have some more options."
He said his wife, Katia, was going to come too but decided it was best to stay home with their two young kids.
"I still have a lot of friends and family in the area," Pacioretty said. "We'll see what it brings."
Pacioretty couldn't remember exactly when he last spent a Thanksgiving with family members, but figured it was around the time he went to prep school in Connecticut in 2005.
He moved away from home after that to play for Sioux City of the United States Hockey League before going to the University of Michigan in 2007-08. He turned pro in 2008-09.
"It's a great holiday," Pacioretty said. "It's right around my birthday, and this is my favorite time of the year in this area. I just love the fall, so it's a special time for me to come home and enjoy it."