While some Montrealers were saddened Monday by the news of Max Pacioretty‘s departure from the Canadiens, several fans interviewed outside the arena where he played 10 seasons said it was time for a change — for the player and the team.
Jamil Lessard, a businessman in his 40s, said the trade was a good move for the future of the team.
“He used to be a better player, but now I think he’s much more slower. . . (and) he’s a player who was in decline,” Lessard said.
“It seems he (Pacioretty) didn’t want to play here anymore and he wasn’t at this point a very good player who would make a difference anyway.”
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Jordan Greenberg, 15, who was sporting a Canadiens T-shirt, agreed it was time for Pacioretty to leave.
“It’s been a rough season (last year), he’s been under a lot of pressure and he needed a change of scenery…it was the right move for Montreal,” he said.
Costa Poulos, a 67-year-old private chauffeur, said he doesn’t believe the deal — in which the Canadiens obtained forwards Tomas Tatar and Nick Suzuki and a second-round pick in 2019 from the Vegas Golden Knights — will make much difference.
“I think it’ll probably be the same thing, nothing changes unless they go out there and get somebody who’s a good centreman and somebody who can score,” he said.
One woman said she didn’t think it was that great a move.
“All I know is that my boyfriend was really sad last night,” said Marie, a 23-year-old bank employee who did not want to give her last name.
“He was upset about it. He thought it was a bad move and that they should keep him.”
David Fusco, a 22-year-old construction worker, said he doesn’t think Pacioretty really wanted to leave the city.
“It’s a terrible idea and I find Pacioretty really cared (about the team),” he said.
“He was a big motivation for other players, he seemed to enjoy Montreal, and I’m pretty sure it’s going to hurt him to go.”
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Fusco said the Canadiens are the losers because of all the trades they have been making in recent years.
“It doesn’t seem to work out well and I don’t think this one is going to work out very well either,” he added.
But musician Mic Manaras felt Montreal would be better off without Pacioretty.
“Our captain is gone, but at the same time I think that change is good (and) I think the city needs a little spice,” he said.
“I don’t think whatever has been happening has been working, so anything different is an opportunity for positive growth.”
His brother Dray called it “a no-brainer” for Pacioretty.
“First of all, we did horribly last year and the Golden Knights did extremely well in their first year so for him he’s going to a new fresh team, (and) he’s ditching the old,” he said.
The 29-year-old investor joked that the move also had another benefit for the former Habs captain.
“He gets to avoid Montreal winters and go to Las Vegas where it’s hot, it’s in the desert and it’s great,” he added.
© 2018 The Canadian Press