Yesterday we voted on who will be the Montreal Canadiens first line left winger this season, and to almost no one’s surprise the winner by early first round knockout was Max Pacioretty.
The final tally saw Pacioretty take home almost all of the votes, with the final details of the 326 votes are here:
Max Pacioretty 308 votes (94%)
Alex Galchenyuk 7 votes (2%)
Rene Bourque 6 votes (2%)
Michael Bournival 5 votes (2%)
Pacioretty led the Canadiens in goals last season by a wide margin. His 39 were the most by a Hab since Vincent Damphousse sniped 40 back in 1993-94. He also led the team in points with 60, and has overcome extreme injuries to become one of the top goal scorers in the National Hockey League.
Pacioretty’s 39 goals were the fourth most in the league last year, behind Alex Ovechkin, Corey Perry and Joe Pavelski. Pacioretty missed nine games last season with injury, and could have found himself second in the league in goals if he were able to suit up for all 82 games.
Pacioretty is the unquestioned leader of the Montreal Canadiens offense, as the left winger is big, can skate well and has one of the best releases in the league which leads to him scoring goals in bunches throughout the season.
Luckily for the Habs organization, Pacioretty is also signed long term to a very reasonable contract. He is signed for 4.5 million dollars for the next five seasons, and after scoring 39 times this season, could fetch nearly double that per year if he were a free agent. Some players making almost identical money include R.J.Umberger, Erik Cole, Vincent Lecavalier and Martin Erat, none of whom came close to matching Pacioretty’s offensive totals from last season.
Also, at just 25 years of age, Pacioretty is just coming into his own as an NHL player, and has many productive years in front of him. Not only will he be the Canadiens first line left winger this upcoming season, he likely will be for the remaining five years on his contract.
According to our vote, Pacioretty now joins usual running mate David Desharnais on the top line, and we will find out tomorrow evening who will join them. It is currently a tight race between incumbent Brendan Gallagher and newcomer P.A. Parenteau, and we will take a closer look at the winner tomorrow.
Also, starting tomorrow morning we will open the vote for who will be the Canadiens second line center next season, a position that has several potential candidates.