Sunday, February 20, 2011

Max Pacioretty Swatch Card

Presently making his place with my hometown Montréal Canadiens after tearing it up in the AHL with the Hamilton Bulldogs is American powerforward Max Pacioretty. Earlier tonight, during the Heritage Classic held in Calgary, he was playing alongside Tomas Plekanec on the team's top line.

A former first-round pick (22nd overall in the 2007 draft), he is generally considered a blue-chip prospect. He basically only started the season in the AHL because coach Jacques Martin is a bit tough on young players (ask Jason Spezza) and it seemed Max wasn't ready to expand on the flashes of brilliance he had shown under Guy Carbonneau two seasons ago.

Fortunately, Randy Cunneyworth and Randy Ladouceur built his confidence back up and by Christmas, he was ready to come back to the NHL, much to the delight of Habs fans everywhere. He'll likely miss out on an AHL scoring title, but I'm sure he's happier to be in the big league.

In my current NHL11 dynasty, however, he never had to go back to the minors. As a matter of fact, in my pretend 2010-11 season, he scored 29 goals and added 14 assists (good for 43 points) with a staggering 567 minutes of penalty in only 72 games. Needless to say, the PIMs total was a league-best. He also scored 4 powerplay goals and was a +7 for my Cup-winning Habs.

Between 2010-11 and 2013-14, he hovered between the team's second and third lines while winning 3 Cups in 4 seasons scoring 29, 34, 23 and 31 goals in the process. With Daniel Alfredsson retiring after the 2014 Cup, Pacioretty now patrols the first line at the right of Michael Cammalleri and Plekanec in my fictitious team, and Chris Neil has been hired to help dispense discipline. After 41 games, Patch stands at 16-20-36 (+25) and 149 PIMs.

But this card belongs in real life. It's from Panini's 2010-11 Donruss set, the Boys Of Winter sub-set, and is card #45 in the collection. As was the case with the Shea Weber swatch, Panini doesn't disclose whether it's from a jersey, or a sock, but specifies it's guaranteed to have been game-worn. It's red, round and pretty.

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