As NHL players head to Europe to try to find work during the NHL lockout, there's now one coming home. Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty will be flying to Connecticut on Wednesday after leaving the Swiss club HC Ambri Piotta.
Pacioretty is dealing with minor injuries and decided that he'd be better served recovering in North America than Switzerland.
"He had a couple nagging injuries -- nothing that would keep him out of NHL games," his agent, Alec Schall, told ESPN The Magazine on Tuesday. "It was not an ideal environment for therapy and workouts. We just decided it would be best to come home and do therapy and good workouts."
As details emerge, it's possible that Pacioretty's experience becomes a bit of a red flag for NHL players weighing their next move while CBA negotiations drag on. This week of talks is seen as a crucial one for players who are considering signing with teams in North America and overseas.
Pacioretty was one of the few American-born players signed to play in Europe and will now work temporarily with his personal trainer in Connecticut before joining informal workouts in Montreal.
The 23-year-old winger scored a career-high 33 goals last season for the Canadiens and was rewarded this summer with a six-year contract extension worth $27 million.