Guy Lafleur: Guys like Vanek, Pacioretty fade under adversity

48 Comments

Max Pacioretty recently said that he has a difficult time taking criticism from people who have never scored a goal in the NHL, per NHL.com’s Аrpon Basu. Then a Hall of Famer with 560 career goals offered a scathing assessment of him and forward Thomas Vanek.

“Guys like (Thomas) Vanek and (Max) Pacioretty, you don’t keep these guys on your team,” Guy Lafleur told La Presse. His quote was translated by the Montreal Gazette’s Dave Stubbs. “They should stay home if they’re not ready to pay the price. Your team will never win with players like this who fade when confronted by adversity.”

Vanek had five goals and 10 points in 17 playoff games while Pacioretty had 11 points. The duo combined for 66 goals and 128 points in the regular season.

For his part, Vanek suggested that he couldn’t find any chemistry once he was put on a line with Daniel Briere and Rene Bourque. Vanek didn’t end up logging more than 14 minutes in any of his final six games.

He is expected to test the unrestricted free agent market this summer.

As for Pacioretty, he still has five campaigns left in his six-year, $27 million contract, so he probably isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. That said, a $4.5 million annual cap hit is very appealing for a guy that has breached the 30-goal mark in each of the last two 82-game seasons, so in the unlikely event that Montreal did want to trade him, they wouldn’t have to work hard to find an interested party.