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Max Pacioretty’s secret power? Bison, lots of bison

Nov 2, 2011, 5:28 PM EDT

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Max Pacioretty AP

Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette has written an interesting piece about the nutritional regimen of Canadiens LW Max Pacioretty.

Pacioretty has arguably been Montreal’s best player this season. He’s tied for the team lead in goals and points and has done so despite suffering some pretty crazy injuries. Last year he took a James Wisniewski slapshot to the chest; he also suffered a concussion/broken vertebrae on the infamous Zdeno Chara hit. This year, he’s playing with torn ligaments in his wrist.

How does he do it, you ask? Simple — he eats bison. And he’s got his teammates onto it as well.

“I’ve found it in a few places around town, but P.K. (Subban) and I have been talking about splitting a whole bison,” Pacioretty said. “I have two freezers filled with bison back home (in Connecticut).”

It’s easy to see why Pacioretty is all about the bison. It’s high in iron, leaner than beef, has fewer calories than chicken and when you eat it, you feel like an ancient Nordic Viking that slayed the bison and brought it home to feed your family. Even if all you did was grab a package from Whole Foods.

Bison isn’t the only diet change Pacioretty’s made. After working with trainer/nutritionist Ben Prentiss, Pacioretty discovered he has a dairy allergy and is currently experimenting with a gluten-free diet. Pacioretty also told Hickey he avoids oversized portions and hidden calories, two things I refuse to believe exist.

All joking aside, you’ve got to admire Pacioretty’s resolve. The injuries he’s suffered over the last year would’ve been catastrophic to most, but he’s dealt with all of them and actually become a better player in the process. He’s on pace for the highest point total of his career and has become a legit top-six forward (on a line with Brian Gionta and Tomas Plekanec.)

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to buy some bison.

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