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Guy Lafleur: Guys like Vanek, Pacioretty fade under adversity

Jun 4, 2014, 12:59 PM EDT

Max Pacioretty,  Thomas Vanek Getty Images

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.

  1. rdk - Jun 4, 2014 at 1:03 PM

    Lafleur is a paid ambassador for the Canadiens. His job is to say what management can’t say in public. This statement is obviously the other half of what Bergevin meant when he said that the team needs to mature.

    • joey4id - Jun 4, 2014 at 2:30 PM

      You obviously don’t know Guy. The man has always said what he thought regardless of who was at the other end of his opinion. He did so as a player, and when his job with Montreal was to be the front man for public relations. If you think the Habs put a muzzle on him and remove it when he has to talk, then you don’t know jack. Or! Guy!

      • rdk - Jun 4, 2014 at 3:42 PM

        Then why was it Guy Lafleur who gave the only “official” statement regarding Patrick Roy’s interest in the Habs’ previously vacant head coaching position (from the parking lot of Carrefour Laval)?

        He said that Roy would be better suited as coach of the Quebec Nordiques (i.e. when hell freezes over).

        http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=627126

      • joey4id - Jun 4, 2014 at 4:42 PM

        Official statement? For whom? He answered a question. The article starts with; “Montreal Canadiens legend Guy Lafleur”, that’s hardly a title worthy of qualifying him as an official representative of the hockey operations divisions of the team.

      • rdk - Jun 4, 2014 at 4:44 PM

        I guess you’re having trouble grasping the concept of “Team Ambassador” but it works like this:

        The Canadiens PAY Guy Lafleur CASHMONEY to represent the club in public and act as an official SPOKESPERSON.

      • joey4id - Jun 4, 2014 at 4:53 PM

        You’re having trouble understanding the CONCEPT. He represents the team at CHARITY EVENTS, not HOCKEY EVENTS. Like I said, no one ever put a muzzle on him. You ask him a question you’ll get an answer. Get your head out of your A$$.

        You like how I used caps for you. ;-) You’re welcome.

      • rdk - Jun 4, 2014 at 4:57 PM

        It always amazes whenever people display a complete lack of understanding of how the media works in the 21st century.

      • joey4id - Jun 4, 2014 at 5:06 PM

        You’d think by know you would have figured it out. Hang in there. There is hope.

      • rdk - Jun 4, 2014 at 5:08 PM

        Don’t you have an F1 qualifying session or an Impact game to go to or something?

      • joey4id - Jun 4, 2014 at 5:15 PM

        There’s only one game that matters tonight. Enjoy!

  2. terrier92 - Jun 4, 2014 at 1:06 PM

    Well this guy certainly has the creed to make these comments. Wow. Still some dumbass team will over pay for Vanek.

    • wranglerick - Jun 4, 2014 at 7:07 PM

      My islanders tried

  3. xaile94 - Jun 4, 2014 at 1:10 PM

    Pretty sure anyone would take Patches at $4.5m. This couldn’t possibly have anything to do with these guys (moreso Patches) not being Canadian, right?

    • hosewater2 - Jun 4, 2014 at 1:14 PM

      29 other teams would take Pacioretty, esp. with that cap hit.

    • pepper2011 - Jun 4, 2014 at 1:25 PM

      As a B’s fan I was amazed by how invisible these two were. They had killed the Bruins during the regular season for years, and I expected them to be the difference makers in the series, and they really weren’t.

      I know they put in a few goals each, but I was saying “C’mon! it’s Dale ‘effin Weise” more than I was saying, “Why didn’t we get Vanek or “I hate Pacioretty”.

      I think it’s a little early to be calling out Pacioretty though, I assumed he was pretty banged up, or at least he played that way, but it is the reason the B’s bailed on Seguin.

      • pepper2011 - Jun 4, 2014 at 1:29 PM

        And Yes, Pacioretty is a steal at 4.5M – any team would want him… As long as he doesn’t continue to seem overpaid in the Playoffs.

        Marchand for Pacioretty?

        I am Joking, just a funny thought. (I know the B’s would need to give up more)

      • xaile94 - Jun 4, 2014 at 1:41 PM

        I’m not gonna say the B’s made a mistake with Seguin…The writing was on the wall when they signed Krejci to that deal. Seguin is a center. Playing him on the wing was a failed experiment. He also wasn’t gonna supplant Bergeron or Krejci in the top 6. They got good pieces in return, but it’s tough to see a talent like that go elsewhere. It wasn’t a change of scenery he needed, but a change of position.

      • pepper2011 - Jun 4, 2014 at 2:19 PM

        They didn’t sign Krejci… he is a UFA after next year. It seemed the writing was on the wall for Krejci when they signed Seguin.

      • pepper2011 - Jun 4, 2014 at 1:49 PM

        I guess time will tell, but I think Seguin is the exact type of player LaFleur was referring to. He’ll put up great regular season numbers but disappear in the playoffs.

        That being said – I don’t Pacioretty is that type of player though.

      • xaile94 - Jun 4, 2014 at 2:00 PM

        I just think it’s a foolish label to put on anyone, especially one as young as Seguin. Pretty sure Gaborik had the playoff softee label going into this tournament.

      • pepper2011 - Jun 4, 2014 at 2:16 PM

        Rangers seemed to come out of that ok.

        Gaborik has 30 goals in 75 games
        Seguin has 7 goals in 48 games
        Gaborik had 18 goals in 54 games prior to this year.

        I’d consider Kessel soft, but he produces 13 goals in 22 games.

        Anyone who drops off as much as Seguin does is worrisome. Personally I like the guys who aren’t soft, but I don’t begrudge them for not being super physical, but if you aren’t; you have to produce… Patrick Kane

      • xaile94 - Jun 4, 2014 at 2:29 PM

        I was referring to the 3 year deal Krejci signed going into 2012-13.

        But you see my point, right? Had the Kings passed on Gabby because of less-than-stellar playoff showings in earlier years, they’re nowhere near the Finals this year. For most players, it’s too small of a sample size to draw any real conclusion.

    • bucrightoff - Jun 4, 2014 at 1:39 PM

      A 39 goal scorer at $4.5 million per? Yeah he’s going nowhere in a league where David Clarkson gets $5.5 million per to put up 5 goals.

  4. ironmd778 - Jun 4, 2014 at 1:28 PM

    Hate Montreal, respect LaFleur, but his take on Patches is a bad one.

    • joey4id - Jun 4, 2014 at 2:32 PM

      It’s 100% accurate. 67 didn’t step up is game in the playoffs. Perhaps it’s part of the growing pains when people have high expectations. Vanek… well, that a different story. The guy is flat out lazy.

  5. abouv1 - Jun 4, 2014 at 1:37 PM

    Call out Vanek all you want – well deserved – but I’d be calling out Plekanec or Gionta before Pacioretty if you look at the entire playoff run.

    • joey4id - Jun 4, 2014 at 2:34 PM

      Who was the leading scorer for the Habs during the regular season? #67 Who was the leading scorer in the playoffs for the Habs? Not #67. The guy was a passenger.

      • dueman - Jun 4, 2014 at 3:28 PM

        The leading scorers in the regular season tend to be the guys that get the most attention from the opposing team in the playoffs. Their room gets taken away, and that’s why depth is so important in the playoffs.

      • joey4id - Jun 4, 2014 at 3:44 PM

        I agree that depth is important. In the case of both Vanek and Pacioretty, they weren’t shutdown by the opponents play. They just didn’t get the job done. When a player is a goal scorer and getting paid the big bucks to score, then it’s up to him to find a way. The team depends on them to get the job done.

  6. flyboystransport - Jun 4, 2014 at 1:38 PM

    Guess he didn’t watch Vanek in the playoffs the last 2 years briere was there

  7. purpleguy - Jun 4, 2014 at 1:40 PM

    A good set-up for when Vanek inevitably doesn’t sign with the Habs.

  8. bucfanforlife - Jun 4, 2014 at 1:42 PM

    vaneck looked terrible against the rangers

  9. montrealbbr - Jun 4, 2014 at 2:06 PM

    I heard that both of them had injuries that probably didnt help them with their scoring. I dont think they can sign Vanek and Subban. I would rather have Subban though and I think we will be fine without Vanek.

    • thesportsjudge - Jun 4, 2014 at 2:36 PM

      Weren’t you the clown that said something to the effect of “suck it up buttercup” when talking about OTHER teams players and their injuries? Why sing a different song now?

      • joey4id - Jun 4, 2014 at 3:26 PM

        He’s also famous for saying that we should get ready for a rude awakening because the Habs should easily win the series, and that the team would rally around Budaj and get past the Rangers, and there was no way the Habs would lose 2 in row at home. Lol!

    • joey4id - Jun 4, 2014 at 2:42 PM

      You think they’ll sign Subban instead of Vanek? Wow! How did you come up with that one Captain Obvious?

      • montrealbbr - Jun 4, 2014 at 2:57 PM

        I said they wont be able to sign both of them jackass!

    • joey4id - Jun 4, 2014 at 3:01 PM

      “I would rather have Subban though and I think we will be fine without Vanek.”

      Was someone offended? :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-)

    • bullwinkle88 - Jun 4, 2014 at 4:41 PM

      Vanek has stated that he was not injured during the playoffs.

  10. joey4id - Jun 4, 2014 at 2:44 PM

    Guy and me, we know hockey. Right! Blomfeld! :-)

    joey4id – May 29, 2014 at 11:27 PM
    That was an extremely poor performance by the Habs. Subban, Beaulieu, and Markov were absolutely horrendous. As much as Montreal exposed flaws on the Boston team, the Rangers did the same for Montreal. Clearly an over the hill player like Gionta must go, and a floater like Vanek should be let go to FA.

    Pacioretty is a big question mark. He did not show that he can play playoff hockey on a consistent level. He showed he did not have the intensity needed.

    • montrealbbr - Jun 4, 2014 at 2:58 PM

      You did a great job at watching the game and then coming here to post about what you saw! You should be proud of that!

      • joey4id - Jun 4, 2014 at 3:02 PM

        Whatever you said I agree, and I am proud. :-)

      • rdk - Jun 4, 2014 at 5:13 PM

        Wow, the narcissism is strong with this one.

  11. theskinsman - Jun 4, 2014 at 3:01 PM

    Habs hater that I am, I must agree with Joey this time.

  12. clavette - Jun 4, 2014 at 4:54 PM

    gotta agree pacioretti was useless in the olympics when team usa needed players to step up and it was no different in the playoffs

    just like marchand this season. was great regular season and no where to be found come playoff time

  13. pdmjr - Jun 4, 2014 at 5:45 PM

    There are playoff performers and their are scoring champions, get me more of the former and less of the latter

  14. montrealknowledge - Jun 4, 2014 at 7:47 PM

    Guy loves to talk to the media and keep himself in it and lucky for him plenty of opportunity to do that in a city that lives hockey 12 months a year. Guy also like to harbour his son while the police are looking for him for domestic abuse charges. We don’t take anything old man Lafleur says seriously in Montreal.

  15. dolphincult - Jun 5, 2014 at 1:02 AM

    another day of joey ruining the comment section for everyone

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