Max Pacioretty Reveals Thoughts On His Return To The Ice: “I’m Getting My Life Back”

Max Pacioretty has missed most of the past season-and-a-half due to a torn Achilles tendon. He even considered retirement this past offseason, he now admits. But the Washington Capitals took a chance, signing him to a free agent deal, and he couldn't be more thrilled to be back on the ice, even if only for some non-contact skating for now. He can feel the burn of his impending return.

Despite skating only three times in the past couple of weeks, Pacioretty said "I feel like I'm getting my life back... This is what I was born to do, so it feels like some normalcy in my life." The 35-year-old was forced to miss all but five games last season, and played just 39 the year before. 

"I do know I have a lot of hockey left in me. There was a time where maybe I wasn't as confident in that, a time where I didn't know if I'd play hockey ever again, but I'm coming to the rink every day thinking that this could be my last day here & just enjoying it."

As for when he might actually be able to join the Capitals' lineup, that's still up in the air, though he says he does have a couple of dates on the calendar “circled in pencil.”

For now, though, he's keeping that to himself, and just following doctors' and therapists' orders. 

It can't come soon enough for the Caps, who are averaging just 1.9 goals per game this season, second from the bottom in the entire NHL. 

Pacioretty, the six-time 30-goal scorer, signed a one-year, $2M contract with Washington back in July (the deal also contains an additional $2M in performance-based incentives). 

Photo: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports