Gripping the wheel as captain of a leaky vessel is bad enough.
But as he navigated the Good Ship Montreal Canadiens through the stormy waves of the ocean known as NHL February, Max Pacioretty not only had to worry about his men but also his personal plight.
These were virtually uncharted waters for the 29-year-old New Canaan, Conn., native.
For only the third time in his 10-year history with the Habs, a dark spring seemed likely. And because of that, Pacioretty was forced to await his fate as the NHL trade deadline approached on Feb. 26.