Montreal coach Michel Therrien denies ever calling Max Pacioretty "the worst captain in Canadiens history" but is glad there will be more veteran leadership on his squad this season.
Therrien reportedly disparaged Pacioretty at a recent charity golf tournament. The report said the coach was overheard by several people.
"First of all, I never said that," Therrien said Tuesday at the Canadiens golf tournament. "Secondly, I don't pay attention to hearsay."
The coach said he has confidence in Pacioretty, who is entering his second season with the C on his jersey. He said the captain will have stronger support in the dressing room this season with the acquisition of veteran defenceman Shea Weber and the return of goalie Carey Price from injury.
Pacioretty missed the annual charity event because he is playing for the United States at the World Cup of Hockey. Price, Weber, centre Tomas Plekanec and defencemen Andrei Markov and Alexei Emelin are also at the World Cup.