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Pacioretty signs with Swiss league team

Max Pacioretty

Montreal Canadiens’ Max Pacioretty (67) celebrates with teammates as he returns to the bench after his second-period goal during an NHL hockey game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh, Friday, Jan. 20, 2012. The Penguins won 5-4 in a shootout. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)


Switzerland’s National A League brought yet another star into the fold on Monday as HC Ambri-Piotta inked Montreal Canadiens sniper Max Pacioretty.

Ambri-Piotta is led by former Sharks head coach Kevin Constantine and features a handful of ex-NHLers, including goalie Nolan Schaefer and forwards Jason Williams and Richard Park.

Pacioretty will join Montreal mates Raphael Diaz (EV Zug) and Yannick Weber (Geneva-Servette) in the Swiss league, along with a number of high-profile players plying their trade during the lockout: Rick Nash, Joe Thornton, Jason Spezza, Tyler Seguin, Logan Couture and Mark Streit, to name a few.

Pacioretty told Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette he’s being brought into Ambri-Piotta to help the team reach the postseason.

“(Constantine) called me to tell me their situation – that they haven’t made the playoffs in six or seven years and that they’re not looking for someone who wants to come over on vacation,” the American forward said. “I explained to him that I have intentions of helping them win and playing my heart out.

“I was happy to have that conversation with him.”

Last season, Pacioretty became the first American-born player in Habs history to score 30-plus goals, finishing with 33.