Should the Montreal Canadiens trade Andrei Kostitsyn?

Posted: August 13, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The Habs-starved Montreal media made a pretty big deal this week of comments made by Canadiens forward Andrei Kostitsyn to a web journalist in his native Belarus, in an interview in which he talked openly about his rocky relationship with coach Jacques Martin. Pat Hickey wrote a column suggesting it was time for Habs general manager Pierre Gauthier to shop AK46 around, arguing that the tempermental winger’s days in Montreal were numbered.

I think the whole thing is a classic Montreal hockey-tempest in a teapot, more a reflection of the lack of Habs gossip these days rather than any indication of anything more serious. And I don’t think Montreal is in any position to trade AK. Only two Habs scored more goals than Kostitsyn last season – leader Brian Gionta with 29 and Tomas Plekanek with 22.

So Kostitsyn landed in third place in the Habs goal-scoring race, with 20 goals.  His 45 points gave him the fourth place in the team’s scoring list. In other words, the team can’t afford to get rid of him – even if he was not all too smart to be mouthing off to a Belarus web site. (By the way, does he realize that the Internet works all over the world and that any web site can be accessed in any country on the globe? Just asking.)

Kostitsyn appears to be in a funk about Martin putting him on the third and fourth line on many occasions – and in fact he appeared to be in a funk for much of the season. And he still managed to out-score most of his team-mates.

The real story here is the just simply pathetic lack of scoring power on the Habs. Plek holds down the number-one spot last season with a just-OK 57 points,  followed by Michael Cammalleri with 47 points. Cammie is symptomatic of our problems in this department – 19 goals in 67 games just isn’t good enough for a fellow who’s a natural goal-scorer. Memo to Cammie – you gotta go beyond that one move, the one-timer from the right face-off circle.

“Cause I’m in a relaxed summer mood, let’s not even enter into a discussion of Scott Gomez’s horrific stats from last season.

The good news is that the team will have Erik Cole next season, who scored 26 goals for the Carolina Hurricanes. Apply the usual Habs discount and he’ll at least get 18 for us next season (and just as significantly he will be no longer scoring on us).

And P.K. Subban will get 20 goals next year too – you read it here first.

But the bottomline is with that lack of scoring magic, there is no way Gauthier is going to let Kostitsyn go any time soon.

– Brendan

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