Ok, let me start by saying....WTF????!!!?! What is going on with Sergei Kostitsyn? This saga is developing into a drama the likes of which Bill Shakespeare would be proud of. But seriously, wtf? He comes to camp and acts like a punk so he gets demoted to Hamilton. Then he refuses to report to Hamilton and gets suspended by the Habs. Then he changes his mind, reports to Hamilton and get 4 points in 5 games. Then yesterday, he randomly decides that he no longer wants to be a part of the Bulldogs, and he goes AWOL, again, and is suspended by the team, again. Now, in the latest twist to this soap opera, Bob Gainey had a face-to-face meeting with Sergei, last night, and Sergei has now decided to once again report to the Bulldogs.
Man, you can't make stuff like this up! Its like Oprah being fat, then skinny, then fat, then skinny again. Make up your mind, dammit! Speaking of NOT being able to make this up, the Kostitsyn situation is almost as unbelievable as this:
(link to a commercial for a bail bonds company in Las Vegas. I saw the commercial when I was down there a few weeks ago)
Now THAT is unbelievable....but I digress.
So Gainey, seemingly, talked some sense into Sergei and has gotten him to go back to Hamilton. I guess the normal question that follows is, what did Gainey say to Sergei to get him to return to Hamilton? From where I sit, there are only two scenarios that make any sense and they are as follows:
Scenario #1: Gainey wants to recall Sergei to Montreal
In this scenario, Gainey would have sat down with Sergei to explain to him that he should report back to Hamilton because the Habs were on the verge of recalling him to Montreal. Sound ridiculous? Maybe. But maybe not, too. If you look at the Habs, there is no question that they are having trouble putting the puck in the net. Beyond the 1st line, there really hasn't been much of an offensive spark to speak of. While Plekanec had played great in all of the games so far, Andrei Kostitsyn looks lost out there and the third spot on that line has been a rotating door of players; MaxPac, D'Agostini, Latendresse, Moen. Sadly, no one has claimed that vacant spot and it is showing on the ice. The second line simply does not have enough meat to make it a legitimate threat night in and night out.
His attitude aside, there is no question that Sergei K is more NHL ready than either MaxPac or D'Agostini. As such, he would be much better suited to that open wing spot on the 2nd line.
If Gainey was planning on bringing Sergei back to Montreal on the 2nd line, I believe that that could be enough for Sergei to get his butt back to Hamilton. Its like, buddy, we were, and still are, planning to call you up to the big club. You're putting up points in Hamilton and getting quality minutes. Keep doing that. Keep pushing to get back to the player you were two seasons ago, and within a week or so, you will be back in Montreal. We just want you get your game back, that's all.
Scenario #2: There is a trade that is imminent
In scenario 2, Gainey has been working on, and is close to finalizing, a trade that would send Sergei out of town to another NHL team. This, to me, is the more likely scenario. I think that given his attitude problems, that Sergei would respond better to a "we are trading you so go back to Hamilton" rather than a "we are going call you back to Montreal, so go back to Hamilton" speech. Plus, Montreal is definitely in need of some kind of shake up.
While it is true that it is still early in the season, what is becomming apparent, is that beyond the 1st line, Montreal doesn't have much scoring prowess. If, as the rumours are saying, Montreal is looking at shipping the Kostitsyn sisters...errrr...I mean brothers, to LA for Frolov then I believe that this is a scenario that would please Sergei.
Now, I don't know that this is what Gainey is planning, but, trying to get into Sergei's head a bit, I figure that a trade is the option that would please him the most. Plus, IF Gainey made that trade, Montreal would immediately be deeper and have a much more balanced attack. Check it out:
MaxPax ?? - Gomez - Gionta
Frolov - Plekanec - Cammalleri
Moen - Lapierre - Latendresse
D'Agostini - Metro - Laraque
I'm not entirely sure of who would go where on each line, but you get the point. In my estimation it is becomming more and more clear that Gainey needs to make a move to inject life into our second line. If he does this, while getting rid of the Sergei K headache at the same time, then we are looking at a win-win situation for all.
Sergei, in a new environment, will surely develop into the player that he should be, just like Ribiero did when he was traded. While it would be sad to see that happen to us, again, he is just not working out in Montreal and this might be our only option.
Whatever does happen, I feel that Gainey's time is up and that his contract will not be renewed after this season. But that is a topic for another post!