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10-21-2008, 11:44 AM
Ape Clutch
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Originally Posted by Lyle_Odelein View Post
Most people aren't going to fault Perezhogin for making the choice he did. I certainly don't. The problem is when people give out the 3rd line excuse for Perez, without recognizing that he didn't earn a spot in the top 6 with his play. Lats is a great example. He has toughed it out on the 3rd/4th lines, getting the odd sniff at a role as a top 6 guy. He hadn't earned the right to stay up there until recently, mainly because he has improved in his main areas of weakness (speed, positioning, defensive awareness). There's still a great chance that he finds himself down on the third line if this team gets healthy, but I would wager to say that he would see this not as a personal insult, but as an invitation to get better. Part of rising through the ranks is not just having potential and talent, it's capitalizing on your opportunities and working hard to learn from your failures.

Most of our players started out on lower lines and worked their way up (A. Kost, S. Kost, Komi, Higgins, Lats, Pleks are all proof of this). The Habs organization is patient with youngsters, but doesn't deny them promotion if it is earned. This is not a franchise that is going to throw away young talent with potential.

Perezhogin made a prudent financial and personal choice in going to Russia to earn more money and play closer to home. However, in doing so, he left behind an opportunity to rise through the ranks in Montreal. I don't fault him for his choice, and am happy for his success in the KHL. However, I'm definitely willing to say that having a good season in Russia doesn't make him a default top 6 winger in the NHL. That is something that is not granted based on talent, potential and draft position alone; it is something that's earned through hard work, discipline and addressing your own weaknesses as a player.
See, I'm not arguing against reasoned arguments like yours, It was more against "Perezhogin was only a 3rd liner at best" or "He doesn't have heart he couldn't tough it out in a foreign country" and so on.

I do believe he had earned the right to atleast get a proper chance because he had been playing very well on the 3rd line.

Anyways him being good in Russia doesn't make him a top 6 forward but at his young age I think people were just not patient enough with him while in montreal, and are even worse with him now that he's gone. Much like people hate Ribs now that he isn't a hab and theodore and huet etc. (once again it's some ppl not everyone...)

Also Pleky didn't earn his 2nd line job he was given the opportunity to fill in. He did (last year anyways) earn his first line job. Sure young players have to "earn" their spot on the top 6 lines, but they have to be given that opportunity.

I would like you cite the Latendresse example. Higgins is injured, Lats takes his place and does well, if Higgins comes back Lats is still with Koivu because he's been doing well. The opposite happened to Perezhogin when Zednik was injured and came back even though Perez like Lats had been doing well with Koivu.

So yeah Perez had not earned his 2nd line spot like Lats (so far) has or A. Kost or Pleky... but he wasn't given the opportunity to do it either.

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