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11-13-2011, 09:45 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: The Wild West
Do you ever get that gut feeling that a player's fate with the team is doomed?
I have. More than once. It happened with O'Byrne and D'Agostini. It also happened with Sergei Kostitsyn and Michael Ryder.
I don't mean this as a commentary on a player's ability or whether the decision made by the team was bad or good. But sometimes when you sit back and look at the big picture do you think, "this just doesn't seem to be working out."
We seem to have had more than our fair share of those kinds of situations with younger players and I get the uneasy feeling it is happening with Emelin. I don't know what the solution is, either. The picture on defense is going to become even more complicated when Campoli returns and if Markov returns. Right now the team is enjoying a modicum of success.
From Emelin's point of view, he probably doesn't consider himself a raw rookie. Far from it in fact. He probably has more high level international experience than anyone on the current roster except for Spacek. He is older than Weber or Subban and the same age as Diaz. In fact he is only a year and a half younger than Gorges and Campoli.
Like any young player in the prime of his career he is probably chomping at the bit to get on the ice and show what he can do. Every player knows they have to pay their dues but it is unlikely that they know exactly what those dues might be. Is it playing on the bottom pairing, is it playing every second game, is it sitting out for long stretches or is it plying your trade in the AHL?
You can say all you want about sucking it up but all players have some pride in their abilities and the desire to display that ability. It is why they have made it this far. When they are not playing you can see it in their demeanour. It is a natural human reaction.
Hopefully I am wrong but the Emelin situation has all the earmarks of another discontented player in the making. And discontented players are not good for team chemistry. There are two ways to get around that situation. One is to work with the player, throw him a bone once in a while and show you have some confidence in him. The other, is the approach that the Habs have been taking. Simply remove the player from the situation.
Does Emelin have enough talent to consider the first approach. I think he does, others probably think he doesn't. Whichever it is, I have that sinking feeling that things are not going to work out for him in Montreal. Hopefully I am wrong.
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