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11-20-2006, 05:17 PM
Miller Time
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Originally Posted by Saku K. View Post
White, trust me when I tell you I hope as much as anybody that Kostsitsyn can be an impact player for the Habs but I'm not convinced that being from a great draft year is enough for me to suggest he's gonna be a great one when there is logically enough to be concerned of.

When he was drafted Kostsitsyn was seen as a top talent in a very stacked draft and even Timmins, who has extremly good credibility as far as player evaluation is concerned, was quoted saying he was a top talent and could be ready to play in the league as soon as the beginning of the following season.

Of course, everybody (including myself) was extremly excited about his selection. However, since his draft day beside some performance on the international scenes for Team Belarus and this year's training camp, Kostsitsyn did show little to convince me as to why I should be excited. Kostsitsyn has shown by his last few years he was more as a project player then the stud star prospect a lot of people claimed (still claim) him of to be.

I'm just puzzled that every summer since his draft day, he is still put on the team's top line every single year despite underwhelming pro achievement. I mean he failed to stick with the father team in Russia, I was not too worried as the Russia Superleague surely doesn't see itself as a developement league for the NHL and I believe some politics could have been were involved.

His AHL rookie year, he did show little thorough the season as far as steady developement is concerned but even there it was his rookie year I gave him the benefit of the doubt since he had to adjust to a new culture, the different rink and the new style and level of play he had to get used to. Even there, I was underwhelmed to see how such a hyped prospect as a talented point scoring machine failed to secure at least a spot of the team's powerplay or on an offensive line on a team with little AHL top-six ready talent.

Last year, second to Corey Locke in points, he still failed to pot 20 goals while having some defensive gains. I don't think anybody would think Kostsitsyn is now a decent defensive forward at the NHL or is a good fit to play against the opponent's top line nights in nights outs or a fourth line as of today. He did have a great camp and deserved a spot though he got caugh in the numbers game. He certainly didn't seperate himself from the pack in Hamilton once again this season and he was okay in his call up.

Then I see all sort of excuses: it's his teammates fault, it's his coaches fault, the canadiens are not handling his development properly.

I just don't seem to understand why people can put Kostsitsyn on their top two line every single year when he fails to take charge in an offensive role at the AHL level and while very talented, he has not shown he can be constant over the long run as far as scoring points or showing a strong work ethic. His development has been very slow so far. I also hear how he should be given a superior treatment to our other prospects, even some people are afraid he could storm back to Russia. If this guy isn't a first round pick, people's thinking of Kostsitsyn would be of an good scoring line prospect with a lot to prove with what he has shown so far in his career.

Some people lastest's argument have been that he should be in because he should be better with NHL talent, even though Kostsitsyn has been known as a player who tends to use his teammates poorly and if I am doing assets management on a team I cannot bank on such baseless prediction. Each and every points is important in the standing in today's NHL, assuming such things is more likely to burn you than anything else, when you have results, it is always more secure to base yourself on past success. In Kostsitsyn's case, you can't use that you have to rely on the so-popular "He was drafted high, he's got great talent and he needs to play with higher skilled player to succeed" type of argument which hold little weight as far as being base for a successful decision making process. Not that Sammy is making Gainey look smart right now but plugging a scoring line veteran instead of handing out the scoring line spot to a prospect with so much question marks was the right decision IMO. Sammy's failure so far doesn't automatically mean Gainey's thought process was necessarily bad. Maybe Samsonov wasn't the right man for the job, that's okay to think that. I think most people were 50/50 on the signing and myself, thought Gainey handed too much money to Sammy but as far as signing a top-six veteran vs Kostsitsyn, they were no doubt in my mind that it was the good decision.

I'm one of the school were RESULTS are far more important than pointless speculation or early draft day potential and try to adjust my thinking of one player with every single year going by. Beside some international moments for Belarus and this season's training camp, Kostsitsyn has been pretty much shown little to be overly optimistic about. The good news is that he's still very talented and keeps on improving a little every season but he is nowhere near on a level that he should be put on a pedestal or be reserved a spot on the roster. He's overwaited, maybe, but it's not the management's fault at all and I think all the bashing is mostly undeserved. Hopefully, he can prove me wrong and put plenty of points in the AHL so we can all agree that without a shadow of a doubt he deserves his shot and has what it takes to make the impact we're all hoping for. Until then, he's still a bit of an enigma with a lot of question marks on his true potential future with the Habs.
I agree with most of what you say but....
From what I heard (i can only listen to games on the radio out here in calgary) on the radio and what I've read here, Kots certainly didn't play himself OUT of a roster spot...

Plus, I don't believe that Lats did/showed all that much more in his first 15 games with the team than Kots did in his 2, and he got bumped to the first line not demoted...

Now I understand the whole "can't play in the AHL" thing, and that's all fine and dandy, but I think that most teams, with 1st round picks, at some point give them a decent shot at earning/keeping a roster spot. I don't think that Kots has gotten that shot yet, at least not the kind of shot most top ten picks get at some point.
Would anyone be saying anything if he had been a 3rd rounder, of course not, but he wasnt, he was a 1st, and until he proves to be a complete bust, fans, media and even management will continue to hope he can break out... For some reason Gainey just doesn't seem ready to give him a full audition.

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