I think the central message of this article contradicts that.
Selon Bégin, il n'y a rien qui puisse venir de l'extérieur pour déconcentrer l'équipe. Sans nommer personne, les départs de Pierre Dagenais, José Théodore, Richard Zednik, Jan Bulis et Mike Ribeiro ont eu pour effet d'améliorer l'atmosphère dans l'équipe.
«Il n'y a plus de cliques, ajoute le fougueux attaquant. Au restaurant, tout le monde se mêle. Comme une famille.
The departure of [insert player names] and Mike Ribeiro had the effect of improving the atmosphere around the team.
"There are no more cliques", Begin said. "At the restaurant, everybody gets along. Like a family."
Use of the word "everybody" suggests to me the inclusion of Kovalev, Samsonov and Plekanec. I am inclined to believe that Steve Begin then considers these guys part of the positive environment.
Shabutie, while I often enjoy reading your posts, I am hoping yhou can clarify something for me. I recall quite well that you were one of the most vocal defenders of Mike Ribeiro, who was well known to be the ring leader of the cancerous Ribeiro/Theodore/Dagenais clique. Doesn't that make criticism of guys like Kovalev a little shaky?
That is not to say that I disagree with you with regards to the contributions of some of the players you mentioned. Samsonov and Murray are clearly big disappointments so far. I will continue to believe that Plekanec's critics are simply too far ahead of themselves. Anyway, sorry to be a critic again.
First off, I just want to say that what you put in bold wasn't what Begin said, it's what who ever wrote the article assumes.
As for being a defender of Ribs...I've never defended who he is off-ice (although I have said that no one knows what goes on in the locker room). The problem I've had is with guys like you who said he was ineffective... Well clearly this year we've seen what he meant for the team (2nd PP is horrible). My criticism for Kovalev, doesn't cloud the fact that I KNOW he's very important to the team. I think he's also a key part of Markov wanting to re-sign here (although I'm not aware of if they are off-ice friends or not). Alex is the most talented player we've got and maybe I do like picking on him because he's not giving it 100% 3/4 nights...but the number 1 thing that irritates me is how he plays with others. His style just doesn't translate with many players on this team....He's got decent chemistry with Samsonov, but neither can finish their passes and from what we've seen he's got good chemistry with Koivu; However, we haven't seen him show anything with anyone else. Until Carbonneau realises this, I won't be able to like watching Kovalev play.
Edit: OH and as for Plekanec...I love the guy, I was just saying that he doesn't seem like a team spirit "booster" because I've never seen him talk, in the 2 years he's been here. However, that was only my opinion...I wasn't basing it on fact, just on what we see ON the ice. Obviously Carbo and Gainey know what goes off it, and I'm sure if any of the guys I've mentioned weren't getting part of the family, they'd be on their way out.
PSS: Much like you, I believe that Plekanec CAN fill the 2nd line role.