With the goalie issue almost decided, (if Carey Price and Dan Ellis sign pieces of paper), Tomas Plekanec on board, and Sergei Kostitsyn dealt to Nashville, the other linguering story in the wings is the story of the enigma – Andrei Kostitsyn.
How will he play this year? Is he ready to huff and puff every game, and play like he wants his team to win and can do something about it?
Andrei K. managed 15 goals and 18 assists in 59 games, and then 3 goals and 5 assists in 19 playoff games. These are very mediocre numbers from a guy expected to be an offensive threat.
Underachiever? It’s Andrei Kostitsyn.
But now with brother Sergei, who may well have been a high-maintenance brother, gone to Nashville, maybe Andre can relax and not have to worry about kid brother and become more of one of the boys. It could be the best thing, this saying goodbye to Sergei.
Maybe we’ll see a dynamic season from Andrei. He’s got all the tools – great shot, good skater, fine stickhandler. It’s only his brain that needs to be tweaked.
A good coach is one who can deal with players the way they need to be dealt with. Some need to be yelled at, others need to be patted on the back. Give Andrei Kostitsyn the “A” on his jersey and the few responsibilities that go with it, even though he doesn’t deserve such an honour, and the psychology of it all might put his career back on track.
Give Andrei a letter, and while they’re at it, give someone the captaincy too. I think we all want, and missed, a captain of the Montreal Canadiens.