Habs Trim Some Fat And Give A Big Chance To Two Who Need It

Subtract Guillaume Latendresse from the equation and add Benoit Pouliot and Sergei Kostitsyn. And although I’ve read that the scouting reports on Pouliot say he’s a tad lazy, I’m sure Jacques Martin will whip the whippersnapper into tiptop shape and he’ll be the first one out of bed in the morning and the last to leave the ice after practices. He’s an Alfred, Ontario boy, just down the road from Ottawa on the way to Montreal, so in his eyes, he’s going to the promised land, I’m sure.

Sergei Kostitsyn is back up after purgatory in the minors, where they ride the buses and where you can’t afford steak and lobster on the meal money, so he’ll be biting at the bit to make sure this never happens to him again.

It’s all about positive thinking.

And Latendresse will either do well or not do well in Minnesota. We don’t really care. Because it’s all about the Habs.

Benoit Pouilot Numbers:

  Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2003-04 Sudbury Wolves OHL 4 2 2 4 0 4 2 1 3 0
2004-05 Sudbury Wolves OHL 67 29 36 65 102 12 6 8 14 20
2005-06 Sudbury Wolves OHL 51 35 30 65 141 8 8 3 11 16
2005-06 Houston Aeros AHL 2 0 0 0 2
2006-07 Houston Aeros AHL 67 19 17 36 109
2006-07 Minnesota Wild NHL 3 0 0 0 0
2007-08 Houston Aeros AHL 46 10 14 24 67 3 0 0 0 2
2007-08 Minnesota Wild NHL 11 2 1 3 0 1 0 0 0 0
2008-09 Minnesota Wild NHL 37 5 6 11 18
2008-09 Houston Aeros AHL 30 9 15 24 20 20 1 7 8 28
2009-10 Minnesota Wild* NHL 14 2 2 4 12          
  NHL Totals   65 9 9 18 30 1 0 0 0 0


18 thoughts on “Habs Trim Some Fat And Give A Big Chance To Two Who Need It”

  1. I think the guy in Minny who drafted Ben has his neck on the line. How can someone drafted 4th overall be a flop. I like the fact he’s a centre and a big guy. Maybe with the right coaching and role models he can become a second liner which would be huge. And apparently he’s faster than la ‘tender’ness. I wont miss guy because he never hit and never went in front of the net. Don;t know if his mind was in the game while with the habs. Upside for a 4th overall seems to be great. What are the analysts saying and what did they say on draft day about Pouilot? I think he has potential. Its good that Sergei is back. Smarter I hope. Hopefully his brother can smarten him up andteach him what he needs to know.

  2. Good stuff, Mayo. I just hope he’s not lazy like someone said. Lats did almost nothing for the Habs this year, and even before. He never became the guy everyone thought. He’s one of those guys I won’t think twice about after this. He never made an impact as a Hab. It’s too bad. The team needs a great French-Canadian star and it sure wasn’t Latendresse.

  3. I’ve never seen Pouliot play, but based on his career stats, I don’t like the trade. His 4 year NHL totals don’t even match any of Latendresse’s yearly numbers. I would have expected a better return for him. Pouliot may have started as a higher draft pick, but that just means he’s underachieved that much more.
    At best the 2 teams just traded their problems and reset the expectations for each player. I assume Pouliot speaks French well enough to at least keep the French media happy.

  4. It just ocurred to me that sergei kostitsyn was taken in same draft as Sid the Kid, Carey Price, and Latenderdrese. He was a 7th rounder (200th overall). Pretty impressive that he has NHL numbers. I’ve been very critical of him but that makes me wonder. I know he’s immature but here’s hoping he makes it happen this time.

  5. Mayo, it’s going to be very interesting to see how Sergei plays. I think this is it, though. Either he does it this time or he’s finished with the Habs.

  6. I think Habs fans are going to regret this trade in a few years. Latendresse was rushed into the league, and is just 22 years old. I think he’ll end up being a regular 30 goal guy at some point.

  7. I don’t know what makes you optimistic that Jacques Martin can “whip the whippersnapper into tiptop shape”. He failed dismally with Latendresse and his track record with the rest of the Habs’ youth was only upgraded to ‘questionable’ because Andrei’s started playing. Martin’s results so far does not induce me towards optimism regarding Pouliot, but if Pouliot’s lesser NHL experience makes him waiver exempt at least we can send him down to be taught by Boucher (and we may want to ship Paciorretty with him).

    Lats also didn’t need to go for Sergei to come in. The Habs still have a lot of forwards who are a lot less useful than Lats THIS YEAR, let alone players who have never been as effective Latendresse has been in the past.

    This was a bad trade, plain and simple. A team trades a young, promising NHL regular for a worse player because the coach does not like him? This is not a good sign and it’s not reassuring with regards to Martin’s ability to handle the youth. I’m excusing somewhat him for the team’s play because he has 20 million dollars on IR, but I’ve been worrying about the coach and this is not reassuring at all.

    At least Gainey got a lottery ticket back. It’s possible that this pays off handsomely, which makes it less of a clunker than, say, the Ribeiro trade. But I wouldn’t lay good odds on that.

  8. From what I’ve heard… Martin is quite familiar with Pouliot.

    What’s also interesting is that he’s played at left wing in Minnesota and in the AHL…

    But in the OHL as a junior…. he was a center.

    Think they might try him a bit at center?

    I’m really not sure who won or lost… or even if the trade is a wash. Hindsight will tell. What we do know is that both guys haven’t lived up to expectation.

    Pouliot, it’s been said has work ethic problems…. well, maybe this new start might fire him up.

    He’s just moved 1 hour away from his hometown… to a team he loved as a kid… with a coach he’s familiar with….

    Maybe. That’s all.

  9. What made people, and gui himself, believe that he was a first or second liner? Because the habs drafted him, and he’s french canadien?

    This is why I like Tom Pyatt. He’s new, nobody had really heard of him, nobody really cared. There is no pressure on him to perform well, yet his play has been playing pretty well (especially compared to Latendresse). I find he plays hard every shift, and i like it. Pyatt is 22 years old. It’s his first NHL season and I’d say for what we expected from him, he’s doing quite well.

    Now why is Gui expected to be on the first line according to some people, and Pyatt not? Gui hasn’t really proved that he is capable of that, so why believe it?

    In my opinion, if you put that sort of pressure on anyone, chances are, things won’t go the way most people hoped.

  10. Hi Mathman. My “whipping the whippersnapper into tiptop shape” was me trying to stay positive. Pouliot’s numbers aren’t anything to write home about. So I’m trying to stay positve. Howver, Latendresse’s numbers this year didn’t exactly guarantee him a job either. Two goals and one assist in 23 games. I pretty sure no one thought the Canadiens were going anywhere with this guy. He did very little, and so they didn’t get a whole lot in return. But we’ll see how Pouliot plays in his new surroundings.

  11. But Tom, Latendresse had problems with his work ethic and his coaches on Team Canada juniors, and has a whopping 2 goals and 1 assist this year in 23 games. In big business like the NHL, you can’t wait around and be overly patient with a guy who was invisble on so many nights and couldn’t even get more than 1assist. Granted, the Habs didn’t get a star in return but maybe he’ll don fine and be an upgrade from a guy who the poster boy for all that was wrong with Montreal’s secondary scoring.

  12. Gillis:

    I think with some media selling Gui as a top 2 line player… for a few years… he may have had a sense of entitlement.

    Tony @ The Team 990 said that he had info that said Gui cancelled some of his power skating sessions over the summer.

    Entitlement will kill your career.

    I believe that the Habs gave him the opportunity to grab a spot… even though they brought him up too early.

    But it’s up to a guy to grab a roster spot… Tom Pyatt is a great example…. everyone thought he was a throw in with the Gomez deal… but he’s looking like a pretty good young player.

    Pyatt, Chipchura, O’Byrne, Halak…. all those guys went through the ups and downs to earn their spots. Sergei Kostitsyn as well… hopefully he’s learned from it..

    Something Gui never had to do… but should have.

  13. Hi Gillis – Latendresse never became a first or second liner with the Habs and I don’t mind Gainey and I understand Gainey losing patience. I would too. Two goals and 1 assist after 23 games, for a guy considered an offensive forward, not a defensive forward, is unnacceptable. I’m happy with this trade, regardless of who we got.

  14. Yves, maybe Martin and the staff know a few things about Pouliot that we don’t see in his numbers. I thinks it’s wortha try and sending Latendresse packing is just fine with me.

  15. Yves, you use the word “entitlement” and I think it’s the perfect word in this case. It seems like he felt he was entitled to a job and didn’t have to do a whole lot more than he was doing. You and Gillis have brought up good points. And Pyatt could be a keeper.

  16. Gui is gone and good riddance. Even though a lot was expected of him, he was likely treated like royalty in hab town. This likely all went to his immature head. He did feel entitled and he acted like it even though he stunk up the ice. We all remember being 22. I can only imagine what was going through his thick head when he is hounded for autographs day in and day out. He didn’t deserve to be signing autographs. He was brought in too young. I like the trade and ben won’t have to prove too much to make the habs a winner. He’s replacing a loser to begin with.

  17. I think Gui’s accomplishments are being seriously undersold. The ability to score 16-20 goals that he has demonstrated, all the while with no PP production and limited icetime, has a great deal of value.

    Minute-per-minute, he was the second-best 5-on-5 goal-scorer on the team last year, and third-best the year before. That’s very meaningful, especially for a team that has struggled at even strength.

    Pouliot is not as good as Gui, no matter how you slice it. This is what makes it a bad trade.

  18. Yes, they didn’t get a lot in return, at least at first glance. That remains to be seen. But how much could they get from a guy who was beginning to be a healthy scratch, and had just two goals and one assist? I’ve never seen a trade in my life where everyone’s on the same page and everyone agrees with. But for for me personally, Latendresse wasn’t helping, and we need players who help.

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