Pouliot Really Didn’t Deserve A Place On The Team

Tom Pyatt and Alexandre Picard will be moving on from the Habs, and it’s the nature of the beast when you’re a journeyman-type player who can be easily replaced by other journemen-type players who are spread throughout the league in handfuls.

Pyatt was a gritty, hard-working, penalty-killing forward, and to him I say thanks for the good job. Picard gave his all but at the end of the day, he was too slow and didn’t possess the necessary skills to be an impact defenceman, but I also say thanks.

And then there’s Benoit Pouliot, another who has played his last game for the Canadiens.

Pouliot, originally a Wild first-round draft pick in 2005 (4th overall), still hasn’t proven that he’s an NHLer, might never prove he’s one, and his time in Montreal was a dismal failure. He played 118 games for the Habs, scored 28 goals and added 16 assists, and took ill-timed penalties that would see him relegated at times to the press box or the end of the bench. More often than not he seemed to be coasting or was invisible, and when the team needed all hands on deck, Pouliot played like he was going for a leisurely skate.

Many times I swore at him from the comfort of my couch.

Pouliot is a poster boy for those who are touted by most as a can’t-miss, sure-fire prospect, and who fizzles out like a damp firecracker. He was star for the Sudbury Wolves, won top rookie honours in junior, and was a member of Canada’s World Junior team. These are the things he can someday tell his grandchildren. The NHL part he might want to leave out.

It just seemed he would sometimes go forever without scoring a goal – 20 games, 25 games, 30, and this was absolutely unacceptable to his team and to Habs fans who desperately needed him to contribute, which he rarely did. 

Maybe Pouliot will find his game in the future. Presently it doesn’t seem like it but who knows? For the Habs and us though, we couldn’t wait any longer.

13 thoughts on “Pouliot Really Didn’t Deserve A Place On The Team”

  1. I think letting Pyatt go will end up being one of those small mistakes we’ll look back upon and regret. Or we’ll regret it and not even know why. He’s not a major loss, he’s not a hard hitting power forward, he’ll never score 20 goals. But it’s the small things will miss and was the only good thing about the Gomez trade. He’s barely 24 and still improving. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think with more ice time and experience he could score a half dozen goals and get almost 20 points. Imagine if he could take on a bigger role on the penalty kill, how much better Plekanec would be 5 on 5. While I’m dreaming, imagine if you mixed his heart and effort with Pouliot’s size and skill.

  2. I love BabyPyatt, Penalty Killer master. I just hope whoever takes his place can kill off an entire 3-on-5 (with Pleky and Gill) against the Caps in the playoffs the way he did :( Hey he won 2 gold medals for his specialty.

    Just think, Dennis… The Habs actually wanted to draft Pouliot instead of Price. Thank the Hockey Gods Minnesota had pick #4 eh? (Could say the same with Gilbert Brule, who was picked right after Price. Holy crap were the the Habs lucky). Just sucks every time Guimauve will bounce in one of Havlat’s rebounds someone is gonna jump up and say “SEE! SEE! WHAT DID WE GIVE UP FOR POULIOT?!” Bleh. Both are problem children.

  3. Wow, I didn’t know that, 31., that the Habs were considering Pouliot and Brule over Price. I can’t even imagine. And think of how it would resonate for about 50 years after. I wasn’t crazy about Latendresse either and didn’t mind one bit when he left. The part I don’t understand is how Pouliot and others look so great in junior and can’t get it done in the bigs.

  4. Hi Chris. Every team needs a guy like Pyatt and we’ll see how the penalty killing goes this year without him. As for Pouliot, he never helped much at all and we can’t forgive him for that.

  5. Danno, there’s one thing that lingers in my head. How come they gave Kostitsyn so much money for next season (3.25 million) when he underperformed almost as much as anybody? Although at least he popped a few and Pouliot just didn’t do much at all. But still, for Kostitsyn, that’s a lot of coin for taking too many nights off.

  6. Dennis, I think the only reason they are giving Kosttitsyn that much cash is that he does show real brilliance for stretches at a time.

    But then he becomes invisible and goes into hibernation. I hope the money will wake him up and Andrei the Enigma will be solved once and for all.

    It’s a gamble for sure. We’ll see if it pays off soon.

  7. That’s right, Danno. We need everyone to show up every night. I believe we’re a contender if there aren’t many in deep slumps.

  8. Dennis, no doubt about Pouliot, he was a bust. We didn’t give up much for him, but he returned even less. Obviously Gainey thought his potential was worth the risk and I expect some GM to do so again this year, but for less $$$ now.

  9. Kostitsyn has done everything and anything the team told him to do. He’s all offense, now he’s put defence in his game. He’s got 20 goals in pretty much every season save for the one he was injured/trapped with slumping Kovy, throws hits, doesn’t trip over every faceoff dot, and just wishes when he finds his happy place (like next to Plekanec or Eller) he isn’t moved to another line where his comfort zone is sacrificed to get someone else going. Also he had like 2 less goals than Tanguay, is younger, and doesn’t play with Iginla all year… Tanguay’s contract for 5 years is what I’d give Andrei. It’s only a bit more than what he’s making now.

    Meanwhile Pouliot just floats around, shows his brilliance once in a blue moon, one-punch KOs a guy Cammalleri beat up, and just expects to get a new contract? Bye bye Chicken. Guys his age shouldn’t be trying to salvage their career… Perhaps he’ll join Alexandre Daigle in Europe.

  10. 31, yes Kostitsyn has scored a few goals and such, but he experiences several major slumps a season that I hate to see. I’m not quite as sold on him as you are. I feel sometimes his head’s not in it and he’s going through the motions. There were many nights when he absolutely wasn’t putting out and I called him on it whenever I saw it. As for Pouliot – bye, bye. You didn’t help my team and that’s unacceptable.

  11. I still can’t get over the fact that Boston of all places picked him up. When it was announced I thought it was a mistake, but sure enough it was real. Had they not paid attention at all during the games they had against us? It’s not like he set the world on fire. I guess they think they can somehow save him but I think he’ll end up being a big bust there as well and shipped off again.

    I don’t think I’ve seen a player fall down so much either. You could breathe on him and down he’d go.

  12. Darth, I think Pouliot is one of these guys who doesn’t have the proper mindset. There’s a ton pf players who had all the talent in the world and never made it to the NHL and Pouliot is one of these guys I think, although he slipped through the cracks and did make it. But he’s fallen flat ever since. A 4th pick in the first round I think, and he plays like a 4000th.

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