Hobo came up with something that had me thinking during my 30 minute drive home tonight.
He said that once Scott Gomez moves on, then P.K.Subban or Mike Cammalleri will unfortunately become the next whipping boy in Montreal.
I wondered if that could happen.
We put a lot of pressure on our boys to perform and do the sweater proud, and if someone finds himself in and out of way too many slumps, who doesn’t seem to always give 100%, and doesn’t really help the team much at all, then they hear it from us. Especially if they have big honkin’ contracts.
It possible that something like this could happen with Cammalleri. I hope not, though. But then again, this is a guy who makes 6 million bucks, which is second-most on the team behind you-know-who. So for sure, he has to earn it or we’ll call him out on it.
Cammy can be a dynamic player, there’s no denying. He can fire pucks into top corners with one knee on the ice a la Sidney Crosby, and he scores big goals at important times. Big goals from the slot are his bread and butter. Checking and tying guys up and digging pucks out of scrums – not so much.
So for him to be whipping boy, the team has to be quite ordinary, worse than they are right now, and Cammy has to fall into a long slump, or give the puck away too many times, or just not do much of anything while collecting a fair chunk of change.
With P.K., we’re expecting so much of him it’s almost too much to ask, We want our P.K. to quickly become a Norris Trophy candidate. We want him to be a bonafide all-star, to take pucks and charge up the ice with people rising from their seats the way they rose for Guy Lafleur. We haven’t had a superstar, a real superstar, in a long time, and P.K., along with the big guy in goal, is our hope.
So could P.K. become a whipping boy? I suppose it’s possible, but it would be horrible if it happened. If he plays without enthusiasm, which I can’t picture, or if he makes mistake after mistake leading to too many goals, but he’s too good for that.
He’s also so likeable that I can’t see anyone turning on him. At some point soon, his salary is going to raise slightly more than the $875,000 he collects now, but I’m sure he’ll earn every penny along the way. He’s P.K. for goodness sakes!
Just picture him in a few years. Smiling that big smile, being slightly silly, polishing his Norris.
I found Hobo’s comment very thought-provoking. Maybe after Gomez, there will be no whipping boy. Maybe we’re burning so much energy with this guy, we won’t feel like it with anybody else.
I just hope everyone plays well enough to avoid the wrath of the fans.