Well, it's monday so we all know what that means! It's time to play... name that Hab's injury! Guess who it is...
clue # 1: I'm the most frustrating player on the team not named Scott Gomez
clue #2: I was selected 10th overall and there are at least 10 players drafted after me that are waaaaay better than I am.
clue # 3: My name is Andrei Kostitsyn
So? Did you figure it out?
That's right, our beloved AK46 left practice today with what is called a "body injury". Gotta love the NHL policy that keeps injuries more secret than the US nuclear codes. There is no additional info at the moment, so he could've left because of a papercut (from counting all his unearned money) for all we know. But I thought I'd take the opportunity to look at AK's body of work.
Let's start at the begining. Drafted in 2003, 10th overall. He's had a couple of good years, and the draft is always a crap shoot, but when you look at who was drafted AFTER him, it reads like a who's who of young NHL studs that we would all kill to have on this team. Jeff Carter, Dustin Brown, Brent Seabrooke, Zach Parise, Ryan Getzlaf, Brent Burns, Ryan Kessler, Mike Richards and some kid called Corey Perry just to name a few. Holy shit. We passed up on all these guys for the fucking enigma wrapped in a mystery we call Andrei. I get it, this guy has a ton of talent. Nobody every disputed that. He was also slated to go much earlier than 10th if it wasn't for his epillepsie. But look at that list!! Big tough centermen, 40 goal scorers, Hart trophy winners, defensive cornerstones, tabarnac ca fait mal! And if Round 1 wasn't enough, we let Patrice Bergeron, Shea Weber and Loui Eriksson slip by in round 2. Ok, let's move on. Hind sight is 20/20. We drafted him and then what?
In 07-08, he freaked us all out and popped in 26 goals. We thought we finally had the gem of the 2003 draft. That's why when he signed his 3yr deal, we all thought we got a bargain on this kid with unlimited upside. Little did we know, that was the best year he would have in the red, white and blue. The next year, he dropped a bit but still scored 23. In 09-10, the injury bug caught up to him and he scored 15 in 59 games. And last year, his 20 goals was good enough for 3rd best on this offensively challenged team. In one way, his stats aren't all that bad. What makes them seem weak are the stats of the other guys drafted after him. That and the fact that you can't help but think that if he really wanted to, he could smoke this league. The proof is how he gets his points. 10 pts in 10 games, then nothing. Another 9 in 7 games, then another 15 game drought. He has a release few can match and can skate like the wind. And the icing on the cake? He hates Grabovski. Just that is worthy of a statue in Centennial Place.
What kills me about all this is that he's having a decent start. He'll probably score 25-30, this being a contract year for him. And by doing so, he'll put Pierre Gauthier in a very difficult position. This team certainly can't afford to lose 25 goal scorers under the age of 30, but it also can't afford any more shitty dead weight contracts. Rock, meet hard place. Hard place, this is rock.