Adjective: Difficult to interpret or understand; mysterious. See Kostitsyn, Sergei
There hasn’t been a lot since he was traded, but this past week I did manage to come across a bit of news/chatter on Montreal Canadiens coach Jacques Martin’s favorite whipping boy of 2009-10.
Nashville Predators assistant GM Paul Fenton talked, to the Nashville Tennessean, last week on the troubled forward that he acquired in a trade for Dan Ellis and Dustin Boyd on June 29.
“He was under the microscope a little bit in the Montreal system,” Fenton said. “I think a new start at a new place like ours where it's a concept of everyone working together is something he will accept.”
“This kid is a really solid, two-way player and he always has been,” Fenton said. “He's very responsible on both sides of the puck. His two-way game is very attractive to me.”
Fenton’s roll with the Predators involves player acquisitions and overseeing the team’s pro and amateur scouting, Suffice to say Kostitsyn and Fenton are well known to each other, as the winger has been on Fenton’s radar since he has been in his mid-teens.
From a blogger point of view, “Guy Lapylon” of Faceoff.com tags Kostitsyn as a bounce-back player this season.
“I think his move to Nashville was a blessing for the Belarusian. Kostitsyn has talent and I think he will get the playing time he was looking for in Montreal.”
Now whether or not this happens may not fall just on Kostitsyn’s work ethic, or change of scenery, but rather with the scoring talent surrounding him.
The Belarusian has always been considered a playmaker, but the 2010-11 Predators roster has no players with over 60 points last season. Without any true finisher to feed pucks to, a turnaround season has to be seriously questioned for the 23-year-old winger.
He’ll likely get the playing time he feels he deserves, but with little offensive depth in Nashville that is to be expected.
Unless a move is made for a top-level shooter, don’t expect that “come back to bite the Habs in the ass” season out if him. I wouldn’t be surprised though to see a offensive spurt around the time he faces his former team on November 18, in Montreal.
Another interesting observation is that there has been little comment from Camp Kostitsyn on the trade, or his one-year $550,000 signing with the Predators.
In fact, a noted Predators blog site doesn’t even list Kostitsyn in their poll of who will lead the team in scoring in 2010-11.
Given Paul Fenton’s long relationship with him, and the fact the Predators are kicking off their season promotional campaigns, you’d think that he would be more up front and centre for the club by now.
On the other hand, Fenton also knows that Kostitsyn isn’t exactly a great orator either, so a press engagement would be rather redundant. Fans and media in Montreal had enough difficulty understanding him, so imagine the backwoods Tennesseans out of the Smokey Mountains trying to figure it out.
In Montreal, we already know which number Dustin Boyd will wear, and he’s already made a brief media appearance for the club.
Then again Kostitsyn is now playing in Nashville, where hockey isn’t exactly big talk on any day of the week. For all we know, he could be drunk and riding the mechanical bull at The Wildhorse Saloon yelling, “Look at me, I’m cowboy!” and everyone will think he’s just one of the crowd.