Let’s go back in time a little bit. Alex Kovalev was god in the stadium for a few seasons. In front of a fan base which hasn’t seen a true star offensive player since the days of Pierre Turgeon and Vincent Damphousse about 15 years ago, people reached and hoped that this player would be it, with his immense talent but who’s performances were rather disappointing.
Just over a year ago now, when the news came out that the Canadiens signed Brian Gionta with the money offered to Kovalev because his agent didn’t think it was a good idea to return Bob Gainey’s call, people kicked and screamed. We even saw people with signs in front of the Bell Centre to protest against the injustice of having the nerve, the audacity to sign someone else other than the enigmatic #27.
A year and a bit later, we can now make a better evaluation of the decision to go with the one who said yes to Gainey’s offer instead of waiting for Kovalev’s camp to bother replying. Let’s look at what both players have done with their respective team since :
Regular season :
Kovalev – Gionta
121 GP 111
26 Goals 44
41 Assists 27
67 Points 71
-20 +/- 0
Kovalev – Gionta
0 GP 19
0 Goals 9
0 Assists 6
0 Points 15
0 +/- -6
If we take into consideration the players’ age, are there still some who think that it was a bad decision, that it would have been better to give those $5 million to Kovalev instead of Gionta, who has since become the team captain?
Personally, I was thrilled to see Gionta in Montreal playing with Gomez, while bringing with him some much needed new leadership in the dressing room, leadership based on hard and constant work ethics, and to finally see the Canadiens turn the page on the Kovalev era.
We now hear some fans and members of the media who seem to think that it would be a good idea for the Canadiens to trade for the enigmatic Russian. I really don’t think that he’s the type of player that’s needed in Montreal, especially not under Jacques Martin.
What do you think?
En français: Le dieu Kovalev détrôné? Oh mon capitaine!