Bob Gainey confirmed in a radio interview this afternoon that on-again off-again star Alex Kovalev would not be returning to the Canadiens for the 2009-2010 season. The news comes only two days after a small rally that saw about 250 people call for Kovy’s return in a small demonstration at the Bell Centre.
“I think that Alex has really left a mark on people and the hockey fans in Montreal and the fact that he won’t be returning with our team is a difficult and emotional separation for them,” the Habs GM said.
I’m a bit torn about this decision. For the most part of last season I was not a fan of Kovalev’s and, if Koivu had of stayed on, I would be quick to applaud leaving him behind. As it stands, though, we’ve lost Koivu and Kovalev suddenly represented something nostalgic and steadfast about the Habs’ team that I’ve loved these past few years. With so many new faces it would have been nice to see someone on the ice that I recognize who plays above the third line.
On the other hand, Alex Kovalev was not a team player, was a huge liability on the ice and his magic hands were constantly out-shone by his selfish play and frustrating penalties. I wish him well and have fond memories but, in the end, I have to admit that I’m happy to see him go.
Give the “C” to Markov!