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McKenzie: Kostitsyn's teammates don't want him around

Bob McKenzie
5/6/2010 3:40:08 PM
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There's not much doubt what the Montreal Canadiens - and that includes management, coaching staff and players - would like to do with Sergei Kostitsyn right about now.

Kick his butt down Rue Ste. Catherine on the way out of town would appear to sum it up.

But it's in no one's best interest at this moment to make a spectacle of the Sergei Kostitsyn situation.

The Canadiens are getting ready for tonight's Game 4 against the Pittsburgh Penguins, down 2-1 in the series.

Actually, Sergei Kostitsyn, based on his ample talent and skill, is a player who could help the Canadiens right now. The Canadiens are lacking depth. Some of their better players look as though they may be wearing down.

But the Canadiens have no intention of giving Kostitsyn that opportunity because they believe his attitude has been so negative and his work ethic so abysmal. His overheard verbal exchange with netminder Carey Price - Price called him out for not doing some extra work at practice - highlighted what is known to one and all. Kostitsyn is on his own program and the situation appears to be beyond salvage.

Kostitsyn's teammates would rather lose without him than take their chances with him in the lineup.

That Sergei's brother Andrei is supposed to be a top six forward complicates things as well.

The bottom line, though, is that Sergei Kostitsyn has no real future with the team. But he won't be officially banished right now because that would be a distraction in the middle of a playoff series and besides, the Canadiens don't want do anything publicly to further diminish a clearly diminishing asset they'll try to move in the off season.

But the fact he wasn't skating with the team today at the game-day skate tells you everything you need to know about his status with the team.

He doesn't have any.

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