After a disappointing campaign in 2008-09, Tomas Plekanec appears to have become the new whipping boy of the Montreal fan base.
Everyone seems to want him out, simply based on the fact that he underperformed this season. Much was expected of him after his breakout year in 2007-08, and although he didn't meet those standards, the same can be said about almost the rest of the team, save for Andrei Markov and Robert Lang.
After having a steady point increase throughout the first three seasons of his career, Plekanec ran into a wall last season. He couldn't find chemistry with any of his wingers, not even with Andrei Kostitsyn and Alex Kovalev, with whom he scored a combined 206 points in 2007-08. He also led a power-play dependent team in goals at even strength, which is a clear indication that he didn't need the man advantage to pad his stats.
However, after a very disappointing season last year in which he couldn't even muster 20 assists (19), it seems that everyone wants him traded.
So should the Canadiens trade him?
Habs management seems to have made a habit (no pun intended) in the past seasons of trading away good young talent after they had one bad season.
A prime example of this would be Michael Ryder.
After recording two consecutive 30-goal seasons, Ryder hit a wall in 2007-08, seeing his goal total plummet to 14. He was also often a healthy scratch.
So instead of having faith in their promising young player, management let him walk as a free agent, where he signed with the Boston Bruins and regained his form, scoring 27 goals.
Plekanec is just entering the prime of his career, and if he is given a chance to silence his doubters, he will make the most of it.
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