Nov. 23, 2009, was a tumultuous day for the Montreal Canadiens.
Golden boy Guillaume Latendresse was traded for Benoit Pouliot, and enfant terrible Sergei Kostitsyn was called up from Hamilton, ending a 20-game penitentiary in the minors for the disgruntled forward.
In only a few days, Kostitsyn has gone from the Hamilton Bulldogs to the top line of the Montreal Canadiens. Not bad at all, although this can be mainly attributed to all the injuries the Canadiens have faced in the past week.
In three games with the big club, the younger Kostitsyn has recorded two assists with a plus three rating. Again, not bad at all.
But past the stats, Kostitsyn is also a legitimate offensive threat who can make things happen when the puck is on his stick.
A gifted playmaker, he is also a nimble stickhandler, a skill which he put on full display last night against Washington.
However, it isn't all perfect yet.
Kostitsyn has been guilty of a few bad turnovers since his return, notably a giveaway at the blueline in Mellon Arena which resulted in a two-on-one. A boneheaded penalty in his first game back doesn't help, either.
But with such a talented offensive player such as Kostitsyn, the potential offense that he can bring to the table far outweigh those mistakes.
When Scott Gomez and Andrei Kostitsyn return, expect Sergei to move down to the second line.
Hopefully he will not ask to be traded when that happens (I kid). But with him and Tomas Plekanec, and perhaps Max Pacioretty, the Habs might finally have a permanent second line.
And with all all the trouble the Canadiens have had with secondary scoring this season, perhaps this might make Bob Gainey hesitate to trade Kostitsyn, as many have said he will do eventually.
He has little to no value on the trade market right now, sow why throw him away?
With all the good things he can bring to the team, and the depth he will provide when the bigger names come back, Sergei Kostitsyn is a huge asset for the club.