Remember the lovefest last October when the Canadiens opened the season against Toronto, and HNIC-Sportsnet was falling all over itself to praise Brandon Kozun, how great he was, how inspiring that as an undersized low-round draftee he had finally, probably made it to the NHL and would revolutionize the team/sport/humanity? Even though we had on our side undrafted free agent David Desharnais, who’d actually made the NHL and was playing a regular shift on the #1 line? How it was all about Brandon Kozun, how boy-howdy, I tells ya, you can keeps your Johnny Hockeys, for my moneys, Brandon Kozun is every bit as good as those other guys, he’s like Brendan Gallagher but with more speed, talent, hands, skills, quickness, Leafiness, ….
Well, la revolución es no mas. Mr. Kozun has signed a contract to play with Jokerit in the KHL.
In related news, Cory Conacher has signed on with Bern of the Swiss League. That’s Guy Boucher’s team, so they know each other from their Tampa days.
Mr. Conacher made a splash when he first hit the NHL, but couldn't cling to a roster spot, and was traded to Ottawa for Ben Bishop. Good for the Lightning, bad for the Sens. He finished out the year in Utica in the Canucks' farm system.
With all the talk about the search for the ‘next Tyler Johnson’, with the draft approaching, we should qualify it as the ‘search for the next Tyler Johnson, but the next Nathan Gerbe will be banished, and soon, if he’s not putting up 60 points.’
There's a meme that ‘a small player has to prove he can play in the NHL, a big player has to prove he can’t’. That is proven out by both these signings I guess.