Sometimes life as a hockey player can be frustrating (well, life in general can, but stay with me here). Whether it’s your team losing, you personally struggling, or your coach not giving you the opportunity to succeed, you occasionally find yourself a little bit pissy after the final buzzer. Washington Capitals’ centre Mathieu Perreault is currently feeling a bit of option C there, given his scant usage since Adam Oates took over as head coach.
The Caps have struggled so far, and Oates hasn’t gone soft on those who he feels are responsible, including giving top-6 forward Marcus Johanssan a mere 50 seconds of ice in the third last night.
Russian Machine Never Breaks had the story on Perreault’s frustration last night. Here’s what Perreault had to say:
“Whomever the coach is, every year it is the same story, and the GM doesn’t seem willing to change anything,” Perreault told Godin as translated by friend-of-the-blog Lindsey Novak. “Trade me if I am not part of your plans.”
“It’s hard on my morale,” Perreault continued. “I try to stay positive, but I do not want to endure it for two more years.”
Perreault, who played for IFK Helsinki of the Finnish SM-liiga during the lockout, received more than 20 minutes of ice time per game overseas. ”I come back and it’s not like I’m even part of the team,” said Perreault. “I’m just asking for a little more ice time.”
“Two more years” refers to his contract (a little over a mil a year), which takes him through the end of the 2013-2014 season. Perreault is only 25, and doesn’t want to get buried before he gets started. However, noting that, I have to say….DON’T SAY SHIT LIKE THAT. Don’t say shit like that if you don’t want to put your coach in a tough position, to put more pressure on him, and to make him feel resentful of you. Perreault’s situation is salvageable, and comments like this will not be smiled upon by any coach, let alone a smart one like Oates.
In fact, Oates isn’t even mad at how his player performed. Perreault very easily could have – still can, I guess – worked his way up the lineup by simply practicing hard and playing well. It’s been two games. Give your coach a chance to make some assessments.
Here’s what Oates had to say, again from RMNB:
“I would say he’s played pretty good,” Oates told reporters Wednesday morning after an optional skate. “I think he’s a good player and I’m still learning him. The better he plays, the more he stands out, the more he’ll play.”
With the team playing from behind so much early on in the year, Oates explained that he has primarily focused on getting the top two scoring lines out on the ice.
Yyyyya. The Caps have been losing, sooo….get the third line out there? What’s he supposed to do?
Perreault saw 3:52 in game one against the Lightning, and 4:58 against the Jets in the next game, a moderate uptick.
I get where Perreault is coming from – he scored 16 goals last season (30 points total), is 25 years old, and feels like he’s ready to blossom into something more than just a bit player. But again: two goddamn games. Give it a sec before saying something you’ll regret to the media.