WILMINGTON — When the Bruins signed forward Benoit Pouliot on July 1, any hockey fan with access to YouTube probably couldn’t stop laughing at the irony. The guy whom the fans hated and was even referred to as “one of the greatest disappointments of talent in National Hockey League  history” by Jack Edwards was going to call TD Garden his home.
Now, you won’t find a more pro-Jack Edwards guy on the planet than me (UNH pride), but I’m not just defending Jack when I say he wasn’t the first to call Pouliot a bust. Pouliot was the fourth overall pick of the 2005 draft, and though his skill is undeniable, he hasn’t shown up enough on the scoring sheet. Last year, he had 13 goals in his fifth professional season, so it’s natural for people to wonder whether it’s a case of the 24-year-old not reaching his potential yet or a case of him being, as Jack said, a disappointment. He met the media Wednesday and shared his thoughts on that tag.
“I didn’t see it, but I heard about it,” Pouliot said of Edwards’ call. “I don’t really think about it. I don’t really listen to that kind of stuff. It’s their opinion, it’s the way people put it out there, but at the same time, in Montreal I had some good, good, good things happen to me. Playing on the third and fourth line helped me with my game a lot, defensively and the way I play in my own zone. It’s mostly good stuff.”
Pouliot had a rough go of it late in his tenure with the Canadiens. Game 3 — the game in which Edwards made his famous comments (“he’s a really high draft pick, but he’s never done anything with his talent.”) — would be the last of his Montreal career. Coach Jacques Martin cut him the rest of the way, so Pouliot was forced to watch the remainder of the series after playing 79 regular-season games.
“I don’t know. I think there was maybe a lack of trust between me and the coach,” he said. “At first when I got there, I think he played me 17, 18 minutes a game. Things went well, and then it kind of went downhill after that, but last year I had a good year on the third line, fourth line all year long, and it was more positives than negative stuff when I was Montreal.”
More to come on Pouliot.