1 GP: 0 G, 0 A, 0 Pts, 0 PIM, -1, 0 Shots
Career best year
Rookie (same as above)
Plays of the game: 0
Game pucks: 0
3 Star selections: 0
Where he started the season
Depending on where you set the starting point for the season, Corey Locke either started in the best or the worst of positions. If you set it some time before training camp, he was riding high and coming off a spectacular Calder Cup playoffs and final, in which he led all scorers. If you position the start at the conventional start date (home opener), Corey was back on the farm, buried beneath other prospects career paths.
I had hopes for Corey at the beginning of the season, but realistically felt that the Habs would not be comfortable with 4 small centres:
One big, obvious problem for Corey is that he will never be a third or fourth liner, so unless he can get onto one of the first two lines, he's stuck. Doesn't look good with Koivu and Plekanec already there, and the management likely in the search for someone bigger, not smaller, to fill in if anything.
His one chance would be if he played on the wing. Oh wait, he can. That's where he had all that success, riding shotgun on the Lapierre line. The guy can score and could be an asset. I've heard he needs an attitude shift, but maybe he's old enough now to give it one last good go at making it. I give him a decent chance at pulling it off and showing the folks at canadiens.com that he's no slouch.
The season for Corey, as an NHLer, consisted of 9 shifts and just under 6 minutes. Though he will be grateful that he did get that one game, the prevailing feeling must be one of disappointment at still being in the AHL.
Locke by the numbers: N/A
Lions' links on Locke:
Habs Cut Possible NHLers
Locke and Halak Given Their Chance
Corey has no one but himself to hold accountable for not getting to the NHL – as the possible third tiny centre for an NHL club, you'd better be putting up better numbers than 55 points in Hamilton.
Where we'd have him next season
If he returns, I would expect next September to be his last with the Habs. As I mentioned earlier, he might take his last chance as a winger if allowed to do so. realistically, I see Corey being moved for his own career development and a low pick at most.