This is Alex Plante on his draft day. Since this photo was taken things have gone a little sideways for him. Injuries and ineffective play cost him a lot of time last season and apparently there were some bad feelings between player and team (Calgary Hitmen, WHL) a year ago.
Plante didn’t show up for camp and is waiting to be traded by the Calgary Hitmen. GM Kelly Kisio was quoted in the Herald today as saying “you sit back and scratch your head and wonder what you have to do to make kids happy. We played him with Karl Alzner so he could have a big draft year, then he gets hurt and has trouble getting back into game shape and we’re getting blamed for it.” Which is true, Kisio is being framed as the bad guy here but it’s also true (based on other reports) the Hitmen knew at this year’s NHL draft that Plante had no plans to return to Calgary so this could have been solved many weeks ago.
You’d like to see him end his junior career on a positive note, although this won’t cost him in terms of preparedness for the coming season. Plante will be at rookie camp and then Oilers main camp later this month and from all reports had a solid summer. He survived Mandelbaum training in California (he spent 3 weeks on the pain train) and impressed the Oilers organization earlier this summer at the prospect camp.
Guy Flaming reported earlier this summer (mid-June) that “one source told me that Plante’s camp were disappointed with the way he’d lost his spot last year due to injury and another source described the situation to me by saying “he became a whipping boy for [head coach Kelly] Kisio”.
So it’s probably best that Plante play in another town. Hopefully he’s traded soon, as the one thing he doesn’t need is an extended period without game action this fall and winter.