Vigneault tells inconsisent Pouliot ‘you only get so many kicks at the can’

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Benoit Pouliot has played for four different teams trying to make good on the promise that saw him taken fourth overall — three spots behind Sidney Crosby — at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.

The fifth team, it seems, is running out of patience.

On Friday, Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault expressed dismay at Pouliot’s inconsistency, re-accentuating a theme from Pouliot’s time in Minnesota, Montreal, Boston and Tampa Bay.

“I’ve had this conversation with Ben, I’ve had this conversation with a few players in my career. You only get so many kicks at the can here, you only get so many teams,” Vigneault told The Bergen Record. “Obviously a guy like Ben, a high pick, a high skill level, you see it now and then and you go, ‘Wow, why does the inconsistency or whatever is, not there on a more regular basis?”

Pouliot, 27, has shown flashes during his seven-year career. He scored 24 points in 39 games with Montreal during the 2009-10 campaign, and potted a career-high 16 goals with Boston in 2011-12.

Doing it consistently over an extended period of time has proven difficult, though. Pouliot’s situation hasn’t been helped by his nomadic existence, either — the Rangers are his fourth team in as many years.

Vigneault isn’t sure what Pouliot’s problem is, but is sure of one thing — Pouliot needs to find a solution.

“That’s a question we’re trying to figure out with him,” Vigneault explained. “Obviously he’s aware of it.

“He needs to figure it out. Sooner or later, you only get so many kicks at the can.”