MONTREAL–Marc Bergevin has by no means been in a a lot more special position at this time of 12 months.
The Montreal Canadiens’ basic manager, who’s in his seventh period at the helm of the club, has adequate cap area at his disposal to add various major-stop players to his group with out sacrificing a single roster participant. He can also add up to seven a lot more contracts in advance of reaching the 50-contract limit. And nevertheless, he’s beneath really minimal tension, if any, to make moves.
We know what Bergevin will not do. On Jan. 7, he emphatically said he wouldn’t give up any of his major prospects or aspect with a initial-round pick for a rental participant.
“It’s just not heading to transpire, so I want to be very clear, today, it is not occurring,” Bergevin stated. “I can’t mention names, but there’s names I’m hearing out there and the cost is a initial-round pick and that participant will not make a variance amongst profitable a Stanley Cup or scarcely receiving in. So that is not heading to transpire.”
Ryan Dixon and Rory Boylen go deep on pucks with a mix of details and pleasurable, leaning on a different team of hockey voices to give their acquire on the country’s most beloved activity.
What Bergevin hasn’t dominated out as a likelihood is sacrificing a prospect or pick for a participant with term still left on their contract. A participant on the suitable facet of age 30, who can support the Canadiens now and in the foreseeable future.
That stated, all those moves are more durable to pull off in February than they are in the summertime months.
Maybe Bergevin will add a few a lot more depth parts, kinds that add some playoff encounter to a team that does not have a great deal of it. Or maybe he’ll trade absent a participant or two from the margins of his roster. But barring an complete shocker, Canadiens coach Claude Julien permit it be recognized this week that nothing at all big is heading down.
“I don’t feel you have to be concerned about [messing with the chemistry of the room],” Julien stated on Wednesday. “As pointed out in advance of, we’re not seeking for any blockbuster trades.”
At the major of the list would be a defenceman who supplants Mike Reilly as Jeff Petry’s lover, as we touched on one week in the past. They’d want anyone who serves as a regular existence in his very own stop, but who also is able of serving to the 31st-rated electric power engage in.
A major-6 suitable winger who shoots still left is wished-for as properly. Brendan Gallagher is entrenched in his job on the major line, but the Canadiens are relying on a mix of Andrew Shaw, Paul Byron, Joel Armia or Artturi Lehkonen to fill in on their second line and all of them would support increase the depth of the group if an upgrade was introduced in to engage in above them. If stated participant shoots still left and can serve as a one-timer alternative from the suitable faceoff circle on the electric power engage in, it would be a bonus.
This group might also be in need of a a lot more responsible backup goaltender. Granted Antti Niemi has long gone 8-5-2 this period, but his level of engage in has been inconsistent at very best and downright dreadful on a lot more than a few of occasions. Situation in place: He’s allowed 11 targets on the previous 59 pictures he’s confronted after halting 52 of 53 in a 5-1 earn more than the Florida Panthers on Jan. 15.
Potential belongings to transfer:
Matthew Peca was signed to a two-12 months, $2.6-million deal to perhaps serve as a responsible fourth-line centre, but he’s been utilised sparingly via 61 game titles. It is remarkably doubtful he’d fetch everything a lot more than a reduced-stop draft pick, so expect him to keep on being with the Canadiens.
Charles Hudon, given his reduced wage and the actuality that he scored 30 details in 72 game titles previous period, could demonstrate desirable adequate to yet another group to internet the Canadiens a mid-level pick, but there’s a perception that Bergevin might prefer to maintain on to him for depth.
You’d have considered, heading into the period, that Jordie Benn would be in engage in at this time of 12 months, but as Julien pointed out this week, Benn appears to be worth a lot more to the Canadiens at this stage.
“He had a challenging period previous 12 months, but he’s been really regular to date,” Julien stated Wednesday. “He had a minimal dip at one place, but it is been a great although that he’s performed properly for us. He’s turn into a really responsible defenceman and he’s in the suitable position on what is turn into a responsible pairing.”
You have to speculate, nevertheless, if Bergevin is able to receive an upgrade on his second pair, would Mike Reilly or Brett Kulak be moved to replenish belongings given up to acquire anyone else?
2019: 1st, 2nd, 2nd (Columbus), 3rd, 4th, 5th (Arizona), 5th (Chicago), 5th (Edmonton), 6th, 7th (Winnipeg)
2020: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 4th (Winnipeg), 5th, 6th, 7th
A single bold transfer the group could make:
Leverage their cap area to acquire on yet another team’s problem although incorporating both a participant who can support now and in the foreseeable future or a prospect or a pick.
Bergevin did this more than the summertime, acquiring Joel Armia and two draft possibilities from the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for B-prospect Simon Bourque by getting on goaltender Steve Mason’s expiring $4.1 million wage.
I feel the Canadiens shouldn’t…:
Stray from their system for any purpose.
This period has been a nice surprise. The group has been firmly in a playoff position because Oct after practically absolutely everyone in the hockey environment pegged them as a draft lottery favorite, but no single move—or collection of moves—made now will transform the Canadiens into a respectable Stanley Cup contender.
They could really properly beat a group, or two, if they make the playoffs. Heck, Carey Price tag can earn them a collection on his very own and they could continue on to shock the hockey environment by heading deeper than everyone thinks they will. But if they don’t, it will barely be thought of a disappointment.
Sacrificing any one of Nick Suzuki, Ryan Poehling, Alexander Romanov, Josh Brook or Jesse Ylonen—players who all but be certain the Canadiens can transfer into the upper echelon of the NHL in short order—for a short-term resolve would be a grave mistake at this stage. As would giving up a initial-round pick.