Monday, 23 July 2012

Why don't the Canadiens land big fish like Rick Nash?

So the question is why aren't the Canadiens in on the Rick Nash bonanza.  Couldn't we have packaged Tomas Plekanec, Danny Kristo, Nathan Beaulieu and a first-rounder to match what the Rangers offered the Blue Jackets?
First off, Rick Nash didn't have Montréal on his list of teams he would have accepted a trade to.  That's the non-starter in that thought experiment.  When the team becomes more solid and stable and wins consistently, it will be a more attractive destination and we will be in the running for such sweepstakes.
More importantly, such a trade would have depleted our organization, and made it hard to ice a decent team this year and beyond.  The Rangers, having organizational depth, could afford to part with pieces like this. The Canadiens have no such depth, as we saw at the end of last season with a couple of injuries to Travis Moen, Ryan White and Mathieu Darche depriving us of legitimate third and fourth lines. We will need another year or two of shrewd drafting from Trevor Timmins’ team and for the Player Development team and Hamilton coaches to turn a couple of borderline players into solid NHL’ers before we can start trading quantity for quality, and for the Canadiens to be in a position where we can profit from such moves.  The Rangers are very close to winning a Stanley Cup and Rick Nash may be the missing piece; the Canadiens are under no such illusion.
A connected gripe we used to hear about Pierre Gauthier and now hear about Marc Bergevin is that they’re not bold wheelers and dealers like Paul Holmgren or Brian Burke or Glen Sather. The thing is, to play poker you need to have chips to play with. You need a stack of assets to be at the table, if you’re there with four dollars, you can’t bluff or manoeuvre or threaten someone to go all-in, they’ve got fifty or a hundred bucks in front of them and will laugh at any such ploys. Marc Bergevin will be wise to be patient and wait to accumulate some chips before he sits down at the table with the big boys.

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