Thursday, 9 August 2012

Are Marc Bergevin and the Canadiens angling for Nathan McKinnon or Seth Jones?

There's some chatter from the fans as to whether the Canadiens' General Manager will make a 'big move' like Paul Holmgren and shake up the roster, bring in some big names and new blood and deal away some pieces that don't fit anymore.  It seems to some impatient fans that he's not trying hard enough to improve the team, that we're headed into a new season (depending on the ruthlessness of the owners) with pretty much the same roster that finished dead last in the Eastern Conference last season.  It's as if the Canadiens are bound to lose next season also, as illustrated by The Hockey News' prediction.
I’m wondering if Marc Bergevin has already said as much to Geoff Molson, cautioned him that his hands were kind of tied until two years from now, when the kids are ready to graduate from Hamilton and Brian Gionta, Tomas Kaberle, Andrei Markov and Scott Gomez come off the books. The abhorent ‘tank’ word wouldn’t be used, but he’d explain that the organization would make roster moves with a slow and steady long-term view, as opposed to the Rangers or Canucks who by their own circumstances may be tempted to capitalize on their contending status before the window closes, by trading for John Scott or Sami Pahlsson respectively at the deadline in exchange for draft picks.  
I think Patrice Brisebois kind of got excited when he was hired and let the cat out of the bag when he blurted out to the media that the team had a bright future what with all the kids coming up and the “expiring contracts”. That’s the first time I’d ever heard that term used in an NHL context, only ever heard of it in reference to the NBA, where apparently they’ll trade for an overpriced veteran because he has an expiring contract. Maybe Patrice got briefed a little bit on the organizational philosophy, but wasn’t very clear on what is for public consumption and what was for behind closed doors strategy meeting.
Anyway, I’m not certain that this is the case, but it may be that Mr. Bergevin has decided to make do with what he has, hopefully get a bump from veterans returning from injury and the coaching changes, but if not, hold steady and wait for another good draft haul. He’s added some depth and size to the roster to make sure the team is better equipped to deal with the current NHL reality, and hopefully not get embarrassed any more by goon teams, but aside from that he’s standing pat, not taking on big contracts or trading away future assets for short-term gain.

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