(January 19, 2016)
Enormous thanks to Stu Cowan and Jack Todd for their analysis, their critique of the Jarred Tinordi trade. They covered pretty well all the bases. Which saves me having to write a monster convoluted post to try to keep things straight in my head (fat chance).
I need to say this: if Don Maloney did really insist, and it’s hinted that this occurred late in the negotiations, that Marc Bergevin also relieve him of the contract of John Scott and the attached headache, then I don’t understand why Marc Bergevin didn’t say “Fine, then I want (…) added to my side of the ledger.” For us to accept this clown player and his one-way contract, in a time when the profit margin of the Canadiens is being eaten away by the exchange rate, there should have been a sweetener thrown in.
This was Don Maloney’s mess. Like Jerry Seinfeld’s nana, the Coyotes are on a very fixed income. Their GM made a big mistake signing John Scott to a one-way deal, he probably thought he needed an enforcer to protect his young rookies. He quickly realized his mistake, but unlike other ‘rich’ teams, couldn’t bury the mistake in the AHL. The Coyotes are a ‘budget team, not a ‘cap team’, they only have so much allocated to payroll, and it doesn’t matter to them if the real salary dollars are spent on the NHL or AHL team, they’re still counted very closely.
So he needed someone to take that deal off his hands, to get right with ownership, and we did him that favour. Except we didn’t get an upgrade to Laurent Dauphin as the prospect coming back our way, or a second or third-round pick, or an exchange of draft position, etc.
Which leads me to conclude that Marc Bergevin caved, he made a bad move under pressure from the fans and the media. And I thought he was relatively immune to that.
I don’t know why I believed that. We’ve seen him be a little aggressive, a little bitter in his pressers lately, singling out a journalist who was asking whether the Canadiens’ system was defensive. He’s also talked about how trades in real life aren’t the same thing as on Playstation. It’s obvious that he gets all least some of the blowback from the media, from the open-lines, from sites like this one.
But in the vast majority of his moves, there was a logical basis to them, they were easily defensible, even if some of them eventually didn’t work out. I’ll leave the Daniel Brière signing aside as a special, inexcusable or inexplicable or indefensible case, but everything else could be seen as a small move forward, pushing a pawn.
This one though, it reeks of a panic move, where you offer up your stereo to people you know, because your’re trying to make rent, and you keep claiming that it’s worth $2000 and it’s like new, and at first you want $1500 and quickly you start talking about a grand, and then before you know it you’re begging for a neighbour to take it off your hands for $500, and you end up accepting $400 and agreeing to move it in and install it.
Except Marc Bergevin didn’t need to make rent. He didn’t need to unload Jarred. Sure, yeah, did the kid a favour, blah blah blah, but ultimately we’d kept him on the roster without any problems for this long, there was no urgent need to unload him. It’s not like he was a distraction, he’s always been known as a kid with great character, with great leadership skills.
And now I’m despondent, terrified of the next step. L’Antichambre are beating the tom-toms that there must be “une grosse transaction” to put the team back on track. I don’t believe anymore that the brain trust is insulating itself from such talk, that they’re above such matters, that their eyes are kept on the long term, the sainted ‘plan’. I’m more inclined now to believe that Marc Bergevin is acting as if he has a gun to his head, that he believes the hype, that he must do a trade now. When all of his players are devalued by a losing streak, when he’s going to have to sell low.