I don’t mind when we obtain players like Brian Flynn and Davis Drewiske or Paul Byron, and sign them to easily digestible, disposable contracts, because they’re assets that can be exchanged for draft picks down the road, even if they’re low picks.
What I find though is that Marc Bergevin tends to not realize these assets, to clear the way for his younger players. I understand his philosophy that the young players have to prove they belong, to beat out the vets, and he’ll then make room for them, but it’s a question of degrees, of modulating that concept.
In practice, it leads us to offering a contract to Francis Bouillon, then another year, then another, while Jarred Tinordi plugs away in the AHL. And sure, Jarred wasn’t ready to play in the NHL, but maybe there was a moment when he could have been eased in, and it might have goosed his confidence to play a half-season in Montréal, instead of always being sent back to Hamilton, deemed to need seasoning. Maybe we never found the gap in traffic to allow him to merge in from the on-ramp. Maybe we never created that gap.
In practice it leads to our head coach clinging to Tom Gilbert, playing him exclusively over Greg Pateryn and Jarred, until Jarred sours and is traded for pennies on the dollar. Until Greg is nearly lost also. Until Tom gets injured and will now walk away, with no return for the organization.
The devil is in the details. Like Michel Therrien often bemoans, there’s a lack of execution. Organizational depth is fine, but there comes a time when these assets need to be converted into draft picks, you move on from solid replacement-level players, cultivate new prospects, who you then flip for more picks, etc. It's the Wheel of Life.