The last Habs’ General Manager to be as patient as Marc Bergevin was Serge Savard who, at times, drove the fans crazy with how patient he was with his coaches and his players. Ultimately, he was more patient than his boss, Ronald Corey, who ended up firing him. None the less, Savard is the last GM in Montreal to have put together Stanley Cup winning teams.
Ironically, team president and owner Geoff Molson recruited Savard, a good friend of the Molson family, to help him find the right man to bring back the pride in wearing the Habs’ jersey and to bring the team back to contention.
Based on that, it’s not surprising to see that Bergevin has a lot of the same qualities as the Senator Savard, by looking at the whole picture and ignoring the multiple cries from the fan base and by doing what’s right for his coach and his players.
He has done a good job at tweaking the bottom lines in adding some much needed talent and he hasn’t been afraid to touch the core when he didn’t renew then team captain Brian Gionta and by trading away alternate captain Josh Gorges. Turning Raphael Diaz for Dale Weise was a gem but trading for Jeff Petry and finding a way to re-sign him was perhaps his best move, finally finding someone to take some precious ice behind P.K. Subban.
But with his team having a dismal month of December, with a team so close to contention, it is time for Bergevin to take the next step and address a huge need on the Canadiens: a top notch proven offensive threat!
Oh those players don’t come cheap and he will have to pay for one, and while fans are complaining about the fact that Bergevin isn’t pulling the trigger on a big deal, many would be the first ones to call for his head if they knew the other GMs demands for their key player(s).
Still though, Bergevin is not the type to worry about the fans and what they think. He is building a team and as he has always said since the day he was hired, he wants to build a team which will contend every year, in the mould of his old team, the Chicago Blackhawks.
Bergevin refuses to overpay for rental players and believe it or not, this is a huge quality. When he traded for Thomas Vanek, he was hoping to re-sign him… until Vanek disappeared in the playoffs. Bergevin didn’t even offer him a contract for that reason. He did trade for Petry and re-signed him as he proved to be valuable. I’m expecting the same this year. The only difference is that he must do it sooner this time around due to his team’s struggles.
I wouldn’t see the farm for guys like Ryan Nugen-Hopkins or Jordan Eberle, guys who are rather small in stature, something the Habs have a lot of. But it would definitely be worth paying a lot for guys like Ryan Johansen or Wayne Simmonds, for example, who are still under contract for a few years.
I’d also be okay paying a good price for Eric Staal, and mostly Steven Stamkos, at the condition of being able to negotiate with them and being able to re-sign them. Those four players are impact players with size, skills and add another dimension to the Canadiens.
Imagine getting one of those players and having Carey Price back in net… ah, dreaming feels so good, doesn’t it?