Only fools don’t change their mind and while it may not seem like it most times, we are no fools. Many of us Habs’ fans were either not sold on the need to trade for Jonathan Drouin, the price the Canadiens would have to pay to convince Steve Yzerman to trade him within his division, or the fact that he simply wasn’t enough of an immediate impact to get the team out of this horrendous slide.
Seeing that the Habs now find themselves out of a playoffs’ spot with little sign of snapping out of whatever they find themselves into, many are already giving up on this season and suggest that Carey Price should have his surgery and take the rest of the season to heal properly to get back fully healthy for next season. I can’t say that I disagree.
In the meantime, Drouin has been suspended by the Tampa Bay Lightning for refusing to dress for an AHL game, a way for the young player and his agent had decided to use to put pressure on Yzerman to expedite a trade. And this decision not only didn’t sit well with the Lightning’s GM, but from what Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News reported, it doesn’t bold well for Drouin whose value is dropping by the minute, according to some NHL GMs.
If we believe those General Managers, it seems like teams are either pulling out of the Drouin derby or are, at the very least, starting to lowball Yzerman by offering much less than what they might have been offering before the latest developments. Drouin’s actions have raised a huge red flag about his attitude and character, and the fact that he is not playing any hockey both affect his market value. And it’s not going to improve with time.
HERE COMES BERGEVIN
Contrarily to what I was writing at the beginning of the month, in this current situation, it is my belief that Marc Bergevin is starting to gain the upper hand on the possibility of acquiring the former third overall pick. And here is why.
Is there a team who wants Drouin more than the Canadiens? When was the last time that the organization had a top end local talent on their team? Of course there was Patrick Roy but at forward, the last one might have been Vincent Damphousse who finished the 1995-96 season with 94 points. It’s been a long, long time it seems. And seeing that there are less and less French Canadians from Quebec in the NHL, it could be a while before the Habs have a chance to get their hands on one, especially at such a young age.
Also, it seems like the team’s priorities might have changed after two consecutive losses to the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets. The Habs might be looking to build for the long term as opposed to getting immediate impact help. Forget the pending UFA’s, we should turn our focus to preparing for next season and for the future.
So if the reported asking price was a young, top-4 potential defenseman and a prospect is true, and that Drouin’s value has gone down as THN is reporting, who would be willing to match an offer like Nathan Beaulieu and a good prospect like Sven Andrighetto or Nikita Scherbak, who would be willing or able to match such offer? As long as the prospect is not Michael McCarron, I say go for it.
In a case like this, the ball would clearly be in Steve Yzerman’s court. While he may not want to trade within the division, what if the Canadiens’ offer is miles ahead of anyone else? I now believe that there is a chance. But now, will Yzerman want to “reward” Drouin by sending him exactly where he would like to go? Time will tell… but hopefully, we won’t have to wait too long to find out.