Marc Bergevin Thinking Big With Cap Space

TavaresHabs

While those having an axe to grind with Canadiens’ General Manager Marc Bergevin are all over him for not having improved his team enough during the off-season, only the Habs’ brass know what is really going on behind closed doors. The same culprits, who we constantly see on Twitter taking jabs at the organization any chance they get, are using the fact that Bergevin still has over eight million dollars remaining under the team’s salary cap to further put him down, cap space that no one around the NHL is used to seeing in early September for top spenders.

However, if you take a step back to look at the forest instead of focussing on the tree you’re facing, you will note that there are several unresolved issues involving a few teams around the NHL. For one, Matt Duchene is still a Colorado Avalanche, something few “experts” would have predicted. Then, with the recent signing of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl by the Edmonton Oilers, they are many who think that eventually, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will find another team to play for. And we have explored those possibilities and more in the latest Top Cheese edition. But then again, you have the rumblings about the future of John Tavares with the New York Islanders…

As one of the richest teams in the entire NHL, you can rest assured that the directive not to spend to the cap is not coming from Canadiens’ President and owner Geoff Molson. So this should tell fans and media members that something is up, or the strong potential of something happening is there. GMs usually move to their plan B rather quickly in the off-season as they are building their team. Bergevin didn’t do it, which should tell us that he wants to leave a door open… a big door that is.

Galchenyuk
Alex Galchenyuk

A few days ago, on August 28th, former Islanders Mike Bossy, who is still very much connected with the team, said on 91.9 Sports that the Canadiens have offered Alex Galchenyuk to them. Bossy stopped short of saying who else would be included, but if Galchenyuk is involved, common sense dictates that it’s not for a fourth liner or a bottom-two defenseman. What Bossy did say however is that he had heard that Tavares declined a $84 million dollar contract from the Islanders, a contract which would put him in the same category as Carey PriceJonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.

To be perfectly honest, I don’t think that money is the issue between Tavares and the Islanders. On ice, the team had one season when they looked promising, but then lost a few key players to free agency and return to their old selves in the off-season. Further, it is rather unsettling for a star player to not know where to base his home. The Islanders left Long Island to play in Brooklyn… but they now want out of the Barclays Centre. To go where?

If John Tavares was to hit the trade market, you would have 30 other teams interested in his services. There are two huge hurdles however:

  1. Per his limited NTC/NMC, you can knock a list of eight (8) teams to which Tavares won’t accept to be trade to.
  2. Not every good team has the combination of assets to trade (young talented players) and necessary salary cap to re-sign him.

Is it remotely possible that Bergevin has (or has had) serious talks with Snow and has the bases of a possible trade, but is waiting for the Isles’ GM to have one last kick at the can and talk his captain to re-signing? One thing that I know for sure, it’s that Bergevin wouldn’t be leaving that much money on the table for no good reason and that, in spite of what those who hate his gut might claim. The Canadiens currently have $5.5 million dollars more cap space than the Islanders.

Expect the unexpected“…

Tavares, who will be turning 27 on September 20th, is 6-foot 1-inch and tips the scale at 211 lbs. He finished last season with 28 goals and 66 points in 77 games last season with the Islanders.

 

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2 thoughts on “Marc Bergevin Thinking Big With Cap Space

  1. Hello again!

    Supposed that J. T. would indeed ask to be traded, I see at least two teams that would be hard to compete with for HIS taste as well in the chips department for his GM: Tampa and Toronto. For obvious reasons (rumours said that him and Stamkos are trying to get together, and Toronto, well, is home).
    I really don’t see what could Montréal offer to lure both Tavares AND Snow.
    I told to myself that only Max Pacioretty would beat what the others would offer, but I don’t think that J. T. doesn’t have to choose where he goes… But than, we lose a great player to play WITH him…
    What you think?
    Cheers!

    1. Hi Cristian,
      You are absolutely right that there would be several other teams interested and making a strong push and those two teams are indeed possibilities. I’m just not sure that they would have the guts to gamble top end players/prospects to get it done though, while Bergevin is going for it now. But remember that 8 teams will be on his list of no-trade, and several others won’t have the assets, or the cap space, or the budget to renew JT’s contract. Which tells me that there might be 6-7 potential serious suiters, the Bruins being another one, unable to sign RFA David Pastrnak.
      Pacioretty is definitely a possibility. After all, he was born in New Caanan, a few minutes drive from New York, so having friends and family being able to go watch him might entice him to re-sign with the Isles, unlike Tavares. Especially considering that I’m not so sure that Montreal could afford to sign Tavares and re-up Patches…
      So granted, it’s a long, long shot but something tells me that Bergevin is sitting on something big… very big.

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