Truth About Habs’ Bergevin’s Trade Record

BergevinTel

Marc Bergevin took over as the Montreal Canadiens’ General Manager on May 2, 2012. Since then, his team has a combined 210-128-38 record, including three Atlantic Division Titles and with at least 100 points (or on pace during lockout year) in four of the five years. As July 16, 2017, he has also completed a grand total of 46 trades, making him one of the most active GM’s in the last five years. While it’s one thing to trade players, the ultimate goal for a GM is to, at the very least, improve your team and Bergevin has done just that… for the most part.

As determining who “wins” or “loses” a trade is arbitrary, I tried to stay as unbiased as humanly possible but some won’t agree with my assessment and that’s just fine. You will see that regardless, if people take an unbiased approach, the results might change ever so slightly but they should rapidly realize that things aren’t as sombre as some want you to believe.

 

WINS

  • Cedrick Desjardins traded to Tampa Bay Lightning for Dustin Tokarski (2013) Tokarski was very good when Carey Price went down to injury.
  • (W) 5th round pick #146 (Patrick Bartosak) traded to Los Angeles Kings for Davis Drewiske (2013) Drewiske brought NHL experience at a time when the Habs needed some at the blueline.
  • Philippe Lefebvre and a 7th round pick #182 (Hugo Fagerblom) in 2014 traded to Florida Panthers for George Parros (2013) While some don’t like enforcers, it was a very low price to pay to bring in the best in the game at the time. It’s unfortunate that a fluke play during a fight against Colton Orr ended his career.
  • Raphael Diaz traded to Vancouver Canucks for Dale Weise (2014) Do we really need to explain?
  • 5th round pick #147 (Ryan Pilon – NYI) in 2015 traded to Florida Panthers for Mike Weaver (2014) Weaver was one of the NHL’s top shot blockers.
  • Sebastian Collberg and a 2nd round pick #57 (Johnathan MacLeod – TBL) in 2014 traded to New York Islanders for Thomas Vanek and a 5th round pick #125 (Nikolas Koberstein) in 2014. (2014) Vanek ended the season on one of the NHL’s top producing lines with Pacioretty and Desharnais.
  • Josh Gorges traded to Buffalo Sabres for a 2nd round pick #45 (Chad Krys – CHI) in 2016 later traded to Chicago (Weise/Fleishmann trade, turned into Danault + 2nd) (2014) The fact that the pick turned into Danault…
  • Jiri Sekac traded to Anaheim Ducks for Devante Smith-Pelly (2015) Smith-Pelly is still in the NHL.
  • 2nd round pick #57 (Jonas Siegenthaler) in 2015 and a 4th round pick #117 (Caleb Jones) in 2015 traded to Edmonton Oilers for Jeff Petry. (2015) Considering that Petry signed long term with the Habs bringing excellent minutes on the second pairing.
  • 5th round pick #129 (Philip Nyberg) in 2016 traded to Buffalo Sabres for Brian Flynn (2015) Small price to pay for a NHL forward capable of playing a sound game.
  • Jack Nevins and a 7th round pick #189 (Austin Osmanski) in 2016 traded to Buffalo Sabres for Torrey Mitchell (2015) Mitchell has provided excellent minutes for the Canadiens.
  • Dale Weise and Tomas Fleischmann traded to Chicago Blackhawks for Phillip Danault and a 2nd round pick (TBD) in 2018 (2016) This could very well be a steal of a trade.
  • Lars Eller traded to Washington Capitals for a 2nd round pick #58 (Joni Ikonen) in 2017 and a 2nd round pick (TBD) in 2018, which was later conditionally traded to Tampa Bay in the deal for Jonathan Drouin (June 15, 2017) (2016) Ikonen already looks very promising while the pick helped get Drouin.
  • Greg Pateryn and a 4th round pick #118 (Markus Phillips) in 2017 traded to Dallas Stars for Jordie Benn (2017) To the point where the Canadiens were forced to protect Benn, Phillips better be really good to make this one even.
  • 6th round pick (TBD) in 2018 traded to Detroit Red Wings for Steve Ott (2017) Ott has provided experience and grit down the stretch and in the playoffs.

LOSSES

  • Daniel Briere traded to Colorado Avalanche for P.A. Parenteau and a 5th round pick #131 (Matthew Bradley) in 2015 (2014) Briere never could find a niche with the Canadiens.
  • Peter Budaj and Patrick Holland traded to Winnipeg Jets for Eric Tangradi (2014) A meh trade, with relatively low cost.
  • Brandon Prust traded to Vancouver Canucks for Zack Kassian and a 5th round pick #124 (Casey Staum) in 2016 (2015) Twice Kassian has made the “losses” for Bergevin in a trade, a lot having to do with his addiction.
  • Devante Smith-Pelly traded to New Jersey Devils for Stefan Matteau (2016) Although DSP is not lighting it up, at least he’s in the NHL.
  • Zack Kassian traded to Edmonton Oilers for Ben Scrivens (2015) See above.
  • 4th round conditional pick (TBD) in 2018 traded to Los Angeles Kings for Dwight King (2017) King was a big disappointment with the Canadiens.

TIES

TO BE DETERMINED

  • 3rd round pick #87 (Anton Karlsson) in 2014 and a 4th round pick #117 (Michael Bunting) in 2014 traded to Arizona Coyotes for 3rd round pick #73 (Brett Lernout) in 2014 (2014)
  • 2nd round pick #39 (Alexander DeBrincat) in 2016 and a 2nd round pick #45 (Chad Krys) in 2016 traded to Chicago Blackhawks for Andrew Shaw (2016) If the prospects don’t pan out, it will be a win for the Habs.
  • Philip Samuelsson traded to Carolina Hurricanes for Keegan Lowe (2017)
  • Sven Andrighetto traded to Colorado Avalanche for Andreas Martinsen (2017) Andrighetto had a good start with the Avs. Let’s see what he does this year.
  • Nathan Beaulieu traded to Buffalo Sabres for a 3rd round pick #68 (Scott Walford) in 2017 (2017) Some would like to pounce on Bergevin for that one but the fact and the matter is that no team offered more than an early 3rd for Beaulieu.
  • 5th round pick (TBD) in 2019 traded to San Jose Sharks for David Schlemko (2017) This could very well be at the Canadiens’ advantage, in the win column for Bergevin but let’s wait to see how Schlemko plays in Montreal.

So as you can see, according to my calculation, Bergevin’s record when it comes to the trades that he made is an astonishing 15-6-19 with another six trades where it’s too early to tell. This means that he has tied or won 85 percent of the trades that he’s made so far, give or take a few trades here and there depending if you have an axe to grind against the organization or not. Any NHL team will take that and we better understand why Brian Burke feels like the attacks on Bergevin are absurd.

Brian Burke: Attacks on Bergevin Absurd

BBurke

In a hyper-sensitive society where political correctness is the only acceptable way, or so it seems, they are few and far between in the NHL who dare speak their mind no matter what the effect could be. Many players, coaches and general managers are being accused of having “canned answers” when meeting with the press and that upsets more than a few people. But one guy who never was afraid of speaking his mind is the current Calgary Flames’ President of hockey operations, Brian Burke.

Having served most prestigious positions in hockey, from players’ agent, GM to President of NHL teams, GM of the US national Olympic team and Executive Vice-President and Director of Hockey Operations in the league’s front office under Gary Bettman, few are more qualified than him. And yes, he has won a Stanley Cup as GM of the Anaheim Ducks, for those who would be tempted to downplay Burke’s achievements.

Vancouver Canucks’ fans will remember some of his most iconic quotes:

Even TSN made a Top-10 quotes from Brian Burke:

Burke calls out Habs’ fans and media

In his most recent rant, Burke didn’t shy away from stepping on people’s toes, even if it happens to be in Montreal. A (loud) minority of fans and media are very vocal about the fact that the Nashville predators are still playing hockey, competing for the NHL’s Holy Grail against the Pittsburgh Penguins, while the Canadiens’ players are posting pictures of themselves vacationing. Whether it be Brendan Gallagher and Shea Weber golfing together, Nathan Beaulieu on a beach with his beautiful girlfriend or Carey Price with a muddy ATV, some fans and media personalities, particularly those who have had to hold back all season talking about THE trade, are out in force.

The flavour of the month is now Predators’ GM David Poile, who for the first time in his 34 year career as a GM (15 in Washington, 19 in Nashville), has managed to bring a team he managed to the Stanley Cup finals. Prior to him, the “model” to follow was Dallas Stars’ GM Jim Nill, but that cooled off rather quickly. But here’s what Burke had to tell the disgruntled Bergevin bashers this past Thursday while being interviewed on TSN690 radio by former Canadiens Chris Nilan:

“Montreal is a different market. In Montreal, you’re stupid twice. In Toronto, you’re only stupid in English. In Montreal, you’re stupid twice, there’s two languages.”

“Marc Bergevin has done a great job in Montreal. He’s a great person and it’s ridiculous the attacks that he’s undergoing right now. It’s absurd.”

“Bergevin is one of the great judges of talent in the modern era. There’s a handful of guys that can really watch games and pick players out. He’s one of them, Rick Dudley’s one of them, Bob Murray’s one of them.”

“What’s haunting him here is the progression of Nashville through the playoffs. Nashville is not winning because of P.K. Subban alone. They’ve had the best goaltender in the league in Pekka Rinne, they’ve been the hardest working team in the playoffs, and that’s what’s enabled them to succeed. The notion Shea Weber for P.K. wasn’t a good deal because P.K. is still playing, how does that work? How does that work?”

“They give you a blindfold and a cigarette, any last words and they shoot you in the head. And they hire a new GM. And that day will come for Marc Bergevin like it comes for all of us, that’s how this business works. But to suggest right now that the things he’s done, that it’s warranted, just doesn’t make any sense. It just proves that some people need hobbies.”

I know, I know… those people will come back accusing Bergevin of excelling at getting bottom-six players. They will sarcastically call the Canadiens’ GM “Bargain Bin”, and they will throw everything in sight towards him or anyone who dares standing up for him or his work. The fact of the matter is that those people don’t know anything about what’s going on behind the scene when running a NHL team. They only see the tip of the iceberg and yet, make judgements based on that.

Sometimes, don’t you wish that team GMs had the guts to do what Burke himself did, at the request of the NHL, and published a diary of the talks that they’ve had with other teams’ GMs, which I highly recommend you read? Let me give you a few examples:

  • Remember when then GM Bob Gainey traded young defenseman prospect Ryan McDonaugh to the New York Rangers for Scott Gomez, in hope to plug a hole at centre? What if Bergevin published such a diary and we found out that, in order to get Matt Duchene, the asking price from Joe Sakic was Mikhail Sergachev?
  • What if Bergevin published, in a diary, that he had contacted the Columbus Blue Jackets for Ryan Johansen but was told no, they weren’t interested in any of the team’s defensemen, that in their opinion, they didn’t have an equivalent to Seth Jones?
  • Minnesota Wild GM Chuck Fletcher, when talking about the trade he made for Martin Hanzal, who was also rumoured in Montreal, said: “In hindsight, geez, I wish we wouldn’t have done that.” You see, those picks could have really come in handy right now. They could’ve used them to strike a deal with Vegas to make sure a player like Niederreiter or Dumba doesn’t get taken in the expansion draft, or they could have used them to entice another team to take an expensive contract with a no-move clause off their hands, like Pominville.

Sometimes, the deals you don’t make are the best deals out there. But don’t you wish we would know what’s being offered and demanded in trades that don’t happen? Something tells me that fewer disgruntled fans and media in Montreal would have the audacity to criticize publicly, particularly that they would be judged by everyone if they did. Go Habs Go!