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2013-14 Marc Bergevin and staff


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I quickly looked at the top 50 scorers currently in the NHL. Correct me if I'm wrong, but there is only one Quebec born player on that list.

Martin St. Louis

If we continue to put the language first we are not looking at the big picture. Many on here disagree with the hiring of Therrien when there were many (non-french speaking) other qualified coaches available. Maybe Bergevin is trying to assure the media that having french players is important, and hopefully he doesn't make having french players the 'be all end all' when scouting other teams.

Montreal fans have embraced Galchenyuk, Gorges, Subban, Gallagher, Eller. In fact, I would argue that all of the core (and favourite) players on the team aren't French.

Put the BEST team possible on the ice : French, English, Russian, Swedish, whatever. If he wins a Stanley cup the fans won't complain on the amount of French players.

Enough with this.

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Bergevin has made pretty clear from interview (and on multiple occasions) that the three goals he has when building his roster have been to

1. Prioritize francophone players when possible

2. Emphasize character over other skillsets

3. Improve the size of the team as a whole

I completely agree that we have no idea what role Molson has played in this, but it's not like there was a sudden change in philosophy. I imagine Bergevin was asked in his interviews what he planned to do with the team and that building a francophone identity was part of the plan MB and GM agreed upon. The other problem is that the guys MB has signed who bring character and size have been lacking in hockey skill, while he's also added a number of smaller players who meet the francophone criteria but fail to bring much skill as well. At the end of the day, we can finagle whether a move was acceptable or not, but we're still arguing about whether Bergevin's decisions have been passable or horrible. There isn't a single trade/signing that we're talking about being a game-changer or unanimously good decision outside of the Cole-for-Ryder trade, which he promptly undid with the Briere signing.

As I said, I accept that Bergevin lacks experience, but he's built a management team with lots of hockey knowledge and this is still the outcome. He's also shown no signs of backing off on those three criteria I stated above as being his priorities. All in all, I'm not confident he's going to change the philosophy that's guided him to where he is. I'm still willing to give him time and I do believe he has the potential to improve, but he's not going to have 3 years to make that transition. He's got to make up for the decisions to add Briere, Murray, and Parros, and extend Desharnais... not only do those spots add players who are less valuable, they also prevent us from developing younger guys like Tinordi, Beaulieu, or Leblanc. THAT can certainly hurt us in the long term.

He's shown no signs of changing the philosophy yet, but this is the first time he's getting a chance to see it causing problems. Really, basically all the moves he made in his first offseason worked out fine. Moen had a meh year, but Armstrong was fine, Prust was a revelation, and Bouillon actually had a quite a good year relative to the role and contract he signed. The extensions he signed for Price and Patches were obviously fine (awesome in Patches' case), even though hit a slump towards the end.

So after year one, while he didn't knock it out of the park, he didn't really give us anything to be particularly concerned about.

This year's been the opposite. Everyone he signed/extended has been subpar at best. He has to be able to see that. I think it's obvious he does with DD especially and it should be pretty clear with how MT is using Parros and Murray as well lately (ie: as little as possible).

I don't know if it will outright change his philosophy, but hopefully it alters it enough so that skill becomes the most factor and the character + size + language become no more than secondary considerations when making decisions. I have no idea how likely this is to happen, but I hope it does. I know if I had a preconceived notion of how I wanted to do something and it was blowing up in my face I would be trying to make some adjustments to my plan.

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He's shown no signs of changing the philosophy yet, but this is the first time he's getting a chance to see it causing problems. Really, basically all the moves he made in his first offseason worked out fine. Moen had a meh year, but Armstrong was fine, Prust was a revelation, and Bouillon actually had a quite a good year relative to the role and contract he signed. The extensions he signed for Price and Patches were obviously fine (awesome in Patches' case), even though hit a slump towards the end.

So after year one, while he didn't knock it out of the park, he didn't really give us anything to be particularly concerned about.

This year's been the opposite. Everyone he signed/extended has been subpar at best. He has to be able to see that. I think it's obvious he does with DD especially and it should be pretty clear with how MT is using Parros and Murray as well lately (ie: as little as possible).

I don't know if it will outright change his philosophy, but hopefully it alters it enough so that skill becomes the most factor and the character + size + language become no more than secondary considerations when making decisions. I have no idea how likely this is to happen, but I hope it does. I know if I had a preconceived notion of how I wanted to do something and it was blowing up in my face I would be trying to make some adjustments to my plan.

We can say the buck stops with Bergevin, but I have to believe he may have been swayed by others in the organization to some extent. That said, if he indeed did listen to others and make decisions based on that, then one would have to question just how good a management team they are. The object should be to improve on what already exests, not just to fill holes with leftovers. I do believe he may have felt the pressure to sign the best possible french player left available and against what should have been better judgement, signed Briere.

Well what's done is done... correcting mistakes is always harder than making them in the first place I guess. The whole is deeper now. I'm almost at the point where I get the impression that MB's hockey sense is not up-to-date with the value of current players in the NHL. And that does not bode well going forward. Or he may just be giving to much credo to the wrong people that he looks towards for input.

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If I were ranking the Canadiens' forwards in terms of their level of play and utility to the team:

- Plekanec, Pacman, Eller, Gallagher, and Galchenyuk would be the top 5 in some order

- I'd slot Gionta, Prust, Bourque, and Bournival in the next tier.

- I'd tuck White and Moen into the 3rd level, just a bit above the bottom 3 because they're fulfilling their roles better.
- And he bottom 3 would be in random order... Briere, Desharnais, and Parros

On D, there's a fairly clear order to me and it goes

- Subban

- Markov

- Emelin

- Gorges

- Diaz

- Bouillon, Murray, and Drewiske in some order

So all this to say that the weakest three links up front are MB's two free agent signings this year and the guy he jumped the gun with on signing a long-term extension. On D, the three weakest links are his other free agent signing, a player he traded for and then re-signed, and another player he re-signed too eagerly. Obviously, there's some part of it that just has to do with available UFA's not being the best crop to choose from, but some teams get pretty good players and the worst part for me is that I'm not sure these guys MB signed/re-signed are better than the players they bumped back to Hamilton.

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I think Bergevin is addressing the Savard or Wickenheiser syndrome that reflects when unsure, or players appear rather similar go with the French Canadian who may have an added insentive to play here. I think Desharnais is paying well and giving Briere fourth line minutes will do more for Desharnais' confidence. Both of them scored big goals this week although Desharnais' wins the game it does not show up on his stats sheet.

The competition being created between veterans and youth on this team is going to pay off at the end of the year. I am not too worried about where we are now. We played a good game against a hot team last night. Parros is here to spell off Moen, Prust or White and fight. If he can take some of the physicality off their shoulders he will have done his job. I do not believe Bergevin signed him for any other reason. Expecting him to overwhelm defensively or even block a shot may be asking more of him than even the GM. With Emelin back and the possibility of adding some more toughness via trade I would not be surprised if Parros doesn't finish the year here. The Bruins, Leafs and Senators still appear to have an edge over us in this area.

As for the coach and manager I think there are quite a few good French Canadian coaches and head office staff in the NHL and if this team tanks it will be the players who tank. This is, Gallagher, Galchenyuk and Bournivals first full season, and both Markov and Emelin have not played 80 plus games in 2 years. We need to make sure they're ready at the end of the year and having players not play in the Olympics may be a bonus for some. I would not be upset if Emelin, Markov, Diaz, Plekanec, Galchenyuk (US?) etc. didn't play either as this is going to impact our team and hopefully not via injury. While I think Subban should be given a chance to play for Canada, as he can learn from some veterans. I do not think Canada wins or loses gold because of PK. It would not bother me at all if some of the other top defenseman have to fight through Olympic medal rounds while our guys get a rest. especially if there from our eastern competition. Whether this Olympics or next. I am sure he will get there.

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He's shown no signs of changing the philosophy yet, but this is the first time he's getting a chance to see it causing problems. Really, basically all the moves he made in his first offseason worked out fine. Moen had a meh year, but Armstrong was fine, Prust was a revelation, and Bouillon actually had a quite a good year relative to the role and contract he signed. The extensions he signed for Price and Patches were obviously fine (awesome in Patches' case), even though hit a slump towards the end.

So after year one, while he didn't knock it out of the park, he didn't really give us anything to be particularly concerned about.

This year's been the opposite. Everyone he signed/extended has been subpar at best. He has to be able to see that. I think it's obvious he does with DD especially and it should be pretty clear with how MT is using Parros and Murray as well lately (ie: as little as possible).

I don't know if it will outright change his philosophy, but hopefully it alters it enough so that skill becomes the most factor and the character + size + language become no more than secondary considerations when making decisions. I have no idea how likely this is to happen, but I hope it does. I know if I had a preconceived notion of how I wanted to do something and it was blowing up in my face I would be trying to make some adjustments to my plan.

Bingo. Like his predecessors, MB is no idiot. He's smart & savvy but the one thing he hasnt proven (yet) is whether he is humble enough to realize "ive made a mistake, lets change this." Lets see how he does in the coming weeks.

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I am not sure DD could stay awake throgh that one. Perhaps the least exciting Habs game I have seen in a long time. I can think of a number of reasons one would miss this game. One could easily have mistaken it for an infomercial. I am not sure I want to see more and better defence from this team if that is the result.

Didn't Desharnais score 24 goals against the Rangers? I missed the game

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For me, the players we should be shopping for a GOOD return are:

Gorges

Plekanec

Gionta

Diaz

Moving out DD/Bourque/Boullion (unless included in a package deal with the players listed above) will not get us a player who can step into the lineup and make a big impact.

Apparently the Schenn brothers are available from Philly, I don't know what it would take to get them, but both have size and potential.

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For me, the players we should be shopping for a GOOD return are:

Gorges

Plekanec

Gionta

Diaz

Moving out DD/Bourque/Boullion (unless included in a package deal with the players listed above) will not get us a player who can step into the lineup and make a big impact.

Apparently the Schenn brothers are available from Philly, I don't know what it would take to get them, but both have size and potential.

I disagree with Pleks, only let him go if the return is significant. We could never fill the void he'd leave with draft picks. In a few years we could visit that scenario, but as it stands, we need Pleks in the line up imo.

Gio, I'd let him go at the deadline only if he's asking for the same $. If he's willing to take a cut, why wouldn't you want a hard working, 2-way player who can still score in a secondary role?

Gorges, that's a tough one. We could easily find another player with his skillset, but with the young dcore we have, it's nice to have a veteran voice, who's been a part of this organization for as long as he has been. We always have Marky, but he's not very vocal, could be due to language or just his quiet nature. I'd keep Gorges around until we know what's happening with our youngins and once they're ready to play at the NHL level.

Diaz, definitely have to get rid of him. I said last season that I didn't see Diaz as part of our future plans. He serves as a 2nd unit PP guy, but apart from that, he doesn't bring much more. He isn't a physical force out there, he's average in the dzone and isn't much of a threat on the PP either, having soup as your d partner (on the PP) doesn't help either. He does give us a right handed shot for our PP and is a decent lower pairing dman, his right handed shot and PP capabilities are probably the main reasons he's still in the line up. I'd much rather bring Pateryn or Nygren along to replace him. They're both decent offensively and have some size to them, won't be knocked off the puck as easily as diaz is in the dzone.

From your list I agree with Diaz ( if Nygren or Pateryn can take his spot, just a matter of time), ok with Pleks in a few years and only if the return is fair, Gio if he's expecting to earn the same money and Gorges when our youngins are able to take over. Gorges despite his age is our only dman with experience and a veteran presence. Murray is older, so is soup, but soup doesn;t strike me as a voice in the dressing room and Murray, well, he's been in the organization less time than Tinordi or beaulieu. Gorges kind of serves as an unofficial captain for our blueline.

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During the UFA period did MB make an offer to Jaromir Jagr? What was the deal he offered if any? Word was he was interested to play with the Habs... was it true? Jagr signed a one year deal with the Devils for 2 million. Many considered he was washed up even though he had a very decent run with the Bruins. But at half the cost for Danny Briere, Jagr now has 8 goals 9 assists for 17 points and is a +10. At 4 million with the Habs we could likely have had a 6'3" 235LBS. legend. Why didn't MB do it? It was well publicized that he had great chemistry with Plekanec at the World Championships.

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During the UFA period did MB make an offer to Jaromir Jagr? What was the deal he offered if any? Word was he was interested to play with the Habs... was it true? Jagr signed a one year deal with the Devils for 2 million. Many considered he was washed up even though he had a very decent run with the Bruins. But at half the cost for Danny Briere, Jagr now has 8 goals 9 assists for 17 points and is a +10. At 4 million with the Habs we could likely have had a 6'3" 235LBS. legend. Why didn't MB do it? It was well publicized that he had great chemistry with Plekanec at the World Championships.

Definitely another head-scratcher.

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During the UFA period did MB make an offer to Jaromir Jagr? What was the deal he offered if any? Word was he was interested to play with the Habs... was it true? Jagr signed a one year deal with the Devils for 2 million. Many considered he was washed up even though he had a very decent run with the Bruins. But at half the cost for Danny Briere, Jagr now has 8 goals 9 assists for 17 points and is a +10. At 4 million with the Habs we could likely have had a 6'3" 235LBS. legend. Why didn't MB do it? It was well publicized that he had great chemistry with Plekanec at the World Championships.

Jarg from my recollection mentioned he would be interested in playing for our habs. Yes, he's a shadow of his former self, I remember considering him. He didn;t do that great with boston, but had a good season in Dallas. I believe he was kept scoreless through the playoffs, had assists, but never potted one himself.

He would've given us size, experience and a guaranteed 15-20 goals. Could've given the 2 years we gave to briere, to Jarg. For his size he was never overly physical, but imo he has just as much in the tank as Briere, but Jarg is Czech.

I expect MB to make some mistakes. Not even the most experienced GM is flawless, so a new GM with his first team is going to make mistakes. I have no issues with him making mistakes, just like a young player, mistakes are part of the learning process. As long as he learns from his mistakes and takes the lessons he learned into account next offseason.

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Jarg from my recollection mentioned he would be interested in playing for our habs. Yes, he's a shadow of his former self, I remember considering him. He didn;t do that great with boston, but had a good season in Dallas. I believe he was kept scoreless through the playoffs, had assists, but never potted one himself.

He would've given us size, experience and a guaranteed 15-20 goals. Could've given the 2 years we gave to briere, to Jarg. For his size he was never overly physical, but imo he has just as much in the tank as Briere, but Jarg is Czech.

I expect MB to make some mistakes. Not even the most experienced GM is flawless, so a new GM with his first team is going to make mistakes. I have no issues with him making mistakes, just like a young player, mistakes are part of the learning process. As long as he learns from his mistakes and takes the lessons he learned into account next offseason.

Jarg is only looking for 1 year deals at this point too which is another benefit over Briere.

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