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Marc Bergevin: rating our GM


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What was Marc Bergevin's biggest mistake? There have been a lot of them, ranging from gigantic blunders in evaluation of talent (signing Alzner) to putting his own ego ahead of the on-ice product (Subban for Weber, hiring his friends to be coaches, etc.) to losing stand-offs with players (Radulov, Markov, etc.) to just giving away assets for guys who can't even play in the NHL (King, Ott, Nesterov, Martinsen, etc.) to signing guys who just don't have it (Morrow, Hemsky, Streit, etc.) and so on... here are my grades of some of MB's biggest moves (those involving NHL players) from top to bottom:

- Colberg and a 2nd for Vanek and a 5th: A... a surprise trade to acquire the best deadline asset available.

- A 2nd and 4th for Petry: A... a steal of a player, one of the few great trades MB made.

- Weise and Fleischmann for Danault and a 2nd: A... got two good assets for two not-good assets.

- Desharnais for Davidson: B+... we got rid of a player we didn't need for an asset. Too bad we then went on to waive the asset for nothing and then saw that asset traded for a 3rd round pick that we could have had for ourselves. Even a good trade turns into mismanagement.

- Gorges for a 2nd: B+... turned a declining asset into a decent pick.

- Cole for Ryder and a 3rd: B+... got out of a bad contract, but then turned around and gave the money we saved to Briere afterwards.

- Montoya for a conditional 4th: B+... turned an asset we didn't need into something.

- Diaz for Weise: B... worked out well, albeit I don't know why we hated Diaz so much.

- 5th rd pick for Weaver: B... got a serviceable D man.

- Desjardins for Tokarski: B... got the better of the two goalies, who helped us a bit when Price was hurt.

- Nevins and a 7th for Mitchell: B... got a serviceable 4th line center for nothing, essentially.

- Sergachev for Drouin: B-... thankfully, we didn't lose the 3nd round pick. I don't hate the trade as a thought, but MB needed to follow this up with a deal for another center and he didn't. So instead, we tried to force a square peg in a round hole and have suffered for it. And we gave up an asset at a position we were already weak in. The trade in isolation isn't awful, but the meta-analysis behind it was putrid.

- Redmond for Deslauriers: B-... got a serviceable 4th liner for nothing.

- Moen for Gonchar: B-... got out of a bad contract, even if for a nothing return.

- Prust for Kassian and a 5th: B-... got the younger guy and a pick! But then (see below) dumped the young guy for nothing.

- Mitchell for a 5th: B-... turned a declining asset into a lower round pick.

- Briere for PAP and a 5th: C+... one past his prime player for another, but we got a draft pick out of it.

- Eller for two 2nd's: C+... not a bad return, just didn't make any sense to give up Eller to fit in shaw.

- Beaulieu for a 3rd: C-... why did we protect Benn over Beaulieu? Why did we give up one of our few LH puck-moving D men when we had none?

- Two 2nd's for Shaw: C-... we lose this trade. DeBrincat and Girard are the two guys TT said he would have chosen, and they would be worth more than Shaw. That said, Shaw has been decent this year and may have trade value if MB were willing to part with him.

- Budaj and Holland for Tangredi: D... not that the guys we gave up had value, but why add a goon to your organization?

- Jerabek for a 5th rd pick: D... why give up on Jerabek so quickly?

- Pateryn and a 4th for Benn: D... looked ok last year, but in the end, we gave up the better, younger player and a draft pick.

- Subban for Weber: D... you give away our best position player for a guy who is good but inferior in almost every way. There's no angle here to defend the trade, so despite not being the worst asset acquired, it's one of least defensible deals.

- Sekac for DSP: D... why give up on Sekac when he had played well with Eller? Why give the signal to other UFA's that you'll lure them and then trade them away right away?

- DSP for Matteau: D... DSP has done ok since being dealt. Matteau has been worse, albeit this wasn't an earth-shattering trade either way.

- 6th rd pick for Ott: D... Ott did okay in the playoffs, but this was pretty much a waste of a pick.

- a 5th rd pick for Flynn: D... we didn't need Flynn. We had guys like him (Bournival for example) who could have done the same job already.

- 4th rd pick for King: F... what a useless trade for a useless player, who not only brought nothing but stole ice time from better players. and it could have been even worse if we had re-signed him and the pick became a 3rd rounder.

- Kassian for Scrivens: F... Scrivens proved he wasn't goo enough to be in the NHL. MB jumped all over Kassian for being a passenger in a car wreck and gave up an NHL asset for one that couldn't stick.

- Tinordi and Fournier for John Scott and Victor Bartley: F... we gave up little, but the deal was just bizarre. The Habs killed Tinordi's value and they dealt him for a goon and a guy who had just gone unclaimed on waivers. Bizarre asset management.

- Andrighetto for Martinsen: F... fail to give a skill guy a chance, then dump him for a guy who has size but no puck skill, who is then in turn dumped.

- 5th rounder for Schlemko: F... seemed like an ok trade at the time, but Schlemko has been a disaster on an overpaid deal.

 

When you look at these, you can see MB made two really good trades to get Petry and Danault. But otherwise, most of his deals have been tinkering with depth players or making deals to get out from previous bad decisions he had made. Or they've been trades that simply made our team worse. And none of these trades takes into account his UFA work, which has been putrid in itself, with guys like Hemsky, Streit, Morrow, and so on. His occasion good finds like Radulov lasted short-term and ended in disaster anyways. So looking at this body of work, it's clear Bergevin has done little to advance the team and more to harm it than anything.

 

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I'll go with a B-.  

His biggest challenge in my opinion was being forced into the decision of trading PK, who wanted to be captain and a Hab for life, or trading more than half of his team.  Other GMs knew of the room's dysfunction, and were either going to lowball us on PK or lowball us on half of our team.  PK and PK's adversaries are responsible for forcing this decision upon the GM.  

MB's biggest failing was developing a team with good wingers and goaltending, while being weak at center and weak on defence.  Does he know what is needed to win?  Can he get us what we need to win?  These two questions matter, and I have my doubts.  For that reason, combined with this year's performance, I would fire him at year's end and require approval on any actions until then. 

His next biggest failing in my opinion is getting 75% FMV for PK.  If only he had taken what Vancouver was rumoured to have offered.    

Its time for a new GM, I don't think he did a horrible job, but I think we can do better.

 

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Oil got a 3rd round pick for our waiving of Davidson. Alzner contract brutal. Only a fifth rounder for Jerabek in comparison to a 3rd for Davidson. Evidence suggests his staff are not getting true value for some players. I understand this is a tricky business and had no issues with some of his moves but C- is where I would rank him. This year appears to have had no real direction and we need someone with a vision which he appears to have lost. The hiring of Julien was not one of my favourite moves either. Bergy appears to have spent the last year chasing the game and we are paying for it this year.

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1 hour ago, Windoe said:

I'll go with a B-.  

His biggest challenge in my opinion was being forced into the decision of trading PK, who wanted to be captain and a Hab for life, or trading more than half of his team.  Other GMs knew of the room's dysfunction, and were either going to lowball us on PK or lowball us on half of our team.  PK and PK's adversaries are responsible for forcing this decision upon the GM.  

MB's biggest failing was developing a team with good wingers and goaltending, while being weak at center and weak on defence.  Does he know what is needed to win?  Can he get us what we need to win?  These two questions matter, and I have my doubts.  For that reason, combined with this year's performance, I would fire him at year's end and require approval on any actions until then. 

His next biggest failing in my opinion is getting 75% FMV for PK.  If only he had taken what Vancouver was rumoured to have offered.    

Its time for a new GM, I don't think he did a horrible job, but I think we can do better.

 

half the team? really? ill say this, even if thats the case.....which you cant possibly know and is very likely hyperbole......is it better we kept half of this pathetic last place team? as far as i can tell it was a patch and plek faction. both are gonna be yesterdays news pretty soon. even if it includes gallagher....which i dont assume just because of last games fiasco.....if its him or pk....bye bye gally.

pk was the only legit gamebreaker we had, and he bled red and blue, and did everything we love gally for. biggest mistake since roy.

compound that by losing eller markov and radulov ............its not even an F. its a joke he has a job. we are a laughingstock. you are one forgiving dude I give you credit for that

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Early on in his tenure I thought that MB was doing a fine job. As noted above, I liked the trade for Vanek despite the fact that he did FA in the playoffs. Getting Petry was fantastic. And, as you noted, there were some bad contracts to shed in which he did a decent job doing. Early on the biggest complaint seemed to be his choice of coach and unwillingness to fire that coach when it was obvious to everyone that it needed to be done. The blunders in Sekac and such seemed to be a result of MT. Even some of the mistakes at that time can be looked over as a "you win some, and you lose some" outlook. Better to have a GM that is at least trying.

For me, where it really seemed to crash and burn hard was from the Subban trade on. In retrospect it all really looks as though MB has a problem with ego. He let(s) his own ego get in the way of managing this team properly.

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2 hours ago, jeff33 said:

half the team? really? ill say this, even if thats the case.....which you cant possibly know and is very likely hyperbole......is it better we kept half of this pathetic last place team? as far as i can tell it was a patch and plek faction. both are gonna be yesterdays news pretty soon. even if it includes gallagher....which i dont assume just because of last games fiasco.....if its him or pk....bye bye gally.

pk was the only legit gamebreaker we had, and he bled red and blue, and did everything we love gally for. biggest mistake since roy.

compound that by losing eller markov and radulov ............its not even an F. its a joke he has a job. we are a laughingstock. you are one forgiving dude I give you credit for that

:6280:

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Imo, MB hasn’t done all that bad. I still feel he was forced/pressured to trade pk; either a rift within the room or with his chosen coach i just think there had to be some other sort of presence involved in that pk trade. All other trades win/lose have probably been in his favour but they’ve all been small. The Drouin trade I’m still ok with, he’s french and he was a proven commodity, give him a true Center and had we not had these many holes on the blue line and we’d all be happy. Just my opinion though. I hear a lot of fire MB talk but if we did then what, who would we be left with that would truely be better?

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Ironically this is my first post since the Weber-Subban trade thread.

Those rankings seem about right, I'd even give the Ryder-Cole trade an A: he got ahead of a bad contract and got back a useful player who fit a clear need (scoring) while also somehow getting a 3rd back for no apparent reason (my best guess at the time was it had something to do with Gainey's involvement on the Stars side).  The freed cap space wasn't used in the best way, but the trade itself was still rock-solid.

It's also not surprising that the good trades happened earlier in his reign. I actually think - with one major exception - Bergevin was a pretty good GM early in his tenure: he seemed to understand the need for skill players and made mostly smart gambles. Even questionable moves (and mistakes in hindsight) like Briere were somewhat defensible and didn't really hurt us.  Playing hardball with PK turned out to be poor talent evaluation given he went on to win the Norris, but it wasn't that dissimilar to what Yzerman did with Stamkos that gets him a lot of credit.  Really the major complaint about MB was sticking by MT, and even that had some logic given the small pool of francophone candidates. The major exception I mentioned was that - while not obvious at the time - the team was failing in the drafting and/or development of young players.  It was easy to ignore the problems in Hamilton at the time, but they should have been a warning sign of problems to come.

Then the team missed the playoffs for the first time since he joined, and MB appeared to just lose it. Subban was the first of many trades that showed a shift from skill to grit. MB suddenly went from a mostly forward thinking GM to one who appeared to be trying to win the cup in 1995.  The GM who somehow got a 3rd rounder back in the Ryder-Cole trade now didn't get anything back in the Subban trade to compensate for the age difference with Weber. The GM who somehow convinced Petry to stay in Montreal as a pending UFA now managed to lose a game of chicken with his two best UFAs and instead sign a overratted and limited defensive defensman. The GM who previously acquired players like Vanek and Petry at the deadline now acquired low-skill players one step away from the AHL to take ice-time away from more useful fourth liners who could actually generate some offense.

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If there was even a question as to how bad he's been, we entered the season with ZERO #1 or #2 centres, and no true #1 or #2 left handed defensmen.  We converted players (Drouin, Benn) and asked players to play above their heads (Mete, Danault) but all the while Bergevin did nothing to fix these two massive problems.

Instead he did this (Thanks to Eric Engels for making the full list):

traded away:
- fourth-liners Andreas Martinsen and Torrey Mitchell,
- depth defencemen Zach Redmond, Jakub Jerabek and Joe Morrow
-  backup goaltender Al Montoya
- overpaid (but still great defensively) Thomas Plekanec + a minor leaguer

got back:
- depth defenceman Mike Reilly
- two 2018 fourth-round picks
- two 2018 fifth-round picks (that could turn into fourth-round picks
- 23-year-old forward prospect Kerby Rychel
- 22-year-old defensive prospect Rinat Valiev


Thats it.  Those are the big moves. How can Molson still have faith in him??

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45 minutes ago, maas_art said:

If there was even a question as to how bad he's been, we entered the season with ZERO #1 or #2 centres, and no true #1 or #2 left handed defensmen.  We converted players (Drouin, Benn) and asked players to play above their heads (Mete, Danault) but all the while Bergevin did nothing to fix these two massive problems.

Instead he did this (Thanks to Eric Engels for making the full list):

traded away:
- fourth-liners Andreas Martinsen and Torrey Mitchell,
- depth defencemen Zach Redmond, Jakub Jerabek and Joe Morrow
-  backup goaltender Al Montoya
- overpaid (but still great defensively) Thomas Plekanec + a minor leaguer

got back:
- depth defenceman Mike Reilly
- two 2018 fourth-round picks
- two 2018 fifth-round picks (that could turn into fourth-round picks
- 23-year-old forward prospect Kerby Rychel
- 22-year-old defensive prospect Rinat Valiev


Thats it.  Those are the big moves. How can Molson still have faith in him??

And he sat on 8M of cap space that could have allowed him to take on 35M worth of players at the deadline. And he sat there and didn't use a penny of it because he has no insight into how to draw assets from his club.

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Also... mostly discussing transactions so far... but there's so much more we could criticize Bergevin for. I believe some people have mentioned standing by MT for waaaayyyyy too long already. SL in Laval has also gotten a free pass for an unbelievable amount of time. And why? I have no idea. How could the farm team be so bad for so long? They haven't made the post-season since Bergevin arrived.

The Alzner signing really did it for me. That was one of the worst moves he's ever made.

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1 hour ago, jennifer_rocket said:

Also... mostly discussing transactions so far... but there's so much more we could criticize Bergevin for. I believe some people have mentioned standing by MT for waaaayyyyy too long already. SL in Laval has also gotten a free pass for an unbelievable amount of time. And why? I have no idea. How could the farm team be so bad for so long? They haven't made the post-season since Bergevin arrived.

Totally. Graeme made a really interesting point and one that i hadnt considered.  Before the collapse of 2015-16 MB was actually not too bad.  Sure he stuck by guys like MT and SL when it seemed like both had well worn out their welcome but overall he was making nice moves & appeared to be taking the team in the right direction. Then Price got injured and MB lost his mind.

Since that time he's done a complete Jeckyl and Hyde.  He cant evaluate talent, he cant see roster holes, he cant act on big issues. Its like he's a completely different person. Since that time he's totally dismantled our team and taken us from contender to an absolute train-wreck. 

 

Quote

The Alzner signing really did it for me. That was one of the worst moves he's ever made.

I think i was done even before that.  Totally desensitized at that point.  We were in dire need of talent so we signed a #4-5 defensive dman.   "makes perfect sense" i remember thinking as i shook my head.   And really, thats what this team has become.  A head-shaker.   

To me, a die-hard fan but one who doesnt really spend any money on the team, this is frustrating beyond belief but I can just turn it off.  To a fan who lives in montreal and spends thousands, if not tens of thousands on the team each year with seasons' tickets, concessions and merchandise, I would be frankly livid.  You guys pay for this product... and this is what you've been given.

In an earlier thread I compared MB to probably our worst GM ever (Houle) but, to me anyway, MB has now surpassed Houle as worst simply because he seems indifferent and nonchalant at the whole thing.  At least Houle cared. He was in way over his head but he tried. I dont even know that MB cares at this point. He just sits back, comfortably and looks around the league for more grit. 

 

I know he doesnt - but i wish Geoff Molson did - read these threads. Id love for him to understand that when a guy like me - an eternal optimist - has lost faith, and probably more importantly  - interest,  in your team, you've royal screwed up. 

 

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2 hours ago, maas_art said:

 

I know he doesnt - but i wish Geoff Molson did - read these threads. Id love for him to understand that when a guy like me - an eternal optimist - has lost faith, and probably more importantly  - interest,  in your team, you've royal screwed up. 

 

Don`t hold your breath buddy, this Owner & GM have sown quite clearly that the fan-base and their opinions don`t matter. 

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2 hours ago, maas_art said:

To me, a die-hard fan but one who doesnt really spend any money on the team, this is frustrating beyond belief but I can just turn it off.  To a fan who lives in montreal and spends thousands, if not tens of thousands on the team each year with seasons' tickets, concessions and merchandise, I would be frankly livid.  You guys pay for this product... and this is what you've been given.

Yeah, I gave up spending money on the team a little over a year ago. I don't foresee starting again anytime soon. I was someone who would probably pay 4-5 times a year to attend a game in downtown Montreal. I haven't given the organization a dollar in more than a year.

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2 hours ago, maas_art said:

 

 

 

I know he doesnt - but i wish Geoff Molson did - read these threads. Id love for him to understand that when a guy like me - an eternal optimist - has lost faith, and probably more importantly  - interest,  in your team, you've royal screwed up. 

 

You ain't the only one maas. At one time I would have bent over backwards to watch every game but not anymore.

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