GM Marc Bergevin’s Perspective on the 2021-22 Season

It feels like just yesterday, the Montreal Canadianiens fell 3-1 to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the final playoffs and everyone is calling for the job of general manager Marc Bergevin. That’s probably because it was yesterday, at least that last part.

Indeed, even though the Canadian team is only a few months away from its trip to the Stanley Cup Finals, people don’t want to look back on the status quo, admittedly sad. To be fair, it To be one of the Worst start in franchise history, standing at 5-15-2 will start operating on Saturday night. However, do you think fans will still be a little more forgiving…. We’re talking about Habs and their fans after all.

Marc Bergevin Canadianiens
Montreal Canada General Manager, Marc Bergevin – (Amy Irvin / Hockey writers)

However, in the face of all the barrage of criticism, to what extent is Bergevin really to blame? From his point of view, it must have weighed heavily on him to the point that, though contract renewal report on the table, which is unlikely as he even wants to return when his current contract expires next holiday season.

Such an expansion would fly with the general public sentiment. However, every story has two sides. We are talking about a multiple candidate for Jim Gregory General Manager of the Year Awards, after all. In any case, this is Bergevin’s… how to go around otherwise might not be such a terrible idea. Spoiler: That’s right.

$81.5 million fixed salary cap

That’s right, there are 31 other GMs out there that have to compete with the limit. However, Bergevin did know about the pandemic and as a result $81.5 million fixed salary cap before, he might not have been so fast to re-sign goalkeeper Carey Price to his current contract, which obviously brought in a hard-to-direct $10.5 million in revenue.

Of course, Price is the biggest reason why Canada made it to the Finals. Take him out of the picture and Bergevin’s biggest argument for why he should stay in town, last year’s playoff success, disappears with him.

Price carefully
Montreal Canadian goalkeeper Carey Price – (CANADIAN PRESS / Ryan Remiorz)

It deals more with the matter of the contract itself than the player, and the team’s construction, built largely on their strength in the network, is flawed, when The price has long peaked, at least based on his regular-season success. Obviously, Price could still be a difference-maker, but over-investing in a 30-year-old goalkeeper at the time was a difficult problem for Bergevin. So the flat cap can’t be an excuse.

Price, Weber is injured

In fact, take Price, a player Bergevin inherited to the record-holder, out of the picture, and the problems with this team become apparent. No Price, who started the season in NHL player support program and has not yet returned, the defense has been completely exposed.

Yes, part of that comes from Shea Weber retires unexpectedly early, who left a hole on the right side that could not be filled. Either way, however, Weber is entering the twilight of his career, with holes in his own game appearing more and more. He’s undeniably taken his game to another level in the past playoffs, but one has to wonder how much of a problem he left it all on the ice, because he He hypothesized that it was too late to end anyway.

That’s conjecture admittedly, but it has no consequences. Weber is gone, unlikely to return, and Bergevin has to build back up again. However, based on Weber’s play in general towards the end, Canada is said to have dodged a bullet, having a chance to place Weber’s $7,857,143 on the long-term injured reserve (LTIR). In the long run, Bergevin or his successor will go first.

Shea Weber Montreal Canada
Montreal Canadianiens Guardian Shea Weber – (Amy Irvin / Hockey writers)

Bergevin’s only saving grace is an example that it is unrealistic for him to be able to replace Weber on such short notice. After all, Weber in his prime was irreplaceable. However, we’re not talking about Weber in his prime. We’re talking about a 36-year-old defender who should have some sort of succession plan in place. Furthermore, by placing Weber in the LTIR, Bergevin had limited space to make some moves. In response, he combined his abilities worst season ever as Canadianiens GM.

Of course, the Canadianiens situation can’t be oversimplified to include just Price and Weber’s injuries, even though they’ve been at the heart of Habs’ troubles this season. Even so, Injury is never an excuse, especially when the team is injured more than you are doing better on the leaderboard.

To his credit, Bergevin is ready Admitted injury doesn’t justify a poor start. However, he has stated that the players are better than they have shown so far, pointing to the Finals as proof (but conveniently omitted to mention his side work since then). ). That’s really the only argument he can come up with, because if he says anything different it’s the lineup and his fault. That’s still his list, though. And the team he’s put together (except for Price and Brendan Gallagher) isn’t showing enough determination right now.

Cultural demand for French players on Canada

Another thing Bergevin could argue in his favor is that it is difficult to assemble the best possible team in the province of Quebec due to many factors, including taxes, but also language politics. Of course he would never make this argument himself, because those politics prevent him from doing so.

For starters, Canada’s head coach must speak French (according to owner Geoff Molson). And, after all the fuss from last season Habs can’t wear a single French-Canadian player For the first time in history, there’s a lot of local talent on the roster.

Let’s call a spade, a spade. It’s a story not a story. Canada has French-Canadian players on the team, but Phillip Danault and Jonathan Drouin are injured. For head coach Dominique Ducharme, playing Paul Byron in place of a rookie in Alex Belzile, the only remaining native Quebecer, during the regular season is not without question. However, you have politicians like Premier Francois Legault the result is crying foul?

It shouldn’t wonder Bergevin continued to develop his French-speaking talent, especially after Danault left the Los Angeles Kings. But as a result you have players like Mathieu Perreault, Cedric Paquette and David Savard were cast in roles they wouldn’t have played on a playoff team anywhere else.

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For Savard specifically, contract is fair, but it’s like the opposite situation for Price. Consider him playing 14:07 per game with Tampa Bay Lightning’s final playoff, the lowest of the team’s six regular defenders. On Canada? He placed third 19:21 per game.

David Savard Flying Lightning
Former Lightning Bay Tampa Guard David Savard – (Photo by Danny Murphy / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

So is it really any surprise that the Canadian team lost 4-1 in the Finals and that they don’t have much competition for a playoff spot right now? However, when the team, especially the defense, is built the way it is, it becomes clear that its problems will replace language. With Savard or without him last season (Weber) you had three defensive players at home in your top four.

Yes, the one true cheerleader you have in Jeff Petry is in the midst of his worst season ever, and it’s not something you can realistically predict, but that seems to be the case. as is true of about half of the lineup right now. There comes a point when it’s not them. That’s Bergevin.

Ultimately, Savard is not the man for the job. Bergevin should not move forward either. Under ideal circumstances, you’d let him go because he’s been with the team for 10 years, but, if he’s going to leave, you (Molson) shouldn’t want him in charge of what could be. an exchange. franchise term.

Yes, Bergevin’s successor will certainly have similar language problems. They are inescapably like the pylons on the streets of the city of Montreal. However, if Bergevin hasn’t won, he never will…especially after the final play-off. Others will certainly have more success. No one can take away his final look, but, after all, it took him 10 years to get there and how far his Habits have dropped in the months since, which could take another 10 years to regain. Formal abandonment is a formality. It began informally when Weber retired. Its construction should be someone else’s responsibility. GM Marc Bergevin’s Perspective on the 2021-22 Season

Subhankar Mondal

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