By J.D. Lagrange, Senior Writer, All Habs Hockey Magazine

GalchenyukSpot
PENTICTON, BC. – With the end of a successful Development Camp, it is normally time for General Managers around the league to take a few weeks off… but not for Marc Bergevin who is taking a slight different approach than most this summer, waiting for the market to drop before completing his shopping for the off-season.

This week again, I have the pleasure of answering questions received in our mailbag.

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We’ll feature you, and your question, in the All Habs Mailbag!

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Here’s what you wanted to know :

As mentioned in my last article, I am convinced that Bergevin is still looking for outside help to address the scoring on his team. Having said that, he feels like the asking price for a Top-six forward is still too high for his liking at this time, and is hoping that the prices drop later on this summer when teams feel the reality of not finding any takes at their asking price. He did that when he got Thomas Vanek a couple of years ago at the deadline.

You are raising a good point about Nikita Scherbak (at other prospects), as Bergevin likely feels comfortable giving some of those guys a try to see what they can do. He can always trade later in the season if no one steps up.

It depends on the term, really. With bonuses, Alex Galchenyuk’s cap hit was over $3 million last year. I’m expecting that his guaranteed salary would be around $3.5-4 million base salary on a bridge contract. If they chose to sign him for a longer term, it would likely be over the $5 million mark. I’m expecting a bridge deal however, leaving flexibility to the team and some incentive for the player, as it worked out in the Subban case.

I know it’s a cliché and I know that people are tired of reading about it, but defense wins championships and depth on defense is key to having success, although the Chicago Blackhawks have been the exception to that rule in the recent playoffs. I don’t think that Bergevin is necessarily happy with his offense, although he likely feels like Galchenyuk and Gallagher have gained in experience and are likely ready to take an extra step. The addition of Zack Kassian could also be a factor to not underestimate, as he does have some skills and can put the puck in the net, more so than Prust. Bergevin is likely looking for outside help but won’t overpay for it and he’ll be more than happy to try some youth instead of overpaying, as some young guns them seem ready to show what they can do at the NHL level.

While people had reasons, a few years ago, to catalogue the Canadiens as a small team, those who still do today have not paid attention to the line-up and to what Marc Bergevin has been doing. You are right in pointing out the draft picks and the trades, as the Habs are NOT a small team anymore. Brendan Gallagher and David Desharnais are the only two small players on this team and when you look at the way Gallagher plays, he’s one of the toughest forwards to play against, as stated by Marc Methot in the playoffs last year. On defense, Subban and Markov are the “smallest” defenseman standing at 6-feet tall. They do have a couple of smaller prospects like Christian Thomas, Daniel Audette, Martin Reway and Sven Andrighetto, but most prospects in the pipeline have good size, led by 6-foot-6-inches Mike McCarron and Jarred Tinordi, and Connor Crisp and Joonas Nattinen at 6-foot-3-inches tall. They have also gained size in Kassian, who stands at 6-foot-3-inches. The key though is that those guys can all play hockey and move on the ice. As Bergevin made allusion to in several occasions, every single team is looking for big talented players and the best way to get those is to draft and develop them, which takes time.

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J.D. is a Senior writer for All Habs as well as Associate-Editor for the French version Le Magazine All Habs, while one of three Administrators of the fan forum Les Fantômes du Forum. He has created the handle Habsterix as a fictional character for the sole purpose of the internet. It is based on the cartoon Asterix of Gaule and his magic potion is his passion for the Montreal Canadiens. How old is he? His close friends will tell you that he’s so old, his back goes out more than he does! He was born when Béliveau lifted the Cup and remembers the days when seeing the Habs winning was not a wish, it was an expectation. For him, writing is a hobby, not a profession. Having moved to beautiful British Columbia in 1992 from his home town of Sherbrooke, Quebec, he started writing mostly in French to keep up his grammar, until non-bilingual BC friends pushed him into starting his own English Blog. His wife will say that he can be stubborn, but she will be the first to recognise that he has great sense of humour. He is always happy to share with you readers his point of views on different topics, and while it is expected that people won’t always agree, respect of opinions and of others is his mission statement.
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J.D. est Rédacteur-Adjoint sur Le Magazine All Habs et il est un Rédacteur Principal sur le site anglophone All Habs, tout en étant un des trois Administrateurs du forum de discussion Les Fantômes du Forum. Il a créé le pseudonyme Habstérix comme caractère fictif pour l’internet. Celui-ci est basé sur Astérix de Gaule et sa potion magique est sa passion pour les Canadiens de Montréal. Lorsqu’il est né, Jean Béliveau soulevait la Coupe Stanley et il se rappelle des jours où gagner n’était pas un espoir, mais une attente. Pour lui, écrire est un passe-temps, pas une profession. Ayant déménagé dans la superbe Colombie-Britannique en 1992 en provenance de sa ville natale de Sherbrooke, Québec, il a commencé à écrire en français pour garder sa grammaire, jusqu’à ce que ses amis anglophones ne réussissent à le convaincre d’avoir son blog en anglais. Son épouse vous dira qu’il est têtu, mais elle sera la première à reconnaître son grand sens de l’humour. Il est toujours fier de partager avec vous, lecteurs et lectrices, ses points de vue sur différents sujets, et quoi que les gens ne s’entendent pas toujours sur ceux-ci, le respect des opinions et des autres est son énoncé de mission.

  • Dennis

    We dont have time dam it

  • yoshii47

    If defence wins cups …why didn’t we win the cup? Because we can’t score. That tells me that you have to have good defence AND a good offence. Does Price have to cut his goals against to 1 goals a game because we can only score 2?

  • V S

    For what my opinion is worth, Chicago won the Cup because they had a well-balanced team, a solid core of players, sound management and they play in a much tougher division. Unfortunately, and this will rankle many people, Timmins has not stocked the farm system adequately enough to provide the players or the assets to move the team forward. Minus Price, this team would struggle to make the playoffs – and this is not an earth-shattering revelation. Do not look at the players that Timmins drafted, look at the players who were available that he didn’t draft. Furthermore, July dreams do not come through and by October we will learn the truth about people like McCarron and Scherbak. Remember, neither one was selected for his national U20 team.