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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— Scott Thompson (@ScottTh66153768) July 8, 2015
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.
— Caitlyn Golem 🏒⚾🏋️ (@CaitlynGolem) July 8, 2015
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.
— Andrew Brushett (@AndrewBrushett) July 8, 2015
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.
— Matt Smith 🇨🇦 (@Snakebite350) July 8, 2015
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.