There seems to be quite the ultimatum in Montreal for general manager Marc Bergevin. Many pundits believe that the Habs GM is expected to lure and sign pending free agent and superstar centre John Tavares on July 1. Now that he landed the third overall pick at the upcoming NHL Entry draft, Bergevin has some baggage to make a play of another centre if needed, however, Tavares remains his first choice.
Tavares will be the most coveted free agent out there, as more than a dozen teams will certainly queue to try to convince him to sign with them. There is hope in Montreal that the close and friendly relationship between Bergevin and Tavares' agent, Pat Brisson, will give an edge to the Canadiens and put them as frontrunners to land him.
What about what Tavares himself wants? Could he have an interest to join the Habs, despite the last few woeful seasons? His friend and former teammate forward Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau gave his option on the matter during an interview with Mario Langlois on Montreal's 98.5 FM. The former NHL forward sincerely believes that the Canadiens and the star player will agree on a contract over the summer. He even put a sum of money on this prediction!
I took a little challenge with my father a few weeks ago and I told him it would be Montreal for my destination. But I do not have a scoop there!
When asked what might tip the balance for the Canadiens, Parenteau explained that the need for a centre in Montreal is quite strong and could convince Tavares that he would be a saviour. The presence of veteran defenseman Shea Weber and star goalie Carey Price, on top of the great market in the city, are all factors that could attract Tavares. Parenteau doubts that the money really makes a difference in the end since, according to him, most teams will offer him a similar amount on a new deal.
Parenteau has only offered his personal opinion as he has never revealed that he has recently become an undercover NHL insider. This is most likely based on the friendship between the two men, and what Parenteau believes is best for his friend and former teammate.