It didn’t take long for the Montreal Canadiens fan base to realize that general manager Marc Bergevin was lying at the beginning of the season when he dared to say that his blue line was better than last year’s. Yeah, that was quite the lie. However, the GM is getting some help as the Journal de Montreal has given him a hand by listing the options that could be brought in to help veteran defenseman Shea Weber.
While the Journal believes the Habs could trust young rookie Victor Mete to continue evolving, it is more inclined to suggest trade partners to the team instead.
It suggested Columbus’ Jack Johnson, Dallas’ Miro Heiskanen or Nashville’s Alexei Emelin as possible defense partners for Weber. Johnson and Emelin are unrestricted free agents this summer. Heiskanen is an interesting pick, however, the Stars are not to move their young prospect.
Emelin was not protected in the expansion draft, and was then traded to the Predators and is making a run at the Stanley Cup. The Russian defender could command a salary close to that of Karl Alzner ... but his effectiveness alongside Shea Weber is known and could help the Canadian by then… Emelin is jus 32 years old and is a proven defensive defenseman, and could help the Habs short term.
It remains to be seen if the Canadiens will want to re-sign him for a season or two…
Another option could be to select prospect Quinn Hughes with the third overall pick in this year’s draft, but we doubt that Bergervin will use the third overall pick for a defenseman, especially since Rasmus Dahlin, the top prospect in this year’s draft, will be gone by the time he gets up to the podium to make his selection.
When it comes to Emelin, the Habs fan base and management might already be over the idea. The veteran blue liner managed to record a single goal and nine points in 76 games this season in Nashville, but has yet to put his name on the scoresheet during the playoffs.
The Canadiens might look elsewhere for help, or simply look at what they already have in Mete. What do you believe his best?