This owner is not messing around these past few days... On Wednesday, if was reported that Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin has been handcuffed by his owner, Geoff Molson, and will not be making any more significant trades for his current organization, according to a former NHL player.
During a segment on 91,9 Sports radio in Montreal, former Canadiens enforcer Georges Laraque revealed that a very reliable source has informed him that Bergevin has been effectively shut down by Molson, seemingly indicating that the owner has finally lost confidence in his controversial GM.
According to Laraque his source is an NHL player agent with knowledge of the situation, and Laraque even hinted at the fact that his information may have come directly from an agent with multiple Montreal Canadiens' players under contract. Again a sign that those within the organization are quickly losing face in the leadership of Bergevin, and perhaps for good reasons.
However, NHL insider Darren Dreger has offered another interesting twist to this saga taking place in Montreal. If Bergevin makes one specific move, he may be out of hot water.
“So specific to Geoff Molson and his loyalty to Marc Bergevin, I’m going to throw something out there that is probably going to rattle some cages: What if Molson is sitting back and saying, ‘Alright Marc, I hear what you’re saying. I believe in the direction of your want as general manager of the Montreal Canadiens. But if John Tavares is available, if he goes to market, and you don’t find a way to land this guy – then you’ve got a problem. You’ve got a problem' Dreger said on Montreal's TSN 690 on Thursday, as transcribed by FanRag Sports.
“I”ve got to believe that that has to be the bigger plan for the Montreal Canadiens. I’m not saying they’re going to get him. I still kind of think even though the days continue to drift by and it seems more likely Tavares tests the open market, if he gets to the open market I think that has to be the all-in game plan of Marc Bergevin. And that’s what Geoff Molson might be counting on.”
Is this the only way Bergevin remains in Montreal? Dreger also added that some talks are still going on about captain Max Pacioretty and forward Alex Galchenyuk as the trade deadline approaches, but one player won't be moving and that's Andrew Shaw. Bergevin, if he remains in control and Molson lets him act on the market, does not want Shaw out of Montreal.
"I know that there’s a terrific amount of interest, say, in Andrew Shaw. And I also know that Bergevin just doesn’t want to trade Andrew Shaw. It would take a mind-blowing deal or offer to move Andrew Shaw because of how significant he is a part of the culture, not unlike Gallagher and when Shea Weber is healthy we know what he brings from a leadership perspective," Dreger added.
“I guess what I don’t understand is how can you be in that position as a general manager when you’ve got so many holes that you need to fill. He swung and he missed on Radulov obviously, and Markov. He’s got a ton of cap space. And if there’s interest in any player, in this case a very good player and a guy with experience and a decent contract in Andrew Shaw that someone’s willing to give you fair value, why wouldn’t you consider making that deal.
“Pacioretty, Galchenyuk – if he doesn’t get what he needs, whatever that is – it depends team-by-team according to teams that I’m talking to – then he’s in no rush."
Being able to land Tavares seems like a massive undertaking. Like TSN show host Conor McKenna said, “Well, let's hope they have a backup plan.”