Hands up if you predicted the Montreal Canadiens would be 18-20-4 at the midway point of the NHL season. Lead by superstar goaltender Carey Price and bolstered by the offseason addition of superstar in the making Jonathan Drouin, many fans and analysts expected the Habs to rise to the top of the NHL Atlantic Division in 2017-18 and potentially contend for a Stanley Cup. As it is, they’ve wallowed in division’s basement for much of the season and are currently seven points back of the Eastern Conference’s final wild card spot.
With all of this in mind, GM Marc Begervin met with the Montreal media yesterday to offer up some insight into what’s gone wrong this season. His reasoning and some of the statements he made have whipped the team’s fanbase into a frenzy. Habs from across Canada and the United States are calling for Bergevin’s head, calling him “delusional” and “potentially high on drugs.”
Wow. To quote legendary NFL coach Jim Mora… “Playoffs!? We can’t even win a game!”
But, the delusions didn’t end there with Bergevin.
It’s clear that things haven’t worked out for the Habs this year, so is it maybe time to pivot and look to the future? Could Bergevin envision himself as a seller at this year’s trade deadline?
The final nail in the coffin came when Bergevin accepted responsibility for the situation that the team is currently in… sort of….
Proud? The Habs were a 28th place team when Bergevin took over in 2012… today they’re in the exact same place. Except now they’re saddled with several big ticket contracts and they’ve jettisoned their best young players to other organizations.
Pacioretty trade a solution?
So, how do the Habs work themselves out of the mess that they’ve gotten into? Multiple reports have indicated that captain Max Pacioretty is being shopped on the trade market, with the ask being essentially a younger, cheaper version of Pacioretty himself.
The 29-year-old Pacioretty has just 10 goals and 23 points on the season, despite being a perennial 30+ goal and 60+ point scorer the past four seasons. If Bergevin elects to trade his captain, he’ll be selling him off at the absolute rock bottom of his trade value.
If Pacioretty is indeed shown the door and if the return doesn’t make an immediate impact on the ice, expect the “Fire Bergevin” chants at the Bell Centre to pick up even more steam.