It's been a frustrating year for the Montreal Canadiens and it's been even more frustrating for their fan base who currently sees no light at the end of the tunnel.
What's been particularly curious during the team's struggles has been the lack of activity from general manager Marc Bergevin, a man who has never shied away from making big moves if he thinks they benefit his organization.
While it's true that Bergevin may merely be avoiding any potential trade deals with the value of his core players at an all-time low under his tenure, there may be another reason the Habs GM may have been keeping his head down.
On Friday during a radio interview Sportsnet insider Elliotte Friedman was asked why Bergevin has not made a move to acquire Arizona Coyotes forward Anthony Duclair, a Quebec-born player that would seem to be a natural fit for the Montreal Canadiens, and his answer revealed a great deal.
Friedman believes that Bergevin's energy may currently be devoted entirely to a single project, acquiring a legitimate number one center for the Canadiens organization. The Canadiens have been desperate for a true number one up the middle for a long time, and the name dropped by Friedman as a potential target of Bergevin's was stunning.
“I think one of the reasons that Montreal may not be interested in him is that they’re pouring all of their energy into finding a center, or doing whatever they can to land John Tavares if he ever becomes available," said Friedman as per Fanrag's Chris Nichols. "And they might just be saying, ‘Look, we’re not doing anything until we have the answer to that particular question.’"
While the Islanders have not officially indicated that Tavares is currently available, the reality of the situation is that Tavares has not yet re-signed with the team. Should the Islanders feel that there is a legitimate chance that he could leave in free-agency, that would only leave them roughly 2 months to find a trade that would net them some kind of return.
Perhaps Bergevin smells blood in the water, and while his popularity with the Canadiens fan base is currently at an all-time low, the acquisition of a player like Tavares would likely change things drastically. It would also arguably be the biggest single trade of the season, even if you include the massive three-way deal for former Colorado Avalanche forward Matt Duchene.