Ah Montreal… the blood thirsty media, the bipolar fans or those who are complaining no matter what the organisation, coaches or players do. There are not many boring days when reading and listening to Habs’ fans or the media feeding them, even in the off-season. One thing they all share is passion. You can be a hero one day, they’ll want you traded for a bag of pucks the next day. No, wait… if you’re not producing, they often want a star player in return. And God forbid if someone starts a rumour, true or not, as it’s likely to be taken at face value. We all know that controversy sells. And if it brings viewership, listenership or readership, there are always desperate outlets out there to release some fibs to generate interest.
A year ago, Max Domi was untouchable and could do no wrong. In his first season in Montreal, he blew everyone away with an unexpected breakthrough season which saw him get 72 points. On cloud nine, he wanted to be a Habs for the rest of his days… and fans loved him.
Today? The pendulum is starting to flip. Unable to sustain last year’s pace, some started to criticize him. And the 25 year-old started blocking Habs’ fans right, left and centre on his social media accounts. While fans (and some media) aren’t wrong about Domi’s decline in production, only Tomas Tatar has contributed more offensively than him on the Canadiens. As a matter of fact, here’s how he compares to some of his peers across the NHL:
Bergevin the wizard
So… Marc Bergevin did it again. Not only does he seem to win the vast majority of his trades, he’s a master at managing his assets. He gave the Coyotes Alex Galchenyuk one for one to get his hands on Domi.
So far in 2020, here are some of Bergevin’s moves:
- Signed Ilya Kovalchuk for $700,000
- Acquired Marco Scandella for a 4th round pick
- Traded Marco Scandella for a 2nd and a 4th round pick
- Traded Ilya Kovalchuk for a 3rd round pick
- Acquired Jake Allen and a 7th round pick for a 3rd (Kovalchuk’s) and a 7th round pick
And he did all of this well after Brian Burke came to the Canadiens GM’s defense! It’s as if fans were wrong and Burke knew what he was talking about. Go figure…
“Bergevin is one of the great judges of talent in the modern era. There’s a handful of guys that can really watch games and pick players out. He’s one of them, Rick Dudley’s one of them, Bob Murray’s one of them.” ~ Brian Burke, June 2017
Perhaps it’s due to the recent history between the coach and the player? The resurgence of young Nick Suzuki and Jesperi Kotkaniemi? Or is it Domi’s own recent social media actions? Or maybe it’s the fact that he just changed agent? Most likely for all of those reasons, I feel like he has likely played his last game in a Canadiens’ uniform. As a matter of fact, I have him amongst the least likely players to return to Montreal for next season. I’m not the only one. TSN’s Frank Seravalli has Domi as the eight most likely player in the entire NHL to get traded.
So now, having compared him with several NHL players, what do you think Max’ value might be in a trade? What could Bergevin turn one disappointing asset (Galchenyuk) into? Many Habs’ fans were throwing Domi and a ridiculous amount of assets in their suggestions to acquire Patrik Laine. Do the Canadiens really need to add that much when you actually look at performances and not reputation?
Further, it’s no secret that centres are worth a lot more than wingers and Claude Julien went out of his way to claim that Domi is a centre and performs better at that position. Okay, maybe he’s helping his GM out by adding to his value (if the coach feels that way). It doesn’t change the fact that most of the production mentioned above was obtained while playing centre. I guess we’ll find out soon enough. Go Habs Go!