If there’s one word in Habs’ world that gets everyone hopping, it’s the world WIN. But if there was a word that draws more immediate interest, it would have to be the word TRADE attached to the Canadiens. Whether you add “rumour” or “done deal” to it, fans cannot get enough of trade talks when it comes to their favourite team. And luckily for them, they have one of the most active and, truthfully, best GMs in the business. At least when it comes to the number of trades, and his success rate, that is. Oh he makes mistakes. Show me a GM that doesn’t and I’ll show you a liar. With trade deadline fast approaching on April 12th, Habs’ fans will be glued to their screen in hope to see Marc Bergevin work more of his magic.
Bergevin had a very busy summer and fans were excited about the prospect of this shortened season. That’s until the team started struggling and injuries started hitting. Now hit with the NHL’s COVID protocol, the teams has been off for almost a week. Talks of the team starting to play again early next week is a welcome news for fans, media, players and coaches alike. Still, Bergevin remained active when he acquired veteran centre Eric Staal from the Buffalo Sabres for a 3rd and 5th round pick. This addresses one of the team’s needs as they have very little experience up the middle and are 25th in the NHL in faceoffs’ percentage. That being said, many believe that it wasn’t the team’s top priority and that Bergevin might not be done dealing.
While the Canadiens also announced that they had agreed to terms with Cole Caufield, the team rightfully decided to send him to Laval after his 7-day quarantine. While he has broken records in the NCAA, it’s a huge step to the NHL and the Canadiens are very deep on the wings. A bit of maturing for the undersized winger is definitely not a bad thing and that, in spite of some fans’ impatience.
Elephant in the room
Even before the injury to Ben Chiarot, many felt like the Canadiens’ biggest need was on the left side of the top pairing to play with Shea Weber. The Canadiens’ captain has always carried the defense on his back since being acquired by Bergevin, and was never provided with a quality partner. We touched on how now is the time to have Weber’s back by finally helping him out on his pairing. And that is the elephant in the room that we’re hoping Bergevin can see. Whether he’s able to address it or not remains to be seen.
In a recent article, we advanced predominantly two names of players who could help the Canadiens. Ironically, one was Staal, and we know what happened. The other name mentioned was Mattias Ekholm, a 6-foot 4-inches mobile puck moving defenseman with great defensive acumen and some offensive upside. And if not Ekholm, there are a few other quality choices of players who would be not only an improvement over what the team currently has, but would cover for the time lost by Chiarot on the injured reserve.
Will history repeat itself and Bergevin follow this blog’s suggestions? I mean come on… have you ever seen Bergevin and I together? *wink-wink* Go Habs Go!