Tags Posts tagged with "Marc Bergevin"

Marc Bergevin

The bye week for the Montreal Canadiens couldn’t come soon enough, as the players needed a rest, and Marc Bergevin took the time to fire Michel Therrien as the Habs’ head coach and replaced him with formner Bruins’ bench boss Claude Julien.

Join Coach K as he goes over the events before and after the trade, and discusses the move with The Suburban’s Michael Cohen.

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Coach K brings you the first post-season edition of MHT After Dark.

On this episode, Coach discusses the happenings in the Stanley Cup Playoffs thus far, including some surprises. He also talks about the NHL Draft Lottery, the trade rumours surrounding P.K. Subban, and the recent wave of coaches being relieved of their duties.

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Habs Nation expected a similar effort to Thrusday night, but instead got a giveaway clinic in the Montreal Canadiens’ defensive zone, as they dropped a 5-2 decision to the Chicago Blackhawks at the Madhouse on Madison tonight.

Join Corey Collard, along with Coach K and Steve Farnham as they try to make sense of what lies ahead to the free falling Canadiens.

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Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin announced yesterday that Habs center Tomas Plekanec has re-signed with the team and will earn a six million dollar cap hit for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons. His new agreement will be a one million dollar raise on his current number, but it is the term that is a big win for Bergevin and the Canadiens on this deal.

Early in his tenure with the Habs, Bergevin was prone to inking depth players to lengthy contracts. One of his first signings was a four year deal to Brandon Prust and he followed that up be re-signing gritty fourth line winger Travis Moen to a four year extension. While recovering from knee surgery, Alexei Emelin also signed a four year contract with a $4.1 million cap hit.

Bergevin found another team to take on the final year of Prust and Moen’s deals and would love to do the same with Emelin, though he is only in year two of his pact. Even Andrei Markov might have one too many years on his three year deal signed last summer, but the same mistake won’t be made with Plekanec.

Plekanec is still at the top of his two-way game, but at the age of 32 he will be approaching his late thirties by the time his two year extension expires. As a valuable member of a team that looks like a Stanley Cup contender early in the season, an October extension removes all distractions about what to do with a pending unrestricted free agent who is currently centring the top line between Max Pacioretty and Brendan Gallagher and also taking first unit shifts on the power play and penalty kill.

Speaking of linemates, players often see their offensive production take a dip around Plekanec’s age, but he consistently played with top six players all of last season and reached 60 points for the first time since 2009-10. After being saddled for long stretches with Mathieu Darche, Travis Moen, Rene Bourque and an aging Brian Gionta, Plekanec finds himself centering one of the best goal scorers in the league and could very well reach the 60 point mark again.

Looking around the league at other two-way pivots, in becomes increasingly clear that the Habs are taking next to no risk and got a huge bargain in Plekanec. Coming off a 47 point season last year, the Anaheim Ducks signed Ryan Kesler to a six year deal that will cost them $6.875 million until he is 38 years old.

After a 44 point season, the Colorado Avalanche traded a late draft pick to the Boston Bruins for Carl Soderberg and inked him to a five year deal that pays him $4.75 for the next five years, at which time he will be 35 years old.

The list of mediocre centres who are signed for far too long goes on and on. Dave Bolland with the Florida Panthers, Tyler Bozak with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Travis Zajac with the New Jersey Devils. All score significantly less than Plekanec and have signed lengthy contracts for at least five years.

Sure, six million is a large chunk of the cap. However, when you can signed a 32 year old  first line center on a short term deal, it greatly reduces the chance for the contract to become an albatross. You can overpay a player for a year or two and get away with it, but you can’t get away with locking up a player for six years when he only has two or three good years left in him.

Just ask the Los Angeles Kings about Mike Richards and Dustin Brown or the Boston Bruins about Zdeno Chara.

Plekanec’s contract will also end at the same time as Carey Price’s current deal. There is no question that if Price continues to be anywhere close to the goaltender he has been that he will be looking for more than ten million dollars per year. This means there won’t be room to bring back Plekanec at that time, but there is plenty of time for him to pass the torch to youngsters, and plenty of young talent ready to accept it by then.

With Alex Galchenyuk making the full time shift to center this season, it seems logical he will take over as the first line center in the near future. At that time, Plekanec’s power play and offensive role will be lessened, but he would be at worst an excellent third line center by the end of this contract and likely still a solid two-way second liner.

The Canadiens can also take their time with prospects such as Charles Hudon and Michael McCarron and not rush them to the NHL level before they are ready. At the same time, when they are ready, they won’t be stuck behind an aging 38 year old center who is being handed ice time because he is still making big money.

It appears Bergevin has learned a valuable lesson in the past few years. After giving out four year deals like they were mini chocolate bars on Halloween, he has dialled back on the Plekanec contract and guarantees he will have him for his best years and won’t be stuck with him for longer.

(Photo Credit: Francois Lacasse/NHLI)

After a flawless training camp, former Hamilton Bulldogs’ number 1 goaltender, Mike Condon, has usurped Dustin Tokarski for the job as Carey Price’s backup. Tokarski, along with newly acquired defenseman Mark Barberio, was placed on waivers earlier today.

In a press conference on Monday at noon, Canadiens’ general manager Marc Bergevin cited Condon’s strong camp and Tokarski’s less than stellar performance were definitely the determining factor in the move.

There has been a severe dip in Tokarski’s game since his extraordinary playoff performance against the New York Rangers in the 2014 Eastern Conference finals. Despite losing the series, the goaltender’s work replacing an injured Carey Price gave the Canadiens a fighting chance in the series.

Since then, however, Tokarski hasn’t even shown flashes of his former self. Oftentimes, he would get caught out of position, with his back turned to the oncoming play, or simply letting pucks going through him.

As for Condon, he did everything he needed to do to earn the backup job. He looked technically sound, which is a huge plus for any backup goaltender, and he showed excellent reactionary skills when they were called upon to stop pucks fired at him.

Despite Tokarski’s experience, Condon showed veteran poise beyond his career experience, never looking flustered. That type of demeanor in goal is a character trait not held by many at this level. It wasn’t too long ago that Carey Price was vilified for having a laid back, un-phased mindset in goal. And as well all know, that worked out just fine for the Canadiens.

Mike Condon will now not only get much needed NHL experience, but he’ll be under the tutelage of two great goaltending minds. If Habs’ goalie coach Stephane Waite can make him great, with better tools than he had to work with in the case of Chicago Blackhawks’ goalie Corey Crawford, and Price can show him the NHL ropes, the Canadiens’ goaltending will be almost as strong as when they had Patrick Roy and Pat Jablonski as their goaltending tandem.

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Despite the 2-3-2 record the Montreal Canadiens sported in the 2015-2016 pre-season, there were a plethora of positives to take away. Their puck possession has been much better than in recent years and their specialty teams are starting to look much more effective.

But now comes the difficult part. Decisions have to be made prior to 5 PM on October 7th, and there are plenty of them the Habs have to make before the puck drops versus the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Tomas Fleischman

Has the former Ducks’ and Capitals’ forward done anything to discourage the Canadiens from offering him a contract?

Fleischman has not only played very well on David Desharnais‘ left wing, he has been a solid team player throughout the pre-season. Granted when a player in on a professional try-out with any team, you know to expect an A+ effort from him, since he’s playing to show his career isn’t done.

He’s scored, killed penalties, thrown the body….

If there were any questions about Fleischman’s ability to remain an effective NHL player, he’s answered all of them. Montreal GM Marc Bergevin should get a contract ready and get that bit of business done sooner rather than later.

Jarred Tinordi 

The 6’6″, 218 lbs defenceman has endeared himself with the Canadiens’ front office. He’s played nervous throughout training camp, and looks like his development curve has pulled a U-turn.

Tinordi’s size and occasional mean streak has been a source of hope for the Habs, but he has been able to put it together.

He continues to make the same mistakes by either pinching into the offensive zone at inopportune times, or making ill-advised passes in his own zone. The latter is due to his shortcoming in being able to play the game at the NHL’s pace, and reading the play accordingly.

His inability to use his long reach for better gap control and non-physical play have everyone wondering where his fate lies. Instead of playing to his strengths, he has tried to do too much and therein lie the problem.

Mark Barberio

As a native Montrealer, you know the former Tampa Bay Lightning prospect wear the ‘CH’ with pride, and given his 102 games of NHL experience, Barberio should remain with the big club.

His strengths lie in his position play and puck distribution skills, which would compliment the Canadiens’ offence nicely.

Barberio has been solid in his own zone, shows great play recognition, and rarely makes a mistake that puts his team in a precarious position.

GM Bergevin has often said he wants players to force him to make difficult decisions. Barberio has done just that.

Dustin Tokarski

As this picture from Bruce Bennett depicts, Dustin Tokarski has had a less-than-stellar pre-season and has put himself at risk of being sent to the AHL.

After his masterful performance in the 2013-2014 Eastern Conference final, Carey Price’s backup has looked more like a beer-league goalie than a professional one.

Diminutive for his craft, Tokarski’s passive approach to goaltending has become his Achilles’ heel. Instead of playing at the top of his crease, he remains deep in the blue paint, giving opponents way to much twine to shoot at.

Beyond that, his technique has suffered recently. His poor puck tracking often leads to him being out of position, unprepared for an incoming shot or, worst of all, with his back completely turned to oncoming opponents.

With the stellar and technically sound play of Mike Condon, who has been perfect in his 90 minutes of pre-season action, Tokarski may very well have played his way into the backup role…with the Ice Caps.

Once again, the Montreal Canadiens dominated play, but didn’t get the desired result, as Dustin Tokarski allowed 5 goals on 15 shots, giving the Ottawa Senators a 5-4 win in the Habs’ final pre-season game.

Join hosts Nick Murdocco and ‘Coach K’, along with Steve Farnham and CJIM morning man Graeme McDonald, as they take a look at the game’s key moments, who stays and who goes, and so much more.

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On this week’s Road To Glory, host Nick Murdocco, Steven Hindle and Coach K review the happenings at the 2015 NHL Draft, the NHL Free Agent Frenzy and trades involving the Montreal Canadiens.

barberio-166339093-640x427Speaking of free agency, the boys are joined in the second segment by new Canadiens’ defenseman Mark Barberio, as they discuss his time in Tampa Bay, the retirement of Martin St-Louis and his personal expectations going in Habs’ camp.

 

WhatBreakMyStickIn this week’s “What Break My Stick”, Coach goes off on all the armchair GMs on social media, and their vitriol towards those whose opinions differ from their own.

 

 

 

MHT Road To Glory – July 2nd, 2015

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Normally, when a team drafts as low as the Montreal Canadiens, with the 26th overall selection, chances are most of the top end talent is off the board.

Tonight’s 1st round of the 2015 NHL Draft was nothing like that. After the Boston Bruins traded defenceman Dougie Hamilton and hated winger Milan Lucic to acquire picks 13, 14 and 15, it was almost a foregone conclusion that most of the top 20 talent would be gone. To everyone’s surprise, new Bruins’ general manager Don Sweeney drafted D Jacob Zboril, LW Jake Debrusk and RW Zachary Senyshen (ranked  12th, 19th and 38th respectively by NHL Central Scouting), it created turmoil on the Draft floor.

As picks came and went, there were plenty of players available for the Canadiens to choose from. The cupboards are bare in most areas of the farm system right now, with the likes of Nikita Scherbak, Michael McCarron and Charles Hudon due to get serious consideration at Canadiens’ camp in the fall, as well as defenseman Jarred Tinordi and Dalton Thrower. With plenty of defensemen available in the draft through rounds 1 and 2, it was expected the Canadiens would draft a skillful, well-sized and skilled forward to help address their scoring down the road.

Charlottetown Islanders’ leading scorer Daniel Sprong (ranked 20nd by NHLCS) was available for the Canadiens, and despite holes in his defensive game, his offensive skill ranks among the top 5 players available in the draft.

juulsen-draftCanadiens’ general manager Marc Bergevin and Director of Amateur Scouting Trevor Timmons decided to bolster the back end, picking defenseman Noah Juulsen from the Everett Silvertips of the Western Hockey League. Juulsen (22nd – NHLCS) is 6′ 1″ and 176 lbs, shoots right handed and has a very respectable two-way game. The 18 year old from Abbotsford, BC is an excellent skater and plays a relatively physical game. He can provide excellent support to his teammates and has an above-average ability to anticipate the game.
Noah Juulsen’s Career Statistics:

Many aren’t thrilled with the selection, including yours truly, but time will tell if Juulsen will fit the bill for Montreal. He needs to put on some significant muscle to play at the professional level, but given his age, he will spend a couple of more years in the WHL and perhaps one or two with the Ice Caps, which should give him more than enough time to fill in.

The NHL Draft continues tomorrow in Sunrise, Florida. Hopefully, the Canadiens’ brain trust have a few more moves up their sleeve to pacify Habs’ fan, who expected a bigger splash on the draft floor.

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