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Marc Bergevin

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.

In anticipation of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, and possible moves that can be made on the draft floor by the Montreal Canadiens, join Nick Murdocco, Steven Hindle and Coach K, who are joined in studio by James Stephan, as they give you their take on what may transpire.

We also got a hold of Gus Katsaros of McKeen’s Hockey to talk about possible Habs’ targets, and what can be expected from some of the Canadiens’ draft choices graduating to the AHL.



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Photo: Michael J. Cohen/EMSB

In a day and age when athletes and executives in professional sports like to shy away from the spotlight during the off-season, the same cannot be said about the General Manager of the Montreal Canadiens, Marc Bergevin.

Bergevin was at James Lyng High School on Friday, June 19th to view the huge likeness of himself on display on the side of the building, as part of the “Bringing History to Life” program at the school.

The mural, created by the staff and students at James Lyng, gives life to some of the area’s most influential people, from famed jazz pianist Oliver Jones, James Lyng alumni and actor Jaa Smith-Johnson to Verdun city counsellor Sterling Downey.

Bergevin had the opportunity to view a book created by the program that looked at various historical elements from Little Burgundy, through Pointe St-Charles and into St-Henri. Bergevin showed his in-depth knowledge of the area’s deep history as he looked through the book, pointing out where his father worked when he grew up, and talking about some of the various area restaurants that “are landmarks” as far as he is concerned.

He even asked about the Turcotte interchange reconstruction and the beautification projects that are lined up to help rejuvenate his neighbourhood and the area surrounding James Lyng. The most impressive part was the undivided attention he gave to each student, answering their questions (unless they had to anything with trades or the draft, of course), and giving them his personal perspective on how the neighbourhood has changed and grown in many ways.

In turn, the Canadiens’ general manager gave the students in attendance at history lesson on the difficulties he had growing up in St-Henri. The well-documented linguistic feuds that divided the Little Burgundy, Pointe St-Charles and St-Henri neighbourhood was a subject that Bergevin lived through and didn’t avoid talking about.

“I played my minor hockey right next door”, said the Canadiens GM, referring to Le Centre Gadbois, located adjacent to the school. “It was tough for those of us from the other side of the tracks to come here, because of the whole English – French situation.”

When asked whether being a hometown boy puts added pressure on him to get the Canadiens more success, he shook it off. “No matter who is the general manager of the Canadiens, from this city or not, the team’s history will put pressure on you.”

The Canadiens’ Director of Player Development Martin Lapointe, who played 14 season in the National Hockey League, and has an arena sporting his name in Lachine (Ville St-Pierre). When asked about when the Gadbois Centre will carry his name, Bergevin laughed and responded, “I think you’ll have to ask the mayor about that.”

Oftentimes we associate people in highly regarded position as untouchable as well as unapproachable. Marc Bergevin is the polar opposite of that. Regardless of the decisions he makes from his office high above St-Antoine Street, he, above all others, really has MONTREAL’s best interest at heart.


Listen in to the interview I did with Marc Bergevin.

Sorry, I couldn’t ask about the draft and potential trades. You’ll have to listen to Montreal Hockey Talk; Road To Glory this Thursday night at 8 PM to get that information.

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Mar 5, 2014; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers right wing Martin St. Louis (26) during a break in action against the Toronto Maple Leafs during the second period at Madison Square Garden. Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
The NHL trade deadline has come and gone. The true winners and losers will be determined over the course of the remainder of the regular season, the Stanley Cup playoffs and of course the future with the draft picks and prospects that were moved. But until then, here’s one hockey scribe’s immediate but hopefully calculated reaction to arguably the two biggest of the 20 trades involving 38 players made Tuesday prior to the 3 PM ET deadline.


To read more click here:



MHT Post-Game: Habs vs. Penguins – Feb. 27th, 2014


Both teams still looked like they were suffering from an Olympic break hangover, at times looking awful, but the Montreal Canadiens managed to keep pace with the Pittsburgh Penguins and win in a shootout 6-5 at the Xcel Energy Center. Join Corey Collard and Nick Murdocco, along with Kristina Ashqar, Rick Springhetti and Coach K as they try to make some sense of the questionable officiating and some of the decision made in overtime by Habs’ coach Michel Therrien.

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bouruqeWith the Olympic trade freeze coming up quickly and the trade deadline coming March 5th, ten days after the Olympic trade freeze is lifted, trade rumors are coming fast and furious. The Montreal Canadiens have been part of trade rumors for the bulk of the season, with the latest rumors being them heavily shopping forward Rene Bourque. Let’s look at what the team needs and who a rumored to be on Bergevin’s radar and who might be on the outs.

Needs: Big bodied top-6 winger, second pairing right-handed defenseman, bottom-6 physical forward with size

It’s no secret – and it’s been ongoing for years – the Habs need to get bigger, though without sacrificing significant talent. Most people thought or think that Max Pacioretty is the top-line power forward the Montreal Canadiens need. However, people have to stop thinking that Pacioretty is a power forward and pressure him to play like Tomas Holmstrom because this is a waste of his talent. The truth is, “Patchy” is a sniper with size. Which means, the Canadiens still don’t have a true power forward for their top-six group. However, when you looks closely, it’s very hard to find a top line player who plays like a prototypical power forward. Players like David Backes and Milan Lucic are hard to find, and when you have them, you keep them.

The last few games have revealed another big hole in Bergevin’s team: the team lacks a second pairing right-handed defender. Preferably, the defenseman would have size and be able to play on the power play. Looking at the team’s defensemen, only Subban and Diaz are righties. With Diaz recently sitting out most games, this means the CH always have two rearguards playing on their off wing. GM Bergevin desperately needs to fix this glaring issue.

Bergevin also needs to add a big, physical forward to the bottom-six group because… well… his forward group averages for 5’11.75″ and 198 lbs. A little height and weight wouldn’t help, would it?

Rumored to be available or willing to listen to offers: Rene Bourque, Daniel Briere, Raphael Diaz, Lars Eller, Brian Gionta, Andrei Markov, Max Pacioretty

A few names up their might raise a few eyebrows, but they all have popped up in trade rumors of late. First off, if Marc Bergevin ever trades Pacioretty, he’s an idiot. Sorry for the language, but there’s no other words that come to mind. Having a player who can score over 35 goals and 70 points per season at 4.5 million dollar cap hit for another four seasons… you don’t trade this.

Lars Eller and Andrei Markov are two other names who may surprise some, but their names have indeed appeared in a few rumors, for different reasons. Eller appears because of the Habs’ depth at center with Plekanec, Desharnais, and Galchenyuk also playing center. All this depth has apparently made Eller available if the right deal comes along. As for Markov, his experience and talent level makes him an attracting commodity for teams looking for a veteran power play specialist. It’s mostly because of his age – 35 years old – and his pending UFA status that has rumors swirling on his status with the Canadiens. Also, you have to remember, in order to receive, you have to give. With the other names left, don’t expect a big return for them.

Bourque, Briere, Diaz, and Gionta; what to expect in return? Not much. There were reports of the Avalanche and the Canadiens close to a deal involving Parenteau and Bourque respectively. Some reported a straight up one-for-one deal, which was totally insane on Colorado’s behalf, and some reported the fact that Bergevin’s unwillingness to add Andrighetto to the deal caused the deal to fall through, which would be a head scratcher from Bergevin’s behalf. Others report that Bergevin and/or Sakic were eyeing other players from each other’s clubs. What’s obvious though is if Montreal’s GM wants or manages to move either of them, he will have to eat up half of the pay the player’s salary. No other GM would be willing to grab one of those players at full price. As for Diaz, at this point he can only be considered as a throw in of any deal.

Rumored to be on Bergevin’s radar: Dustin Byfuglien, Evander Kane, Jamie McGinn, Ryan O’Reilly, Steve Ott, P.A. Parenteau

Everyone knows the Montreal Canadiens need to get bigger, and Bergevin seems to target the right guys, almost. Byufglien is an impressive 6’5″ 270 lbs, but everyone knows of his conditioning issues. Evander Kane is 6’2″ 195 lbs, Jamie Mcginn 6’1″ 210 lbs, O’Reilly 6’0″ 200 lbs, and Ott 6’0″ 189 lbs. All these players would help make the Canadiens a tougher team to play against. As for Parenteau, who is 6’0″ 193 lbs, he isn’t much of a physical player, but he’d definitely help Montreal’s top six group. The problem for Bergevin is all these players would require him to part with a player or players he might not want to part with.

That is the problem with trades. You have to give to receive. You can’t get one of these players named above without paying a hefty price. Eller and Markov could definitely get a good return, but both players are an important part of coach Therrien’s lineup. Trading Markov could make sense to avoid losing him via free agency, but you have to get another defenseman in return because not replacing him would greatly weaken an already weak defensive group. As for Eller, he is one of the only natural centers with size in the team. At 24 years old, Eller has shown was he is capable of. If used properly, he can be an excellent second line two-way center on any team.

There’s no denying the Montreal Canadiens need serious help. They have a serious lack of size, a weak defense that relies way too much on their goaltending, and an offense that lacks physicality. Bergevin has a lot of work to do, and making this team a Stanley Cup contender will take some time. What say you? Should Bergevin trade a few pieces or stand pat and keep building for the future?

Follow me on Twitter @SLavoie54

(Photo source: Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images North America)