It appears the Montreal Canadiens may already be out of the running for the top free agents on July 5th.
Canadiens General Manager Marc Bergevin was on hand for the press conference in Montreal announcing the city as host of the 2015 and 2017 World Junior Tournaments.
When the topic of conversation ultimately led to the Canadiens, as it always does in the city of Montreal, Bergevin had this to say about free agency. “History shows that free agency isn’t the best tool. Free agency to me is a tool, but it is not a way to make your team a top team. It’s overplayed, you have to be careful.”
This suggests the Canadiens will be very cautious entering free agency, unwilling to overpay for mediocre talent. With so few star players available, and so many teams looking to upgrade, the price will be very steep for anyone who finds a new home this Summer.
Bergevin played it safe last season, adding depth players Brandon Prust, Francis Bouillon and Colby Armstrong.
Much the same can be expected this year according to Bergevin. Don’t expect him to get caught up in a bidding war for Ryane Clowe or David Clarkson who will have several suitors driving their price tag up.
It may not be what fans of the Canadiens want to hear, but when July 5th comes around, expect to hear the names Max Lapierre, Matt Hendricks, or Mark Fistric being attached to the Habs and not Nathan Horton, Stephen Weiss or Bryan Bickell.