Montreal Canadiens: Analyzing Marc Bergevin’s “Reset”

MONTREAL, QC - JANUARY 07: Montreal Canadiens Marc Bergevin (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
MONTREAL, QC - JANUARY 07: Montreal Canadiens Marc Bergevin (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /
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Montreal Canadiens
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA – JUNE 22: (L-R) Geoff Molson and Marc Bergevin of the Montreal Canadiens attend the 2019 NHL Draft at Rogers Arena on June 22, 2019 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The “reset” begins

Following the 2017-18 season is when the word reset entered the Canadiens lexicon. Isn’t it possible Molson and Bergevin had decided this team was just not good enough at the time, and trying to patch up what is missing with free agents like Alzner, Streit and Hemsky was not going to cut it. So, let’s keep Price and Weber and build through the draft around those two veterans and the young players we already have.

If that is the case, and it doesn’t sound that farfetched to me, then we have to judge Bergevin differently. We have to look at his moves pre-2018 failure of a season and post-2018 failure of a season. It’s kind of like the Habs hired a new general manager but didn’t fire the old guy.

So, what had Bergevin done since the “reset”?

The first thing he did was trade Alex Galchenyuk to the Arizona Coyotes for Max Domi. If we are grading these moves, that one would be an A+. Then he traded Hayden Hawkey for a fifth round pick, dealt a second round pick for a third and a fifth, and moved back in the fourth round of the draft to add another fifth round pick. By the end of draft weekend, the Canadiens had added 11 new prospects.

He drafted Jesperi Kotkaniemi third overall, then added Alexander Romanov, Jesse Ylonen and Jacob Olofsson in the second round. Jordan Harris was taken in the third round and looks excellent at Northeastern University right now.

Then, instead of spending big dollars on free agents like Alzner, Bergevin chewed up a little cap space by taking on Steve Mason’s contract from the Winnipeg Jets. He also received Joel Armia, a fourth round pick and a seventh round pick from the Jets and all it cost was Simon Bourque.

Finally, before the season began, Bergevin traded Max Pacioretty to the Vegas Golden Knights for Tomas Tatar, Nick Suzuki and a second round draft pick. He also picked up Brett Kulak for Rinat Valiev and Matt Taormina and then traded Will Bitten for Gustav Olofsson.

The Canadiens still missed the 2019 playoffs, but by just two points. Domi and Tatar, two of the players acquired in the Galchenyuk and Pacioretty trades, finished first and second on the team in scoring.