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Montreal Canadiens (from left) P.K. Subban, Brendan Gallagher and Brandon Prust.
The sum of all these points brings us to the very reasonable question of where Bergevin sees this team heading.
His moves have been inconsistent, and, yet, with the team at 6-2, they’ve undeniably been paying off to a certain extent.
For example, Therrien was unable to win a Stanley Cup with a team that included Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Max Pacioretty and Erik Cole are not Crosby and Malkin, in case that wasn’t clear. Still, Therrien has been admittedly awesome so far this season.
While the Gomez buyout was about as predictable a procedural drama, Bergevin did say at one time (via Arpon Basu, Twitter):
He’s a Montreal Canadien, so he’ll come here and we’ll see what happens. But I’m not buying him out.
(Of course, he really had to say at least something to that effect under the circumstances.)
Meanwhile, the Subban and Prust deals speak to greater inconsistencies in his management style, and not just looking at what each player was paid relative to his worth.
Montreal finished third to last in 2011-12. The team should hypothetically be in rebuilding mode. However, when one signs Prust for as much money as he did, it indicates a desire to “go for it” now and overpay for a simple final piece of a puzzle (rough edges and all in Prust’s case).
In addition, yes, the Subban deal was an absolute bargain in the short term. However, when he becomes a restricted free agent again in 2014, Bergevin will not only have to give him a significant raise, but presumably UFAs Diaz and Emelin as well, not to mention have to figure out what to do with Markov.
When he re-signed Subban, Bergevin was clearly maintaining a healthy, financially sound precedent that was established when Pacioretty and Price signed their second professional deals (cap hits of $1.625 and $2.75 million, respectively).
However, in the process, he screwed himself two offseasons from now, indicating he’s looking much more at the team’s chances in the here and now rather than a few years down the road.
So, one more question for Bergevin: Does he really see the Habs a contender this year or next? Because if he does, it’s definitely a welcome change of pace but one that might be rushing things just a tad.
Fans no doubt want a winner, but the team that Montreal has right now, despite the good start to the season, just doesn’t look it on paper. Maybe, as indicated earlier, Bergevin really does see things most don’t.