Back to Murray vs. Tinordi, which is what this move by Bergevin essentially boils down.
After all, Bergevin wasn’t choosing Drewiske over Tinordi. That’s just how the logistics will inevitably work out. He was choosing the 33-year-old Swede over the 21-year-old rookie.
However, if the Habs value experience so much, it sends somewhat of a mixed message that they would pass on this opportunity to give Tinordi or Beaulieu some this coming season. They are key components of the team moving forward; one would think anyway.
In any case, after winning the Northeast Division last year, the Habs are clearly looking to make more of an impact this season. That in turn can only mean they’re looking to make more of an impact in the playoffs, ousted in just five games against the Ottawa Senators in the first round.
Clearly, Murray’s much more than a mere Swedish meathead.
He’s got a lot to offer, undeniably starting with his hitting ability. His eight years of experience fit in there somewhere, though, as do his six playoff appearances and 72 postseason games played.
In fact, those 72 games rank fourth on the Habs, behind Daniel Briere (108), Brian Gionta (95) and Travis Moen (73).
Looking at those names, though, consider this: Two of them have won a Stanley Cup (Gionta in 2002-03 and Moen in 2006-07) and had joined the Habs in 2009-10, but have not led the team to a championship in the four seasons since then.
That isn’t to say it was expected. I mean, it definitely would have been nice, but it illustrates a sad, but true point. Put simply, experience can be incredibly overrated, especially when the players attached to that experience have little else to offer.
Gionta, 34, while a leader by example, is banged up going on two years now, and hasn’t had a good offensive season since his first in Montreal. Moen, at just 31, is coming off one of the worst ones of his career and could already be wearing down.
Meanwhile, Briere’s concussions and injury issues in general have also been well-documented. While he’s a proven performer in the playoffs (109 career points), he’s also going to be 36, hasn’t been to the postseason since the season before last and the Philadelphia Flyers bought him out for a reason.
Murray, similarly, hasn’t been nearly as effective as he was when he was one of the league’s most feared defensemen circa 2010.
If he can rebound in a lesser role than he’s used to, this signing can pay off, at least in terms of the team’s outlook for 2013-14. It’s hard to dismiss the small joke he’s become, though, ironically making this deal not all that much of a laughing matter.