While he was very busy adding depth to his Hamilton Bulldogs farm team, he made only six moves that impacted a Canadiens roster that finished second in the Eastern Conference last season.
The major commitment was eight-million dollars over two years for centre/right wing Daniel Briere. He got defenceman Douglas Murray for one season at 1.5 million dollars and brought in big George Parros through a minor trade with Florida. He also re-signed Ryan White, Mike Blunden and Gabriel Dumont. That’s it. That’s all.
Here is what Marc Bergevin didn’t do this summer.
He didn’t sign David Clarkson to a seven year contract worth 36 million dollars based on one career forty point season.
He didn’t hand the offensively challenged Tyler Bozak a five year 21-million dollar contract.
He resisted dealings with 30 year old Ryane Clowe who is coming off a three-goals season, has little speed and three concussions in the last year and a half. 30 years old, The Rangers, in their enduring wisdom, thought he was worth five years and 24.25 million?
Bergevin probably considered bringing Vincent Lecavalier to Montreal. But, considering the deterioration of his game over the last three years, anything more than two years was beyond sensible. That has never deterred the Philadelphia Flyers. They will pay him 25 million over five years, completely ignoring the reasons why Tampa was willing to pay him $30 million to go away. Bergevin then opted for two years of Daniel Briere at a third the cost.
He might have thought about Nathan Horton for a minute r two. But Horton has a lengthy injury log and seven years is a heavy load even at a 5.3 million dollar annual hit.
And Bergevin avoided the temptation of bringing Mike Ribeiro back. At age 34, his five-year deal means he’ll be asked to play like a top-six forward until he’s 39. His $5.5 million hit is fine now, but it’ll be hard getting value for that money two or three years down the road.
For those not keeping score at home, those six players will be paid a total of 163.6 million dollars over a total of 33 contractual years. Two of the players have seven year deals, three more at five seasons. Every one of the contracts carries an expensive Scott Gomez/Tomas Kaberle-type risk factor.
Committing long term to an unrestricted free agent is sound business when a team feels it’s about a brick shy of a Stanley Cup contender. While Bergevin feels pretty good about the addition of some toughness to a team that finished second in the Eastern Conference last season, it will be his farm system that will give his team an eventual berth in the Stanley Cup final, not the long-term addition of Lecavalier, Clowe, Ribeiro or the others.
Chronology of Canadiens Summertime Management – 39 Players & Coaches Affected
May 2 – Canadiens place LW Alexander Avtsin on waivers and released
May 5 – LW Charles Hudon signed to a three year entry level contract by the Canadiens
May 9 – G- Mike Condon signed to 2-year entry level Canadiens contract.
May 21 – D- Magnus Nygren signed to 2-year entry level Canadiens contract.
May 21 – RW- Sebastian Collberg signed to 3 year entry level Canadiens contract.
May 26 – D-Dalton Thrower traded to Vancouver Giants by Saskatoon Blades.
May 30 – LW-Tim Bozon signed to three year entry level contract
June 1 – LW Olivier Archambault 2011 draft choice, released by Canadiens.
June 1 – C-Daniel Pribyl, 2011 draft choice, released by Canadiens.
June 2 – Goaltender Coach Pierre Groulx fired.
June 23 – C-Ben Duffy signed to Professional Tryout contract
June 23 – LW-Stephan MacAulay signed to Professional Tryout Contract
July 4th – Stéphane Waite named Canadiens organization goaltending coach.
July 6th – Canadiens re-sign goaltender Robert Mayer – two way/two year contract
July 6th – Canadiens sign C- Nick Tarnasky to one year/two way contract
July 6th – Canadiens sign C-Martin St.Pierre to one year/two way contract
July 6th – Canadiens sign forward Stefan Fournier to three year/two way entry level contract.
July 8th – C/LW-Stephen MacAulay signed to one year Hamilton AHL/ECHL contract
July 11th C- Ben Duffy signed to one year AHL/ECHL contract
July 11th – RW Michael McCarron signs three year-two way Entry Level Canadiens contract.
July 15th – C-Blake Geoffrion announces retirement.
July 15th – RW-Sven Andrighetto signed to 3 year entry level contract.
July 16th – Canadiens name Stéphan Lebeau Assistant Coach of Hamilton Bulldogs
July 29th – Bulldogs sign D-Drew Schiestel to two-way AHL/ECHL contract
July 29th – RW/C Marcus Hinds of Blainville Armada signed to a rookie camp tryout.
August 2nd – LW- Erik Nystrom signed to 25 game AHL professional tryout contract.
August 2nd – C- Stefan Chaput re-signed to two-way one-year AHL/ECHL contract
August 10th – D-Matt Grassi signed to Bulldogs AHL contract
August 20th – D-Joel Chouinard signed to AHL/ECHL contract
August 22nd – D-Douglas Murray signed to 1 year Canadiens contract
Sept. 2 – D-Matt Lashoff invited to training camp under Professional Tryout Contract (not confirmed)