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07-21-2012, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Partisan du CH View Post
The more I think about it, the more I believe Bergevin won't make any other significant move this summer (unless he can win the race for someone like Nash or Ryan, which I doubt). Why? Because next year will be a "transition" season.

I see the moves he made so far, and I don't see any major improvement from last year. Sure, our bottom 6 is more intimidating, but that won't make the team win many more games. I expect the team to do slightly better than last year because they can't do worse, but I don't expect a significant improvement. Why?

- The top 6 is really much weaker than the top 10 teams in the league.
- Our bottom 6 is tough but cannot contribute much offensively.
- Our defense corp is solid, but with a few question marks because of lack of experience (Emelin, Diaz, Weber) and injuries (Markov).

I'm sure Bergevin and the whole management are aware of all that. I actually think they will leave the team like that on purpose. Why?

- Because they are waiting for the big annoying contracts to end (Gomez, Kaberle, Bourque). Or not necessarily to end, but at less to have one less year left so they become easier to buy out, bury in the minor or trade.

- Because the prospects are not ready yet. Many of them will begin their pro career in the AHL while a player like Galchenyuk will need one more year in the OHL. Maybe it's not a good idea to acquire an expensive UFA or player on a long term contract via trade at this point, since it would leave no spot open for the youngsters next year. I think we can expect players like Leblanc, Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Bournival, Kristo, Beaulieu, Tinordi and Ellis to earn a spot or compete for a spot in the NHL roster as soon as 2013-14.

- Because Pacioretty and Desharnais will need to be re-signed next year. Both will get big raises, so it makes sense to leave some space under the cap.

- Because all of those considered to be the "extra players" are on one year contracts. Here I'm talking about Nokelainen, Armstrong, Geoffrion, Palushaj, Blunden, Bouillon, Weber, St-Denis and Nash. I think none of these players belong in the long term plans (unless they impress greatly this year). Clearly, most of these players will be released next summer and replaced by prospects.

- And most importantly, because it's "YEAR 1" of the Bergevin/Therrien regime. No matter how bad the team does next year, they can't do worse and they will be granted a free pass. If there's a moment when a team can afford to be in a "transition year", it's on Year One of a new regime. Therefore, that would also mean the Habs would get a high pick in a next draft, a draft where players from Quebec are expected to do well. Adding another high end prospect certainly wouldn't hurt.

- I could add that there could be a strike or lock-out this year. One more reason to make a gamble and don't invest too much for 2012-13.

So while I expect some exciting games next year, I won't be deceived if they still get bad results. I actually expect it. My eyes and hopes are already turned toward 2013-14, and I'm pretty sure that Bergevin and his staff are focusing on this too.

P.S. Mods, feel free to merge if you think that doesn't deserve its own thread.
I think the second Michel Therrien regime will a short one.

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