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07-31-2013, 07:14 PM
Miller Time
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Originally Posted by Blind Gardien View Post
I don't get the impression that Bergevin cares about "appeasing Francophone fans". I don't think there has been much of that in the Habs organization for a long time, really. What makes fans think they are that important/in need of appeasement?

Anyway, I would still just presume the new negotiating window in the CBA allowed Bergevin to determine conclusively before the FA Frenzy that he simply was not going to be able to sign *any* of the more prominent UFA forwards on the market. There weren't many to begin with. But the term and $$$ that some of them got was indeed pretty steep, and the Habs weren't going to top those numbers. So he knew that he could either have dead cap space, some more grinder/depth guys, or take a chance on Briere for $4M. I can understand gambling on Briere. You hope you're getting the best possible player you can, even if he's a really poor fit to the current team composition. I might personally have gone after some lesser player instead, without the upside. But I can understand the Briere gamble. Without remotely thinking it would have anything to do with "appeasing Francophone fans".
the bolded part was very evident months ago... that's where I'm a bit concerned with Briere standing out as the main offseason roster addition made by the team.

granted, no way to know conclusively just how hard/active MB was in looking for trade opportunities to bolster the roster, but in this day & age it seems like GM's actively shopping usually leads to a leak here or there... I don't recall any real talk by the more connected hockey analysts indicating that the habs were particularly active on that front.

You'd like to see a GM that is making moves 2-3 steps ahead, meticulously shaping the roster in some distinct direction/pattern.

- extending DD
- extending Bouillion
- Trading Cole for Ryder (who played exactly how you'd expect him to play, arguably on the high end of productivity, yet season ends and the team has zero interest in retaining him) *and i like that move in terms of asset management*
- Signing Briere
- trading a smallish AHL/NHL prospect for an even smaller AHL/NHL prospect
- keeping all 6 top-90 draft picks (and using 2 of them on undersized forwards)

I don't see how any of these decisions fits with the stated objective of making the team "harder to play against"... Drafting McCaron, DLR & Crisp could help with that down the road, but in the short-near term, all he's done in 2013 is reinforce/add to the teams lack of size/grit.

With you, I'll cross my fingers that Briere has a career renaissance, and gives us 2-years at/above his career average, but even then it still doesn't really address our most pressing roster needs.

Briere signing reeks of a "make the best of a bad situation" decision, which at the present moment might very well be true... but then rightfully some criticism is deserved for not having been more proactive in problem solving for the "improve the roster from last year to this year" mandate that all GM's inevitably have.

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