Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin is great at his job. His Canadiens teams have consistently placed at the top of the standings. And, after a deceptively quiet offseason during which he was still able to address most of the Habs’ needs, next year’s edition should be poised to at the very least do the same if not contend outright for the Stanley Cup.
However, it would be a mistake to blindly accept every single one of his moves as brilliant. Even the best at their respective positions make mistakes or whiff every so often while having to settle for Plan B (or ‘C,’ etc.). Taking a glimpse at Bergevin’s top-secret offseason checklist, it would seem he holds himself to incredibly high standards and is maybe even his very own worst critic.
Note: This is obviously not Bergevin’s actual checklist… His was in French. This is just a translated copy (just to clarify). And, just to clarify further, this is actually not to be taken at all seriously (he really is a good GM).
__ Re-sign Alex Galchenyuk (absolutely top priority numero uno)
✓ Deflect attention away from negotiations by delicately implying he may never become a center at postseason press conference (or explicitly stating it; whatever works best)
✓ In the same postseason conference be sure to praise coaching staff, especially head coach Michel Therrien for all his great work
✓ Continue trend of teams hiring analytics guys, with ours to inevitably reinforce the above statement with his findings, obviously
__ Somehow convince Colorado Avalanche to throw in a draft pick when trading them back P.A. Parenteau
__ Somehow convince someone to trade for P.A. Parenteau
✓ Buy out P.A. Parenteau
✓ Reminds me… send Pacioretty (and agent) his bi-weekly bouquet of flowers
✓ When dictating the usual “A player’s value to the team is not necessarily directly correlated to the value of his contract” card to the florist, make sure to ask them to leave out my maniacal laughter
✓ Follow up a few days later to make sure he’s received them and keep on dangling the carrot of a massive payday once he becomes a UFA in, like, 15 years
__ Follow up a few weeks later to make sure he’s not over-exerting himself when working out as a result
✓ Send Max his bi-weekly bouquet of flowers with a get-well-soon card instead
✓ Re-sign in no particular order Greg Pateryn, Torrey Mitchell, Christian Thomas, Brian Flynn, Jarred Tinordi, and Michael Bournival
__ Prepare for draft by scouting far and wide for the perfect prospect
✓ Draft a guy from the same team as last year’s first-round pick
✓ Don’t make any sudden and significant moves on July 1st; That’s when the worst mistakes happen
__ Talk to Justin Williams’ agent no later than July 2; Go no higher than $5 million per season and no longer than four years; Okay… $6 million and five years
✓ Keep pace with the offensive powerhouse Tampa Bay Lightning by stealing Mark Barberio right out from under them
✓ Trade away Brandon Prust’s excessively high $2.5-million-per-year contract
✓ Hold press conference following July 1 free-agent frenzy and confirm you’re indeed working on fixing the power play
✓ Place calls to all other teams to actually fix the power play
__ Important! Remember to call Doug Armstrong specifically
__ Trade for Patrick Sharp
__ Sign Andrei Kostitsyn
✓ Consider calling Alexei Kovalev
✓ Slap self in face
__ *Sigh* Resign to filling holes on offense internally and giving young guys a shot
✓ Sign a younger, more enigmatic version of Kovalev in Alexander Semin
✓ Pray (to Carey Price)
After 10 years of writing hockey, Ryan decided it was as good a time as any to actually join The Hockey Writers for the 2014-15 season. Having appeared as a guest on such programs as CBC Radio One’s Daybreak, Ryan has written for such publications as the Montreal Gazette and Bleacher Report and worked for the NHL itself and his hometown Montreal Canadiens. He currently covers the Habs for THW as a columnist.