Rabid Habs

The Forum: What Should Marc Bergevin Do at the Trade Deadline?

The trade deadline madness has begun (and ended?). With the deadline coming up on Wednesday and Ben Bishop, Martin Havlat, Kevin Shattenkirk and more already on the move, we ask our contributors; who should Marc Bergevin be targeting to land before 3 p.m. on Wednesday?


Ian Boisvert (@Boisvertian) – If prices stay where they are, I’m not sure I can see Marc Bergevin acquiring a rental player. Hanzal fetched two, potentially even three, draft picks depending on how the Wild perform in the playoffs. I know Hanzal would have improved the depth of this team, but at that cost, I would hang up the phone. Bergevin has never traded his first rounder, and at this rate, he should probably hold on to it. I think Bergevin is going to do what he does best; hockey-trades that come out of nowhere. It will probably be a guy that we don’t even know is available. That sounds like a cop out, but it’s the truth about the way Bergevin does business.

Duchene? Not likely.

Shattenkirk? Also a no. The Avalanche and the Blues both want the moon for their players, and that’s just not in Bergevin’s wheelhouse.

I’d love to see Thomas Vanek get another crack with the Canadiens, but what does Detroit want for him? I’d be willing to say it’s a pick in the first or second round.

I think it’s far more likely for Bergevin to tinker with the lineup with small additions along the lines of Mitchell and Flynn and push his chips in Claude Julien’s direction.

The Habs best add could come at about 5:00pm on Wednesday. If Bergevin decides his target is too expensive, I would expect Charles Hudon to get a look with the Habs. Boy, has he been good.

Kyle Roussel (@kyleroussel) – The problem with the Habs this year (and any year) is that they lack high end prospects to make it happen. They have had a dearth of 2nd round picks for years and that (in part) is the reason why the Habs rarely have cheap top-end talent to dangle, or to compliment the pricey core. So while names like Duchene, and Shattenkirk would undoubtedly help this team, if Hanzal net the Yotes 3 high-end picks, I don’t even want to know what either of those guys would cost. And like Ian said, the way Bergevin does business indicates that if he’s going to make a move, he’ll pry someone loose that wasn’t even considered to be available.

More likely Bergevin will make one or two of his trademark depth moves that will no doubt raise ire and prompt a deluge of “Oooooh ca sent la coupe! / Plan the parade” tweets.

Zach Vanasse (@ZachDropsTweets) – The “straight out of left field deal” is definitely the one I expect to see before anything we “see coming.” Jordie Benn for Gregg Pateryn was the quintessential Marc Bergevin move, except for the part where the Habs gave up a late draft pick rather than receiving one. The slight upgrade on depth is his signature, but – despite what some are saying – it’s not his only move.

I’ve seen some conversations – not within The Forum mind you – around the idea that Bergevin is gun shy, or not ever looking to get the big fish, and I have to call bullshit on that one. For one, just this past summer Bergevin pulled off what could be argued was the single biggest player-for-player deal in NHL history. And it wasn’t but a couple trade deadlines ago that Bergevin nabbed the biggest name on the market at the time in Thomas Vanek. Now, maybe you didn’t like the Subban for Weber swap, and maybe the Vanek deal didn’t quite pan out the way some fans had hoped, but those were really significant swings.

My point is, I have no idea what to expect from Bergevin and the Canadiens from here until 3 p.m. EST on Wednesday, but the old days of the Canadiens doing nothing or next to nothing at the deadline ended when Bergevin took his tight pants into the GM’s office. The Habs might very well be quiet in the end, but no one should act shocked if something huge happens either.

Kyle Roussel (@kyleroussel) – We definitely should not be shocked. He might be gun shy, but that’s not because it’s his usual pattern. He’s made many splashes. Whether dumping Gomez, trading Cole’s contract, all the way up to landing Radulov, Bergevin often takes a big swing and connects. Sure, he may be known more for the cheap depth moves that have earned him the Bargain Bin Bergevin moniker, but I think that name comes mainly from fans who want their team’s GM to make a big huge deal just for the tabloid shock value of it.

Ian Boisvert (@Boisvertian) – For those who weren’t hot on the Thomas Vanek trade in 2014, he did a lot better than you would think:

35 games, 11 goals, 14 assists for 25 points. That’s an outstanding rental, and I would be willing to do it again if the price is right.

While the bizarre trade is likely, I think Bergevin could also pull off a Vanek-style trade at the last minute. Bergevin seems to have a knack for waiting other GMs out and making sure he’s in a position of leverage. I think Jeff Petry is an excellent example of that too.

Sean O’Neill (@TheONeillFactor) – I think Bergevin’s big deadline move was changing coaches – with the team floundering before the deadline, he knew something relatively major had to be done, and decided (rightfully, I would say) that swapping head coaches was wiser than overpaying for a rental.

While another C or a D-man would be nice, the Habs will ultimately go as far as Carey Price takes them. My hunch, and I’m guessing Bergevin agrees, is that this team is not quite a Cup contender, or at least not the type of team you mortgage the future on by pushing all your chips into the centre of the table.

A trade for Duchene or Landeskog might be worth the risk, but overpaying for the Martin Hanzals of the world isn’t gonna get this team much closer to the promised land…

Kyle Roussel (@kyleroussel) – I tend to agree with that take…but if I’m Molson, I’m asking Bergevin WHY this team isn’t yet a Cup contender after 5 years on the job. That was the plan when Bergevin rode in, right? Five years? So here we are, and unless we see Roy-esque miracles from Price, a Cup is *highly* unlikely.

I also wonder if, given how this season had played out, if the team will go only as far as Pacioretty will take them? He’s carried the team lately, almost single-handedly. The Habs have only won 4 games this month, and in those wins he has 5 goals and 3 assists. It’s entirely possible that they’d be winless in 13 tries without Pacioretty this month. Without his input, the Habs would currently be out of the playoff picture. How would that re-frame the looming trade deadline discussion? Fandom would be in hair-on-fire panic mode, and who knows what Molson would be thinking.