Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 10/28/17 at 08:35 AM ET
from Stu Cowan of the Montreal Gazette,
General manager Marc Bergevin said this week the answer to the Canadiens’ problems is in the locker room.
Maybe if the GM looks around the room long enough he can find the roughly $8.5 million in salary-cap money he didn’t spend this summer to help improve his team.
It’s hard to believe the NHL’s second-most valuable franchise with a record 24 Stanley Cups — the Canadiens were evaluated at $1.12 billion last year by Forbes, trailing only the New York Rangers at $1.25 billion — wouldn’t spend close to the $75-million cap limit. But that didn’t happen after Bergevin failed to re-sign free-agents Andrei Markov and Alexander Radulov this summer and didn’t seem to have a Plan B in place. Or at least not one that would work.
Bergevin said he “kicked tires” on a lot of free agents this summer and made some “really, really good offers,” but the players decided they didn’t want to come to Montreal “for whatever reason.” That left the dapper GM with a lot of money sitting in his pockets.
Brendan Kelly also of the Montreal Gazette chimes in too...
Marc Bergevin walks with a swagger, talks a tough game with the media but, oddly enough, runs the Montreal Canadiens in a curiously timid fashion.
Listening to his first major public declarations since the Habs officially established squatting rights near the bottom of the NHL standings this season, I was struck by how his discourse was all about excuses, all about blaming others and all about justifying why he isn’t going to step up to the plate and do something about this mess.
I agree with those who say he shouldn’t hit the panic button. He shouldn’t. At the end of the Bob Gainey era as general manager and all through the nightmare that was the Pierre Gauthier era, Canadiens management was all-panic, all-the-time and that is an insane way to run a business.
But on the other hand, if you’re the head of a company and your company is taking a nose dive, you need to take full responsibility for that collapse and explain how you’re going to right the ship. Bergevin didn’t do that Wednesday.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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