The Summer of Marc...

It has not been. In fact, one may say its been a cruel, cruel summer.


Yes, the Canadiens had themselves a splendid spring (despite barely squeezing into the playoffs, in a highly suspect division), but since then, most would agree, the walls (have) come crumbling down (pardon the obsession I have with 80's song references).


The slew of bad news began, when we first learnt of Weber's significant injuries, and the likelihood his career as a Montreal Canadien had come to an abrupt end.


But this was only the beginning. The Canadiens general manager was on the verge of a long list of inexplicable brain cramps and decisions.


Seeing Philip Danault, a big part of the Habs' playoff success, walk, and getting absolutely nothing in return, was a miscalculation on many levels. The Canadiens are still, no matter what some may think, vulnerable up the middle and Danault was the team's top 2-way center, even ahead of Nick Suzuki. Despite a lack of offensive production, shutting down top-flight centers, particularly in the Canadian division, was a formidable challenge which he handled brilliantly. It can be argued that he was underappreciated, particularly given the lackluster season his two wingers (Gallagher and Tatar) had. Seeing him leave, no even offered a contract in the last year, is inexcusable. Bergevin's ego seems to get the better of him in negotiations (see Subban, Markov, Radulov, and the list does go on).


Not resigning Corey Perry, arguably the heart and soul of the team last season, and certainly during the playoffs, also demonstrated poor judgement on the part of Bergevin, even more so given the departure of the Canadiens' captain and the leadership void it left.


The drafting of Logan Mailloux and the poor public relations/communication that followed, frankly made the entire organization look both insensitive, and amateurish.


Bergevin also failed to address many of the team's glaring holes, notably on defense, where the Canadiens, in desperate need of a puck-moving d-man, had to resort to using a horrendous defenseman like Gustaffson in certain crucial game in the post season. In his classic, clumsy way of communicating during press conferences, the Habs' GM even compared David Savard to future hall-of-famer Weber. He told media and fans alike that there was no real need to "change the recipe" on defense given the team's playoff success. Perhaps his memory was waning, considering the team had missed the playoffs in 2018, 2019 and 2020, and barely made it in 2021 in large part to a significantly weak transition game.


(Likely) losing yet another 1st round pick in Jesperi Kotkaniemi (in a long list of either poor picks or failed attempts at developing a young organizational jewel) is also unforgivable. The Canadiens' gross mismanagement of his career- rushing him to the NHL too quickly in a desperate bid to patch a perennial organizational glaring need at center- led to this day. Bergevin clearly left himself vulnerable and exposed by not signing him earlier. Another apparent example of his absent-mindedness these past few weeks.


All this, when it appears Bergevin will not be back next year and, one wonders if, well, his mind is all that into it. Harsh take, I agree, but the man looked wiped, exhausted, even dejected last we saw him in a press conference. He referred to this market as a very tough, hinted it was an ungrateful place to work. His summer of inconsistent moves, omissions, and even mismanagement of the cap last season (when the Canadiens could not call anybody up) leads me to believe that he may have already checked out.


Perhaps it's time for the president, Geoff Molson, to step in, and finally put his foot down. The 10-year track record has been anything but impressive.


And for Marc, it may be time to do the right thing and hand the reigns of the team over to someone else. If it's becoming too much to handle, if he can no longer stand the heat (in this hockey hotbed), well then maybe it's time he get out of the kitchen.









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