Is Marc Bergevin finished building the Canadiens for next year?

USA TODAY Sports

If you do the Marc Bergevin quote "I'm never finished" in response here, you suck and I hate you.

It's July 17th, and by the looks of things, Marc Bergevin is okay with where his team is situated heading into the 2013-14 season. As it stands, the lineup looks as follows:

Forward Depth Chart
Left Wing Center Right Wing
Max Pacioretty Tomas Plekanec Brian Gionta
Alex Galchenyuk Lars Eller Brendan Gallagher
Rene Bourque David Desharnais Danny Briere
Brandon Prust Ryan White Gabriel Dumont
Travis Moen George Parros
Defense Depth Chart
Left Defense Right Defense
Andrei Markov P.K. Subban
Josh Gorges Raphael Diaz
Francis Bouillon Jarred Tinordi / Nathan Beaulieu
Alexei Emelin [LTIR] Davis Drewiske
Goaltenders
Carey Price
Peter Budaj

As you'll notice, even with Emelin on long term injury reserve, the Canadiens can't call both Beaulieu and Tinordi up and stay under the 23-man roster limit. Neither of those players play on the right side naturally either, nor does Drewiske, which should mean that the main weakness the Habs have next year is the right side defense.

As constructed there, assuming Tinordi gets the first shot, the Canadiens will have $2,824,167 in cap space, with another $2M available through Emelin's LTIR status, which is unlikely to be used as that space goes away once Emelin returns.

There's really only one good right handed defenseman available on the free agency market, and that's Tom Gilbert. Considering the cap space that the Canadiens have, and the plethora of defense prospects they want to bring in over the next few years, it seems very unlikely to me that Bergevin will spend money on a guy who will want a bit of term.

There's always the possibility of trades, but again, it seems unlikely that Bergevin will bring in any big names. If anything, Travis Moen may be moved, as he has value to some teams in need of a veteran leader, and his cap hit is pretty high for a healthy scratch. With that said, they will probably shift Prust to the right side and scratch Dumont before scratching Moen, even though that may not be the best decision.

What's clear from this roster though, is that the Canadiens are a very deep team at forward. Only Desharnais is a stretch to score 20 goals in a healthy season. The difficulty for the Habs will be on defense, unless Tinordi or Beaulieu break out.

The lack of depth with Emelin out, and Bouillon and Markov a year older, will mean that more responsibility will fall to reigning Norris Trophy winner P.K. Subban, which shouldn't be a problem for him as he was underused last season.

Even if Tinordi or Beaulieu can't provide second-pairing-level minutes to give some rest to Gorges and Diaz, the Canadiens' lack of depth on D could be hidden as a weakness with a resurgent season from Carey Price.

If this is the lineup on day 1 of the 2013-14 season, it's a very good lineup that will get better when Emelin returns.


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