First let's take a look at what players left the Canadiens:
Recently acquired/signed by the Habs:
|Jiri Sekac||RW||UFA||Lev Prague|
Where does that leave the Canadiens? To begin with, the Briere/Parenteau trade should be considered a major win for the Canadiens, at least on paper. Parenteau will fill a pressing need for the Canadiens: their lack of depth on the right wing.
Bergevin decided to ship Gorges to Buffalo in exchange for a second-round pick. This deal not only clears up some of the log jam on defense, and should allow some of the younger defensemen a better shot at the Habs roster in the near future, but it also made place for the acquisition of Tom Gilbert. Gilbert is more adept at handling the puck, and comes at a cheaper pricetag than Gorges.
Manny Malhotra joined the team as an unrestricted free agent. He should contribute leadership and a calming locker room presence, something that was needed with the departure of captain Brian Gionta. Malhotra is a faceoff master, something Montreal has sorely lacked in the last decade or so.
The writing was on the wall for Thomas Vanek testing free agency, and we were all aware that there was little to no chance he would sign with the Canadiens. Due to his departure, Bergevin made a bold move to add another winger by signing Czech winger Jiri Sekac. Of course, Sekac isn't remotely as good as Vanek, and no one should count on him to replace the oft-maligned Vanek. However he is a low risk signing that could provide a high reward in terms of production.
One of the best moves Bergevin made was actually a couple of non-moves. He avoided the temptation of signing a useless goon or an immobile defenseman. Both Douglas Murray and George Parros leaving the club should be seen as a positive, as their on-ice contributions are few and far between.
A few minor deals were made, including re-signing defensive stalwart Mike Weaver, and giving Joey MacDonald a two-way contract to provide some goaltending depth in Hamilton. Expect back-up Peter Budaj to be dealt during the summer.
Bergevin now has roughly $16M in cap space to work with, although P.K. Subban's mega-contract should eat up the bulk of the accumulated space. Toss in a pay raise for Eller, and Montreal will probably end up with approximately $4.5M in remaining cap space. Odds are he'll look to improve his winger depth, possibly by signing someone like Radim Vrbata. Rumour has it that Vrbata is on Bergevin's radar.
So there you have it. Bergevin has been a busy little bee in the last week, and personally I can't find much to bitch about. In fact, for the first time in many years I have total confidence in the general manager of the Montreal Canadiens.