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7 Intriguing Marc Bergevin Trades

In Marc Bergevin’s tenure with the Canadiens, there have been no shortage of interesting transactions made, and I wanted to take a look back at 7 of the more intriguing trades. This isn’t to say they are the best or worst trades made, it’s simply looking at trades with the benefit of hindsight and seeing how they eventually finished.

2017 7th round draft pick

The Canadiens didn’t have a 7th round draft selection in 2017, so they traded their 2018 7th round pick to the Philadelphia Flyers in order to select Cayden Primeau. Nothing strange there, happens quite often at the draft. In 2018 however, the Canadiens didn’t have a 7th round pick, they once again moved their 7th round pick for the following year to acquire pick #190. The team they made the deal with? The Philadelphia Flyers. The Canadiens used this pick on Brett Stapley. In 2019, the Cana… I’ll skip right to it, the Canadiens did the same thing once again with the Flyers and drafted Rafael Harvey-Pinard. Part of what makes this so intriguing to me, is the players they acquired. Each of Primeau, Stapley, and Harvey-Pinard have hopeful futures and give Habs fans different reasons to be optimistic. Had the Canadiens stood pat in 2017, they could have simply used their own 7th round picks on Stapley and Harvey-Pinard, however then the Canadiens wouldn’t have Cayden Primeau. Essentially Bergevin made 3 trades that resulted in the Canadiens acquiring a 2017 7th round pick in exchange for the upcoming 2020 7th round pick.

Louis Leblanc trade to Anaheim

When Louis Leblanc was dealt to the Anaheim Ducks, the Canadiens received a conditional 5th round pick. The condition stated that the Montreal Canadiens would receive a 2015 5th round pick if Leblanc played in 15 regular season games in 2014-15. Leblanc did not, so no pick was transferred. The Ducks went on to use that 2015 5th round pick on none other than USA Hockey darling Troy Terry. I understand the Canadiens wouldn’t have necessarily drafted Terry had they received the pick, I just find it interesting that had Leblanc played 15 games in 2014-15, Troy Terry would have never been a Duck.

Devan Dubnyk for Future Considerations

This trade was primarily made to help the Predators by taking on Dubnyk’s remaining salary. The Canadiens assigned Dubnyk to Hamilton, where he failed to regain his form, so he left as a free Agent to Arizona. Obviously Arizona has greater regrets on moving him to Minnesota, but the Canadiens had a perfect solution to the backup goaltending position, with Dubnyk taking pressure off Price and serving as a great backup. The Canadiens instead moved forward with Dustin Tokarski behind Price. One year later, Carey Price got hurt and the rest is history. It’s easy to say so now, but 2015-16 would have looked a lot better with Dubnyk starting over Mike Condon.

Jeff Petry Trade

The Petry trade from Edmonton back at the 2015 deadline is typically remembered as Petry in exchange for a 2nd round pick. While that is true, it was actually a 2015 2nd and 4th round pick. The Canadiens became the immediate winners of the trade once Petry opted out of unrestricted free agency, and has been a mainstay on the second pairing, however the Oilers aren’t the huge losers many remember them to be. The Oilers packaged that 2nd round pick along with a 3rd and 7th round pick to New York in exchange for Cam Talbot and a 7th round pick. While he is no longer with the team, Talbot was a serviceable starter for the Oilers, and gave them immediate value from the 2nd acquired in return for Petry. The 4th round pick was used for Caleb Jones. Jones is the younger brother of Seth, and has grown into a legitimate NHL defender, already with 80 games in his young career and recently extending his contract to remain in Edmonton long term.

The reason Paul Byron was claimed

The acquisition of Paul Byron is seen as a huge bright spot on Bergevin’s resume, however it nearly didn’t happen. The Canadiens moved Brandon Prust to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for Zack Kassian and a 5th rounder. While evaluating that trade 5 years later, purely based off the players alone, the Canadiens clearly got the better player. In 2015 Kassian injured himself in a car crash, entered rehabilitation for drug abuse, and found himself suspended by the team. That left an open spot on the NHL roster that Bergevin filled with Paul Byron. It’s possible Kassian could have found his game with the Canadiens once he returned to play, but Byron filled the depth role in an otherwise forgettable 2015-16 season, and Kassian found himself traded to the Oilers in exchange for Ben Scrivens.

Sergachev 2nd round pick

Since Sergachev played in more than 40 NHL games in 2017/18, no picks were exchanged in the Drouin-Sergachev trade, meaning the Canadiens retained the 62nd overall pick (originally acquired in Lars Eller trade). The Canadiens moved this pick to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for picks 71 and 133. The Canadiens went on to select Jordan Harris and Samuel Houde. Harris has developed well since being a 3rd round selection, and will likely turn pro in the near future following his career at Northeastern. This Oilers selected Olivier Rodrigue, a promising goaltending prospect in his own right. This is the definition of a win-win draft day trade, however had the Lightning sent Sergachev down in 2017-18, the deal would never had happened.

Tomas Plekanec trade

The Leafs acquired Plekanec at the 2018 Trade Deadline along with AHLer Kyle Baun in exchange for a 2018 2nd round pick (Jacob Olofsson), Kerby Rychel, and Rinat Valiev. While Olofsson was obviously the primary piece the Canadiens acquired, Valiev and Rychel both were traded later in 2018. Rychel was flipped to the Flames for Hunter Shinkaruk, and in a separate deal, Valiev along with AHL veteran Matt Taormina were sent to Calgary for Brett Kulak. While Valiev could in theory still become an NHLer, Kulak has proven to be a solid option on the backend whereas Taormina did not play in 2019-20 and Valiev has spent the last 2 seasons in the AHL. This was a prime example of Bergevin taking advantage of a team facing a tough roster crunch.

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