Historically speaking, Montreal Canadiens General Manager Marc Bergevin is not a Draft Day dealer if it means taking the focus off of the draft preparations and selections. In fact in the four drafts that his administration presided over so far, he only made a single trade during the event, in 2014, when he moved up to 73rd overall to pick Brett Lernout in the third round, at the cost of 87th and 117th picks. His amateur scouts must have really wanted Lernout to pull the trigger on a move that cost Bergevin a pick, who has become known for his mantra of growing the organization through the draft.
This is in stark contrast to his two predecessors Bob Gainey and Pierre Gauthier who made it an annual tradition of dealing during the draft.
Bob Gainey made the most dubious trade in recent Canadiens draft day history in 2008 when he traded away Montreal’s first round pick in 2008, 25th overall, (and their second round pick in 2009, 49th overall) to acquire Alex Tanguay from the Calgary Flames when players like Tyler Ennis, Roman Josi, and John Carlson were still available. Tanguay ended up playing only 50 games for the Canadiens that season due to injuries, and did not return to the Habs the following season due to not wanting the pressure of playing in Montreal.
It ended up being a risky move by the Habs in retrospect, but given the lack of can’t-miss talent available in the draft, a risk worth taking to help improve the line-up immediately. In today’s salary cap world however, it would be unthinkable of trading away a first-round pick for a short-term commitment.
The only other time that the Habs moved in the first round under the last three administrations was when Pierre Gauthier moved in 2010 from 27th overall to 22nd overall, to pick Jarred Tinordi, at the cost of a second-round pick, but receiving a fourth-round pick in return. This move, as we are all aware of now, did not pan out for the Habs as well as was hoped, but scouts were high on Tinordi at the time, and hindsight is a powerful weapon ripe for abuse.
Otherwise all other trades have occurred outside of the first round in the past 12 years for the Canadiens, either moving up a few spots, or moving down a few spots. Very rarely is an actual player involved in a trade, and even rarer is any movement in the first round. This should serve as a cautionary tale for fans who are clamouring for Bergevin to trade up from ninth overall to nab Pierre-Luc Dubois in this year’s draft. My advice to you is to reset your expectations.
Bob Gainey era Draft Day trades
2004 Entry Draft:
- Mathieu Garon and 3-2004 (95th overall) to Los Angeles for Radek Bonk and Cristobal Huet
- Stéphane Quintal to Los Angeles for future considerations
2005 Entry Draft:
- 2-2005 (56th) and 3-2005 (66th) to NY Rangers for 2-2005 (45th, Guillaume Latendresse)
2006 Entry Draft:
- 3-2006 (79th) and 4-2006 (109th) to Philadelphia for 3-2006 (66th, Ryan White)
2007 Entry Draft:
- Michael Leighton to Carolina for 7-2007 (192nd, Scott Kishel)
2008 Entry Draft:
- 1-2008 (25th) and 2-2009 to Calgary for Alex Tanguay and 5-2008 (138th, Maxim Trunev)
2009 Entry Draft:
- 6-2010 (177th) to Pittsburgh for 7-2009 (211th, Petteri Simila)
Pierre Gauthier era
2010 Entry Draft:
- 1-2010 (27th) and 2-2010 (57th) to Phoenix for 1-2010 (22nd, Jarred Tinordi) and 4-2010 (113th, Mark MacMillan)
2011 Entry Draft:
- 3-2011 (78th) for 4-2011 (97th, Josiah Didier) and 4-2011 (108th, Olivier Archembault)
Marc Bergevin era
2012 Entry Draft:
- No trades made
2013 Entry Draft:
- No trades made
2014 Entry Draft:
- 3-2014 (87th) and 4-2014 (117th) for 3-2014 (73th, Brett Lernout)
2015 Entry Draft:
- No trades made