It's looking like Sean Bergenheim is on his way out of Florida.
Tallon on Bergenheim demanding trade: Always said if you didn't want to be w/ #FlaPanthers we will accommodate you.— George Richards (@GeorgeRichards) February 18, 2015
Despite the fact that the Panthers are on the cusp of overtaking the Boston Bruins for the final Eastern Wildcard spot it seems that Bergenheim is seeking greener pastures as he looks to prime himself for another big payday when he hits free agency on July 1st 2015.
With the Montreal Canadiens in need of a top 6 winger, is Bergenheim a player that they would, and should target?
From a numbers perspective, the surface view is underwhelming. Bergenheim has never scored more than twenty goals or eclipsed more than thirty points in his 8 seasons in the National Hockey League. He earned a four year-eleven million dollar contract (2.75MM AAV) with the Florida Panthers based on an impressive playoff run with the Tampa Bay Lightning in which he scored nine goals and eleven points in sixteen games.
This year, Bergenheim has 8 goals and 18 points in a season marred by scratches both healthy and injury related.
When we look below the surface we learn the Bergenheim can be an incredibly effective player on any team.
As the chart dictates, Bergenheim drives possession like an elite first liner, scores like a first liner and is one of the most frequent shooters in the NHL despite having second line minutes.
Among a slew of impressive analytics, he boasts a 5v5 55.6 Corsi For Percentage, a 57.4% Corsi for/60 and a 56.1 Fenwick For Close. He also has a 57.7 Scoring Chances For percentage to brag about in close situations.
His aggressive shooting makes him an ideal top nine winger and his versatility and strong skating make him a player that GMs covet for the post-season. Bergenheim is well suited for a team looking to fill a winger hole, which could make him the perfect fit for the Habs.
There is a trade history between Marc Bergevin and Dale Talon so a deal here would not come from out of the blue. Bergenheim has publicly stated that he wants out and Tallon has done the same and has said that he will accommodate his winger. This eliminates a lot of Florida's leverage but Dale Tallon isn't going to be held hostage by his own player.
Based on the lack of leverage and Bergenheim's inflated playoff reputation (he also notched three goals and six points in seven games in 2012) along with his aforementioned versatility, I'd range Bergenheim's cost at a second round pick or a third round pick with a C prospect.
Is it worth it?
Keep in mind that Bergenheim is using this trade to improve his free agent stock so this is more than likely a rental. I do like the idea of adding Bergenheim for a playoff run even though I may be biting on a reputation that is probably expired. What do you think?