The Canadiens general manager, Marc Bergevin, certainly has his detractors and several of them have good reason to be, but the hockey man has also managed some good shots for the organization since taking office he more than eight years ago.
Overall, Bergevin's record so far has been mixed. There is good as well as bad.
In the good, there is certainly its ability to award contracts that do not hurt the organization too much. Over the years, several CH players, without being on a “rookie contract”, were paid a little less than their performance would normally command on the market.
This is to the credit of Bergevin, even if the players in question were undoubtedly not delighted. Moreover, the public seems to recognize this quality: the contract signed by defender Joel Edmundson, earlier this week, was received fairly well.
Certain other DGs did not have the same flair, or the same qualities of negotiator. It is enough to go to see the contracts of the Red Wings of Detroit, for example, to be convinced of it.
Here then, in no particular order, are five contracts awarded by Marc Bergevin which have served the organization of the hospital well over the years.
- Carey Price, contract signed July 2, 2012, $ 6.5 million per season for six years
Today, Carey Price is one of the highest paid players in the NHL with his $ 10.5 million a year. The goalie also justified (in a professional hockey logic) this salary, during the summer, by showing that he is undoubtedly still the best in the world in his position. But he was also during a good part of this contract signed in the summer of 2012. And having a concessionary player, in the prime of life, at this price, it was a very good deal for the Habs. During the 2014 playoffs, or the following season, where he won the Hart and Vézina trophies, in particular, Price was one of the biggest deals in the league.
- Brendan Gallagher, contract signed November 29, 2014, $ 3.75 million per season for six years
Gallagher was 22 years old and had two very decent campaigns under the tie when he signed this pact which already smelled good the day it was announced. In the meantime, and despite two injured seasons, the small but fiery winger has grown into a 30-goal scorer. Such a player, at $ 3.75 million per season, is a very good deal. Gallagher will be a free agent at the end of the 2020-2021 season. That probably means two things: he'll no doubt 'eat the tapes' even more in the coming season, and then he'll want to make up for it, on his next contract, for all those years he's been paid below his value. on the market.
- Ben Chiarot, contract signed on July 4, 2019, $ 3.5 million per season for three years
Chiarot had been playing in Winnipeg for a few seasons, in the shadow of Dustin Byfuglien, Tyler Myers or Jacob Trouba and when this contract was announced, there were doubts. But little by little, during the last season, Chiarot has gained in ease and confidence. He has shown that he can make a rather unexpected contribution in attack. And, once in the playoffs, he was Shea Weber's regular partner on the team's best pair of defensemen. The Chiarot seen in the playoffs is worth more than the salary he pockets. If he stays at this level of play for the next two seasons, the big defender will make Marc Bergevin look very good.
- Phillip Danault, contract signed July 15, 2018, $ 3.083 million per season, for three years
Danault was coming out of a complicated season, where he was affected by a concussion (that famous Zdeno Chara shot in the back of the head) when he signed this contract … which nevertheless seemed very correct for the time. Two years later, the 27-year-old Quebecer is one of the best multi-purpose centers in the league and receives many votes for the Selke Trophy, awarded to the best defensive forward of the season. Danault is the type of player every team in the NHL would take without hesitation, one of the best of his kind. Currently, the CH does not pay very much for what it brings. The number 24 will have to negotiate a new contract at the end of the next season and rumor has it that he too wants to recover …
- Max Pacioretty, contract signed August 16, 2012, $ 4.5 million per season, for six years
Pacioretty, however, came out of a 33-goal season when he signed the contract, when he was not yet 24 years old. In subsequent years, he notably enjoyed campaigns of 39, 37, 30 and 35 goals with the team. At $ 4.5 million per season. The American fired the agent who negotiated this contract with him, Alec Schall, 14 months after signing it. Like all the others, Pacioretty hoped, in his next contract, to make up for lost time. But it was ultimately in Las Vegas that he signed it after being traded by Bergevin two years ago. In short, Max Pacioretty gave his best years at CH and he did it at a discount.
Alexander Radulov only played one season in Montreal, but at $ 5.75m for the year, with everything he offered, it was a great deal for CH.
No one 'strikes for a thousand' in life, and Bergevin's relentless slayers are currently having to bleed from their eyes if they've reached this part of the text. So let's reward them with some of the contractual blunders present on the CEO's roadmap.
- Karl Alzner, contract signed on July 1, 2017, $ 4.625 million per season for five years
Today, Alzner is a Laval Rocket player for two seasons. The British Columbian needed to bring stability to the CH defense, but above all he has shown that he is no longer so capable of keeping pace in the NHL. Alzner, with the salary he commands, should be one of the most important players in CH in defense, but we are very, very far from that. And he is a perpetual candidate for a contract buyout. Which would probably not hurt his career, by the way. This is Marc Bergevin's big mistake, in terms of contracts, since he took up his post.
- Tomas Plekanec, contract signed on October 16, 2015, $ 6 million per season, for two years
Yes, Plekanec had rendered very good service to the organization in the ten years preceding the signing of this contract, but during the two seasons it was valid, the Czech did not offer much to the team. He finished first with 28 points, and was heading for a similar collection the following year when he was traded to the Maple Leafs as the trade deadline approached. $ 6 million per season was way, way too much for what Plekanec still had in the tank.
He escaped it beautifully
- Milan Lucic, contract not signed in summer 2016
The robust forward accepted a seven-year, $ 6 million-per-season offer with the Oilers in the summer of 2016. According to several sources, he turned down a more lucrative offer from Marc Bergevin. The CH certainly escaped it in this case, because four years later, Lucic, who slowed down a lot, no longer justifies the salary he still receives, now with the Flames, under this contract.