Can you remind me why the Habs dumped Marc-André Bergeron?

Posted: December 29, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , ,

What’s one of the Montreal Canadiens’ biggest public-relations issues? Exactly. The lack of local talent on the bench. I read somewhere this week – I can’t remember where – someone opining that Mathieu Darche would be an anonymous fourth-liner on any other team but here – ’cause he’s one of the only francophone locals on the team – he’s treated like Sidney Crosby.

Which brings us to the question du jour – why the heck did we not hang on to Marc-André Bergeron? Of course, he’s not the only local and/or franco we dumped – there’s also Maxim Lapierre, Guillaume Latendresse, and Mike Ribeiro, just to mention the first three that come to mind – but since the Habs are set to battle the suddenly-surging Tampa Bay Lightning Thursday night, it seemed like a good time to re-visit le cas Bergeron.

With three goals and 19 assists, the 31-year-old Tampa defenceman would be fourth on the Habs in terms of points this year and he would be ahead of all of the other Habs D-men (the closest would be P.K. ‘I think I’m Bobby Orr’ Subban with 16 points). And he would’ve been mighty handy this year given Montreal’s sad-sack powerplay. That PP was missing one thing in particular – someone on the blue-line with a big hard shot. Well as the piece from St. Petersburg Times reporter Damian Cristodero notes, his shot was clocked at 104 miles-per-hour when he was with the Habs and that’s helped him win a bunch of NHL All-Star Game slapshot competitions.

How did Pierre ‘Major Major’ Gauthier address the issue of the lack of a big shooter on the PP? He went out and got a guy, Tomas ‘Cadbury’ Kaberle, who shoots about as often as Scotty ‘I’m Afraid of the Net’ Gomez. In other words, he never shoots, which makes life real easy for the opposing team. (By the way, Kab has hardly been burning up the points column in recent games, eh? Oh well, at least we’ll have someone to complain about for the next two-and-a-half years.)

Montreal picked up Bergeron as a free-agent signing in the fall of 2009 after Andrei Markov went down with a serious injury. (Think about that one for just a second. We have been trying to deal with the Markov injury situation – and dealing with it badly, I might add – for a full two years. But I digress.) So Bergeron was signed to a one-year-deal at the bargain-basement price of $750,000 U.S. and he had a very good year with the Habs, clocking in with 13 goals and 21 assists in 60 games. He was also a fan favourite for obvious reasons – big blast from the blueline + hometown French guy = popular player!

He didn’t play for the first half 0f the 2010-2011 season and then signed a one-year, $1 million deal in January, 2011 with Tampa. Then last summer Tampa GM Steve Yzerman re-signed Bergeron to a two-year one-way contract.

Okay so he is not the greatest defencemen in his zone but then again that could be said of a few of the current Habs D-men and none of them has a blistering slapshot and 22 points in their back pocket. Oh yeah and none of them are franco Quebecers either.

So back to the question du jour – remind me why Ghost Gauthier let this one slip away?

Check out this video of one of his patented blasts-from-the-blueline goals from last year’s playoffs….and sigh.

  1. Howard says:

    Souray = slapshot
    Streit = slapshot
    Bergeron = slapshot

    All gone.

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