It’s euphoria in the Habs Nation this morning. Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin once again wowed the media throng – not that hard a feat! – and the fans by picking up sniper Thomas Vanek for what appears to be a pretty good price.

Bergevin snared Vanek from the lowly New York Islanders and only had to give up prospest Sebastian Collberg and a second-round pick.

So on the face of it, what’s not to like right?

Let’s start with the first and biggest negative. Vanek is a Rent-a-Player. He’s an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and has already made it clear he wants to sign with the Minnesota Wild. He has a home in the Minnesota area. Enigmatic Islanders GM Garth Snow said the market was soft for Vanek and most believe that’s because the other GMs don’t believe they’ll be able to sign Vanek.

If you take a Rent-A-Player, it’s because you believe you’re going somewhere in the playoffs. Now look, if 2014 turns out to be 2010 redux, I’ll be the first guy to be dancing ’round the living room with my son as we eliminate the Penguins and Bruins. But are we really a contender? Yes Montreal is sitting pretty in second place in the Atlantic division today after a startling shoot-out victory over the League-leading Anaheim Ducks Wednesday night, but not even the most dazed-and-confused Habs fan believes the team is in the hunt for the Cup this year. Most nights they look a little wobbly.

I thought the team was rebuilding slowly but surely by the only way you build in this league – via draft picks. That’s what Bergevin has been saying up until now and that calm, cool approach – in sharp contrast to the non-stop panic mode of the Gainey and Gauthier years – was a relief. The team has a great core of young players – Price, Subban, Pacioretty, Gallagher, Galchenyuk – and should be ready to contend in a couple of years. But not this year.

So I have to think this whole Vanek trade is a diversion. Give the people bread and circuses. Keep them entertained. And if they win a playoff series or two, even better. That’s money in the bank for Geoff Molson’s team.

Bottomline is that the trade doesn’t bring the team any closer to Cup contention. And if Collberg turns out to be a Top Six player, history will not judge this move too kindly. The good news for Bergevin is that it appears the jury is very much out on this young player, who just turned 20 a few weeks ago.

So I’m holding the euphoria for now.

– Brendan Kelly


  1. YL says:

    Finally someone says it. I agree that if you are not a contender, you do not need a player who is going to play only 20 games for you. Now the media, who were calling Collberg a top prospect a few months ago, are calling him a third line replaceable ordinary player. This move is totally unnecessary. And should I remind you the kind of players the habs drafted in the second round? I think not. Of course, this move is great if they sign Vanek and now, the oh-so-wise Montreal media are saying Minnesota might not want him, or that he said he wanted to test the market because he did not want to sign with Long Island. Both are true, but both are very optimistic auto-brainwashing,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s