Before we get into a raging debate that inspires a city-wide riot, let's get one thing straight; I’m a hockey fan first and a Habs fan second. Of course I love my city and the team that inhabits it, but I also like to look at the bigger picture when it comes to talking shop.
I’ve been a huge fan of Marc Bergevin since day one. It's always great seeing former players return to the game in a management or teaching role, and passing on their experience and knowledge to the younger generation, and Bergevin definitely knows his hockey. But more importantly, he knows the business behind it. For example, the fact that Bergevin traded for Thomas Vanek and lost NOTHING off his active roster was an absolutely slick move.
And Bergevin is ruthless. He will not hesitate to put aside fan attachment when a player no longer suits his needs. I’ve met Brandon Prust a few times, and while the guy is an absolute beauty, let's face it, his usefulness had all but run out. Brandon Prust was, in my opinion, successfully traded for a guy with more ability, less salary and has youth on his side. I remember Kassian well from his days playing with the Windsor Spitfires and I'm confident his combination of skill and power will make him one heck of an NHLer, but I digress.
Let's get back to the point and take a look at some of the issues I have regarding the Alex Semin signing:
- His reputation is of a player who doesn’t compete. How is Michel Therrien going to coach a player who doesn’t compete?
- Takes away a roster spot from a top 6 forward. Does this mean Mike McCarron wont get a sniff to make a team?
- How is Galchenyuk supposed to develop if he can't play center and he can't play wing?
- Why waste money on a player, even if it's only 1.1 million, when you can give a chance to a prospect in the system?
- I went to the Sam Pollock school for hockey, so I totally understand that every piece is an asset. Sooner or later if you keep bringing pieces in, some pieces are going to have to leave. Does this mean Lars Eller is on his way out??
- He has 41 goals in his last 3 season combined, but the talent and potential to score that in a single season….Why bring in a player who doesn’t fit your organizational structure?
Don't get me wrong, as usual, Bergevin has managed to strike a killer deal with highly-skilled player, losing us very little cap space in return. And while this does appear to be great value for low risk, I just can't get behind this one. If I'm to be optimistic about this signing, and I do like to be optimistic, this will pay off and we'll finally have the high-scoring winger the Habs have been lacking. Ultimately, only time will tell. Let's just hope this is not going to leave us with the same bad taste in our mouths that Thomas Vanek or Scott Gomez did.