The Montreal Canadiens’ participation in the NHL Resumption Tournament was the best thing that could have happened to them.
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The brilliance of the team and the emergence of young center players Nick suzuki and Jesperi Kotkaniemi convinced CEO Marc Bergevin to activate the reset process.
Bergevin has been the most active GM in the NHL since the start of the offseason. In any case, he is the one who ticked the most boxes in terms of needs to be met, to use his expression.
« We have made big changes, » said Bergevin, October 13, the day after the attacker’s engagement. Tyler toffoli. “We had four boxes to score and we did it. We are happy with our team and excited for the next season. I hope our supporters are too. «
The arrival of Toffoli, who was contracted for four seasons ($ 17 million), was the last box that was blackened. The other three were, in order or disorder, the acquisitions of a strong reserve goalie (Jake Allen), a beefy defenseman (Joel Edmundson) and a skillful power forward (Josh Anderson).
Bergevin awarded four- and seven-year deals, respectively, to Edmundson ($ 14 million) and Anderson ($ 38.5 million), before granting Allen a two-season contract extension ($ 5.75 million). ).
The CEO did not hide that the context of the pandemic, which weakened the market, had helped him achieve his objectives, especially since he had an interesting room for maneuver on the financial plan.
“It’s not that we didn’t want to do things over the last few years, but it just didn’t add up,” he explained. This year the pieces of the puzzle fell into place. »
Bergevin also took out the checkbook to make sure to retain the services for a long time, beyond the next season, of two important cogs of the CH, the defender Jeff petry (four years old, $ 25 million) and right winger Brendan Gallagher (six years, $ 39 million).
He still has time to try to sort out the attackers’ cases Phillip danault, Tomas Tatar and Joel armia, who will expire their last contractual year when activities resume.
Here is the updated team portrait :
Sheet 2019-20 : 31-31-9 (percentage points of .500)
Top scorers : Tomas Tatar, Brendan Gallagher (22)
Best passer : Tatar (39)
Best pointer : Tatar (61)
– Josh Anderson (AT)
– Tyler Toffoli (A)
– Joel edmundson (D)
– Jake allen (G)
Anderson’s acquisition of the Columbus Blue Jackets in return for Max Domi and a third round pick represents the big catch. Anderson, 26, is the prototype power forward that every team wants to have. Author of a season of 27 goals in 2018-19, the right winger was unable to continue his momentum last season. The shoulder injury he sustained early in the season required surgery in March, just before the shutdown. Anderson has absolutely no doubts that he will be back in great shape.
Video: CBJ @ PHI: Anderson marks his first of the season
The CH had Toffoli in its sights for some time now. This other right winger, who could be transferred to the left flank, will add bite to the attack. The 28-year-old has 24 goals and totaled 44 points in 68 games in 2019-20, in the uniforms of the Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks. He has a Stanley Cup ring on his finger.
Edmundson is another Stanley Cup winner, with the St. Louis Blues in 2019. He was acquired from the Carolina Hurricanes on September 12 in return for a fifth-round pick in the 2020 Draft. another fellow who will add an element of robustness in defense.
Allen will come to support Carey Price, who has shown in the playoffs that he can accomplish great things when he’s fresh and fit. The former Blues, a member of the champion team, is a solid assistant. He had 12 wins in 21 starts last season while posting a 2.15 goals-against average and .927 save percentage.
– Max Domi (A)
– Charles Hudon (AT)
Domi no longer spun perfect happiness in Montreal and he welcomed his transfer to Columbus. He saw himself playing in the center position and, with the emergence of young Suzuki and Kotkaniemi, he was no longer in the plans of the leaders. He had also been relegated to a supporting role in the playoffs. He spent two seasons in Montreal, having been brilliant in his first (72 points) and less good in his second (44), like the career-yoyo he knows.
Hudon moved to Switzerland. It was the best decision he could make.
They knock on the door
– Alexander Romanov (D)
– Cale Fleury (D)
– Ryan poehling (AT)
Romanov does more than knock on the door, he has both feet in it! Coach Claude Julien has everything except confirming his place in the team lately.
“I would be surprised if he didn’t start the season with us. Currently, we see it more in the team than the opposite, ”announced Julien recently, about the rookie defender.
What will facilitate Romanov’s integration is that he will join a group of seasoned defenders.
Training camp will be important for Fleury and Poehling, two promising prospects who had the chance to show off with the big club at the start of last season.
Video: NJD @ MTL: A first in the NHL for Fleury
We’re full and we’re very close to the salary cap limit, but in an ideal world, the team would bet on another high-caliber winger and an experienced fourth-line center.
Planned training 2020-21
Tomas Tatar – Philip Danault – Brendan Gallagher
Jonathan drouin – Nick Suzuki – Josh Anderson
Tyler Toffoli – Jesperi Kotkaniemi – Joel Armia
Artturi Lehkonen – Jake evans – Paul Byron
Ben chiarot – Shea weber
Joel Edmundson – Jeff Petry
Alexander Romanov – Brett Kulak