The Next Step for the Montreal Canadiens

By
Updated: January 11, 2014
Michel Therrien

The Montreal Canadiens have been playing what most fans would call mediocre hockey, at best.  There have been plenty of signs leading up to recent losses to Ottawa and Philadelphia.  Some fans on Twitter are placing almost all of the blame on the Canadiens bench boss, Michel Therrien, and seem to believe a change of coach could be happening if things don’t change.  I agree that Therrien is not coaching at his best right now, and it certainly isn’t helping.  Overall, Montreal is still in a solid spot in the standings, although their play is simply making them stagnant, and are showing no signs of improvement.  Changes NEED to be made, and sooner rather than later.

The Montreal Canadiens have a good squad of core players, who appear to be staying with the club long-term, and are happy here. I don’t need to tell you who they are as it is pretty apparent when you watch a Habs game. The Habs have also drafted exceedingly well over the last 4 years, which is going to seriously boost their skill with each passing year as these players move into the NHL. They have some phenoms both on offence and on defence that should start making permanent spots for themselves next season.  This is all great news for the Habs and for their fans, they are doing exactly what Marc Bergevin stated when he took over the team.  He is building a culture of excellence, through the draft, and through trade.  The only part he has left out is the “through the trade” portion.  If you look up and down the roster, their are clear choices of guys Bergevin could use as trade bait, or to package together in a big deal.  Imagine if Montreal could get rid of some “backpack” guys and replace them with a game changer, or a scorer. Now that’s a habs team, I’d like to watch.

The Twitter world is spinning out of control with trade rumours regarding teams like Winnipeg, and Buffalo.  Neither of these teams are succeeding this year. If Montreal made a trade with either of these teams, it is obvious they would be going after one of two things in a trade.  First, a scoring winger to play on the Habs top line. Second, a gritty forward to help bring some size and toughness to Montreal.  The only name I’ve heard out of Winnipeg is Evander Kane.  Being a gritty 30 goal scorer he would fit the bill perfectly for what Montreal needs and wants.  However, it is being said that it will take a package deal involving Brendan Gallagher.

As much as Kane would be a huge help, Gallagher should be one of the habs “untouchable” guys.  If Montreal could manage to swing a deal where they send one of the top defence prospects, a draft pick, and one of our more veteran guys, this could be a good deal for Montreal.  In regards to Buffalo, I read names being thrown out including Matt Moulson, Drew Stafford, and Steve Ott. If the Habs could get Moulson and Ott, that would solve a lot of problems.  Moulson would increase goal production, and Ott is a big team guy, who can protect the club while still being able to play hockey.

My final thoughts on this topic are simple.  Montreal is still in a playoff spot.  They have a solid prospect pool succeeding all over the world, playing all types of hockey.  They have some great pieces that are here to stay.  Michel Therrien needs to seriously adjust the way he is coaching of late.  STOP BENCHING SUBBAN. If a trade does happen, do not expect Bergevin to jeopardize the future of this team, or give up too much, he knows what he’s doing.  Montreal is still winning games, all in different fashion, but hey, isn’t that what Stanley Cup Champions are supposed to do?

 

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