Marc Bergevin
The Montreal Canadiens have made a surprise run to the 2021 Stanley Cup Final, and GM Marc Bergevin has his fingerprints all over the roster that took them there (John Mahoney/Montreal Gazette)

How Marc Bergevin Went From A Meme To A Mastermind

For many years before 2021, Marc Bergevin was looked upon as a joke of a General Manager in the NHL. He made moves for flashy, sometimes only French-Canadian players that appeared visionless at the surface. The Montreal Canadiens did have genuine talent on the roster but maybe not sustainable talent. Fans even wanted him fired for a few years. Those doubts, however, have all been thrown out of the window. The Habs made a shocking run to the 2021 Stanley Cup Final with many key contributors that mainly Bergevin believed in. Here is how the man with the “suit of death” has fully revived his career in Montreal.

Patience Pays Off With Big Trades

It was safe to say 2 years ago that the Canadiens were not winners of either the Shea Weber or Max Pacioretty trades. Weber was aging fast while remaining on a huge contract while their former captain seemed destined to make multiple Cup runs in Vegas. How the tables have turned. Weber has always been well respected across the league, but he has taken it to a different level in 2021. His leadership and experience have helped the Habs’ incredible young talent navigate through many of their first playoff appearances while also contributing to winning hockey. His durability and composure have also been critical to keeping his team on the right track.

When it comes to young talent, one of the key pieces is Nick Suzuki. Hockey Guy Trey has gone into more detail about the Pacioretty trade, but it’s clear that Bergevin did incredibly well with the value he got back. Tomas Tatar had a good start to life in Montreal, but Suzuki is the big fish. The 21-year-old is close to a point-per-game player this postseason and will form a lethal duo with Jesperi Kotkaniemi down the middle for years to come. Bergevin hit a home run by letting the fruits of his labor in both trades come to fruition over multiple years.

Acquiring And Standing By Key Veterans

Weber is the Captain of this team but not the only important veteran on this squad. Names like Corey Perry, Tyler Toffoli, Eric Staal, and Joel Edmundson have all put in meaningful shifts en route to the 2021 Cup Final. Some even believed that guys like Perry and Staal were too old and “washed up,” but Bergevin knew what he was doing. It takes the right veterans to win the Stanley Cup, and while both are aging, their past triumphs have given this team the chance to complete a triumph of their own.

The one player Bergevin deserves the most credit for believing in is none other than Carey Price. The former Hart Trophy winner is my #1 pick for the Conn Smythe Award if Montreal can pull it off against Tampa. Even I was pondering whether he still had enough in the tank and whether his contract was turning into an albatross. Trade rumors even appeared during past years, but Marc Bergevin did not budge. The 33-year-old has silenced many doubters with a magnificent postseason, posting a .934% save percentage and 2.02 goals-against average. Against high-powered offenses in Toronto, Winnipeg, and Vegas, Price has taken the challenge head-on and excelled. The future Hall-of-Famer was due for a genuine Cup run especially after it was cut short in 2014. I am rooting for the Canadiens and Price in particular (Not just because the Lightning knocked my Islanders out).

Cole MF Caufield

By this point, you’re not a hockey fan if you don’t like Cole Caufield. The dude is just a straight-up baller. I talked about the Habs’ young talent earlier, and this guy is looking like a franchise-level winger in the making. He was a late addition in the regular season and has not looked back. The only criticism I would give Bergevin is that he should have signed Caufield to his ELC sooner. Many GMs must be kicking themselves for letting him fall all the way to the 15th spot back in 2019. It would not surprise me in the slightest to see him hit 35 goals in an 82 game season, and the GUY IS ONLY 20 YEARS OLD. 2 months older than me, for God’s sake. He oozes confidence and plays as if he’s been in the league for years. The scariest part is he’s just putting us all on notice.

If I ever saw Bergevin walking down the street, I would give him a high five just for drafting Caufield. He deserves more than just a high five for the job he’s done rebuilding this roster. Even though the veterans are getting up there in age, I feel like this Habs roster can compete for the next few years. This is Marc Bergevin, however, so he could also revert to his old self and screw this up. I’m excited to wait and see.

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