In this week’s 32 Thoughts on Sportsnet, Elliotte Friedman had a couple of points dedicated to the Montreal Canadiens. Both referred to the possibility of contract extensions.
First, he had this to say about Nick Suzuki:
Early-season prediction: Montreal takes a serious run at extending Nick Suzuki sooner, rather than later. No more offer-sheet games.
Friedman is obviously referring to the offer-sheet the Carolina Hurricanes made to Jesperi Kotkaniemi, offer that the Canadiens decided not to match. While Kotkaniemi was a good prospect and the Habs didn’t want to lose him, Suzuki has already established himself as the team’s number one center. There is no way that the organisation can risk losing him after the departure of Kotkaniemi and Phillip Danault.
It’s a file that has to be front and center on Marc Bergevin’s to-do list this season. Speaking of Bergevin, Friedman had this to say:
As Marc Bergevin continues to negotiate an extension with the Canadiens, his biggest value is that he’s shown he can make a plan and stick with it. That’s not insignificant in hockey’s most intense market. Not everyone can handle it, not everyone is built to deal with it. It’s clear ownership believes in that plan, too. That’s the question I’d be asking if I was running the organization. Can you find someone who has that ability? Being GM of the Canadiens is not for the wishy-washy.
We did touch on the future of Bergevin recently and there is a rumour circulating that an extension would be announced in the next few days.
Bergevin had finished second in voting for the Jim Gregory Award as the top GM in the league this past season as Lou Lamoriello won the award for the second straight season. It marked the third time Bergevin has been a finalist for the Jim Gregory Award since taking over as GM of the Canadiens in 2012, most amongst GMs during that time span. His team has made the playoffs six times in those nine seasons, reaching the Stanley Cup Finals last season.