Like him or not, when Marc Bergevin committed to a Reset back in the summer of 2018, he knew that it couldn’t be done overnight. He and his right-hand man when it comes to the Draft, Trevor Timmins, focussed on stocking up on draft picks and developing those young men. If Timmins’ numbers don’t appease the crowds in Montreal, the theory of drafting more players should result into more chances of landing NHL caliber prospects. And we’re just starting to see the results of that strategy, although there’s much more to come.
Fans are disgruntled. Media members are feeding their anger by throwing oil on the fire any chance they get. Yet, if you sit and look through the smoke screen of this awful start of the season, you will notice something. You will see that Nick Suzuki is one of the Habs’ best players. If you look deeper, you will notice that Alexander Romanov continues to improve game in, game out. You will have noticed that Jake Evans is performing quite well. By paying attention, you will see that Ryan Poehling is starting to get his stride. Fans should have also noticed that while not quite ready, Cayden Primeau and Mattias Norlinder will be good players in this league.
And we’re not talking about Jesse Ylönen who is developing in Laval, or other young prospects in different leagues either.
The Canadiens also have 11 more picks for the upcoming Draft, which will be held in Montreal this year, adding even more possibilities of good prospects joining the organisation.
What I find the most unfortunate is that it’s unlikely that Bergevin and Timmins will get to reap the fruit of their labour from that Reset. You see, what fans (and media) either don’t realize or don’t want to admit, is that developing players through the Draft takes time. Too often, fans ask who a prospect can be compared to, or they look at their production in junior hockey, and expect them to be dominant immediately. If they don’t live up to their unrealistic expectations, they’re a bust.
Further, we’ve been blaming the Canadiens for rushing young players to the NHL, accusing the team to “ruin their development”. You’ve heard that about Alex Galchenyuk and more recently, about Jesperi Kotkaniemi. A couple of weeks ago, the Habs sent Cole Caufield to Laval to work on some stuff and regain confidence. The same fans were outraged to see that happening. Yet, the team was doing exactly what they claimed they should have done with the other two! The definition of insanity, aside from being hypocrites and two-faced, is making the same mistake over and over again and expecting different results. The Canadiens are trying something different, by being patient and develop players in the AHL… finally!
With the dismal season they’re having and with Bergevin left as a lame duck by Geoff Molson and the organisation, it’s very unlikely that we’ll see the Canadiens’ GM back next season. He might not last the rest of this season even. Someone else will come in and if we’re lucky, will benefit from Bergevin and Timmins’ reset. Unless they feel pressured to prove that they’re good and trade those promising young prospects for immediate help, which would be disastrous. We as fans would have gone through those years of reset/rebuild for nothing.