Depth Chart – Before and After Bergevin

By JD Lagrange – Along with a few others, I was recently involved in an interesting discussion on Twitter. The topic? If Marc Bergevin has left the Montreal Canadiens’ organization in worse or better shape than the one he inherited.

Some people feel like he had more pieces to work with, while others counter with the lack of depth in the organization back then. Both sides have valid points but in an attempt to put this one to bed, I’ve decided to do a little bit of research. It is possible that a prospect or two could be off as the information is not readily available at specific dates, but this should give you a very good idea of the big picture.

Before

First and foremost, Bergevin was hired in May of 2012. The Canadiens had missed the playoffs and finished dead last in the Eastern Conference. Only two teams in the entire NHL (Edmonton and Columbus) had a worse record than the once glorious Canadiens.

Bergevin inherited a core of three pretty elite talents: Carey Price, P.K. Subban and Max Pacioretty were all amongst the NHL’s top tier. They also had a couple of still solid veterans – although starting their decline – in Andrei Markov and Tomas Plekanec. If you’re generous, you can add Brendan Gallagher, although to be fair, he was just a 5th round pick back then and had yet to develop in the player that we know now.

Here is the depth chart that the new Canadiens’ GM had to work with when he got to Montreal in the summer of 2012.

Max PaciorettyDavid DesharnaisErik Cole
Travis MoenTomas PlekanecRene Bourque
Mathieu DarcheScott GomezLouis Leblanc
Petteri NokelainenLars EllerRyan White
Aaron PalushajGabriel DumontMichael Blunden
Mark MacMillanJoonas NattinenBrendan Gallagher
Olivier ArchambaultAndreas EnqvistAlexander Avtsin
Andrew ConboyDanny KristoMaxim Trunev
John WestinDustin WalshRyan Russell
Dany MasséMichael BournivalSteve Quailer
Ben Maxwell
Andrei MarkovP.K. SubbanCarey Price
Josh GorgesRafaël DiazPeter Budaj
Hal GillChris CampoliRobert Mayer
Alexei EmelinFrédéric St-DenisPeter Delmas
Nathan BeaulieuJarred TinordiPetteri Simila
Morgan EllisDarren Dietz
Mac BennettGreg Pateryn
Josiah DidierMagnus Nygren
Mathieu CarleBrendan Nash
Yannick Weber

After

Jumping ahead a little bit, seeing that he could not win with the core group that he inherited, Bergevin made some major changes to the leadership group and brought in new blood. Then in the summer of 2018, he started his famous Reset. He fired Sylvain Lefebvre and hired Joël Bouchard, he pilled up draft picks and tried continuing winning while developing his own young players.

Let’s now jump in our time-traveling machine and set the date to November 2021, just over nine years after Bergevin was hired. Seeing his team having had to compose with two years of COVID, injuries, tight schedules and long travels (in the Canadian division), a Stanley Cup finals appearance and then having to compose with long term losses of key players, Geoff Molson decided that it was time for a change.

Now that Bergevin is gone, here is the Canadiens’ depth chart that he had left for the duo of Jeff Gorton and Kent Hughes to work with.

Jonathan DrouinNick SuzukiTyler Toffoli
Mike HoffmanChristian DvorakJosh Anderson
Artturi LehkonenJake EvansBrendan Gallagher
Paul ByronRyan PoehlingCole Caufield
Mathieu PerreaultJan MysakJoel Armia
Michael PezzettaJ-S DeaJesse Ylönen
Laurent DauphinRiley KidneyAlex Belzile
Rafaël Harvey-PinardSean FarrellJoshua Roy
Joël TeasdaleCameron HillisAlexander Gordin
Lucas CondottaOliver KapanenRhett Pitlick
Luke TuchBlake BiondiBrett Stapley
Jack GorniakXavier Simoneau
Joel EdmundsonJeff PetryCarey Price
Ben ChiarotDavid SavardJake Allen
Alexander RomanovBrett KulakSam Montembeault
Brett KulakChris WidemanCayden Primeau
Corey SchuenemanSami NikuJakub Dobes
Jordan HarrisKaiden GuhleFrederik Dichow
Otto LeskinenGianni FairbrotherJoe Vrbetic
Xavier OuelletArber Xhekaj
Mattias NorlinderLogan Mailloux
Jayden StrubleWilliam Trudeau
Dmitri KostenkoDaniil Sobolev
Arvid Henrikson

I’m not going to dissect the two groups one by one but in my personal opinion, there is absolutely no comparison possible between the group that Bergevin inherited and the one Gorton had in front of him when he took over in late November. I will, instead, let you debate amongst yourselves as you wish. But now, at least, you have some way to measure and support your claim.

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5 thoughts on “Depth Chart – Before and After Bergevin

  1. If I were Gorton or Hughes I would have no issue with Bergevin. I think his vision of a well constructed team was a little off so that led him to some long contracts. The salary cap, poor player development, poor revenues due to Covid19 left Habs in a worse position than they should have been. Plus, rethinking the requirements of goaltending needs and Price’s health left them with a really bad situation to overcome.

  2. MB made some solid trades but Hughes knows most of these GMs and may have a more personal connection in communication. So far(even Matheson), Hughes has pulled a few rabbits out of a hat but development will be key to his success and he took a step backwards to allow prospect growth to take 2 steps forward. Hughes has made some more calculated decisions and making 3 way trades make him look more advanced when it comes to getting a deal done. As long as he doesnt fall in love with players like MB did, I think he’ll do great.

    1. I agree Scott. MB has done a lot of good things and one of them has been to replenish the prospects’ pool. This already gives the Gorton/Hughes duo more to work with than he had himself when he took over back in 2012.

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