Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Ray Ferraro on Habs' GM Bergevin: I Don't Know if He Has any Bullets Left

Ex NHLer and current TSN analyst Ray Ferraro joined the discussion about the Canadiens firing of Michel Therrien and hiring of Claude Julien on Tuesday, saying that Montreal General Manager Marc Bergevin still has a difficult road ahead of him.

"I don't know that he's got any other bullets left," said Ferraro. "The trade of Subban was controversial and certainly huge news, and now they've fired the coach... I don't see for a second that this roster can be looked upon as completed. They need a defenseman, they need a centerman, I would think that that's the priority going into the deadline, but how much of the future are you going to be willing to pay?"

It has been rumored that Montreal is in the running for Colorado's Matt Duchene, but the ask is very high. Colorado could demand a NHL-ready defenseman plus a top prospect plus a draft pick, and it's not known if Montreal can match those demands. Ferraro says they should not worry too much about the draft pick, especially in a year where the draft is not thought of as particularly lloaded with potential generational talents.

"In a draft that's not tought of as a great draft, why wouldn't you get involved with a first-round pick?"

The reality is that Montreal is a struggling team, no matter who is at the helm. Montreal went 14-4-2 in their first 20 games, but since then they've gone 17-15-6--a record that is 18th best in that span among the NHL's 30 teams. Injuries have played a role, as key players have gone down and stayed down for months, but as they have gotten healthy, the Canadiens woes have continued.

Ferraro says that they'll need to do more to truly compete for a Stanley Cup.

"If you think you are a decent team, which they do, but you're not a team that can compete with the best guys, which they can't--then I think you have to make a move. They've already made this one but they have to look at this roster and say 'Man we cannot win with this defense, we cannot win with Thomas Plekanec scoring one goal in 30 games as one of our top two centermen. They have to make some kind of move--this won't be enough to push them into the upper echelon."

But Ferraro cautions that even one deal might not be enough to make the Habs elite right now.

"Say you were able to put the Duchene deal together, now you have to make at least one more deal, because you have to find a defenseman, too--at least one. And we all know what those things cost, that is really difficult to find."