NHL

Why the Montreal Canadiens made a mistake with Gionta

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Brian Gionta formerly of the Montreal Canadiens (©GettyImages)
Brian Gionta formerly of the Montreal Canadiens (©GettyImages).

All the Canadian teams have been involved in the NHL free agency period in some way. I would say the team that has benefited the most would be the Vancouver Canucks. However, the team that I believe hasn’t received equal value in many of their deals is the Montreal Canadiens.

In fact, the organization has seen more top quality players leave than stay in my opinion. They’ve seen the departure of their Captain Brian Gionta and one of their defencemen Josh Gorges. Both these guys have been picked up by the Buffalo Sabres.

Vanek dropped

Thomas Vanek was dropped without any possibility of a new contract and has since signed a deal with the Minnesota Wild. Ryan White has also opted out of resigning with the team as well. Plus, the organization and GM Marc Bergevin still hasn’t come to an agreement with fan favorite P.K. Subban.

I’m not saying that Marc Bergevin has failed to fill his team’s empty roster spots. The team has signed as many players as they’ve seen leave. Penalty kill specialist Manny Malhotra is likely to take over for Ryan White and Tom Gilbert will assume Gorges position.

Core players kept

The organization has done a wonderful job keeping most of their core players like Andrei Markov, Carey Price, Thomas Plekanec and Max Pacioretty. But I believe the Montreal Canadians should have received far more in return for Josh Gorges. A second round draft pick was not enough in my opinion. The Parenteau-Brier trade was a great move. It allowed the team to pick up a player and free up some much needed cap space. 

The organization has also signed strong, promising rookies Sherbak and Sekac. However, I still believe that the loss of Vanek and Gionta will be quite difficult to deal with. The team still has a fairly decent mix of veteran players and young guns.

Young guns

But I believe a team that depends on their younger players to score the most goals is playing a very risky game. Brian Gionta accounted for 40 points this past season and Daniel Brier accumulated 25 points.

The other veteran players on the squad like Brandon Prust and Travis Moen accumulated a combined total of 25 points. Therefore, I believe the Montreal Canadians have let too many veteran forwards go.

And if the team fails to resign P.K. Subban, the fans and organization had better be nervous. Also, if any of the younger players like Max Pacioretty, Brendan Gallagher or Alex Galchenyuk get injured, it’s going to be very difficult to find some secondary scoring. I hope that Montreal GM Marc Bergevin will be able to find another veteran player to take over for Brian Gionta.

Topics:
Montreal Canadiens
NHL
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