Marc Bergevin’s press conference on Thursday was intended to calm the waters but instead his comments have drawn the ire of a very frustrated fan base. Some of that anger seems unfounded to me, however.
Before getting into that, here are the main highlights from his session with the media:
Carey Price will miss several more weeks.
This wasn’t really all that unexpected. We already knew he was out at the very least until after the All-Star break and since he still isn’t skating with full equipment with only a couple of practice days left until the team leaves for their break, we also knew it was going to be longer than that. In reality, all we learned here was that he’ll miss another week or so compared to the last update we had about him.
There are ‘confidential reasons’ that the Tinordi-for-Scott/Bartley trade was made.
For me, this was the really interesting nugget. Unfortunately, we probably won’t hear anything further about it but it seems to me that it’s an admission of sorts that taking Scott wasn’t what they really wanted to do. It’s also great fodder for the conspiracy theorists if you believe that someone from the league offices had a hand in this.
There are no immediate changes coming behind the bench.
Many were hoping for swift changes but that won’t be coming any time soon as Bergevin announced that there won’t be any coaching moves between now and the end of the season. At the very least, this all but diffuses the daily talk of a firing occurring which eliminates a major distraction not only for the players but Michel Therrien as well.
Bergevin didn’t come out and say that he’s never firing Therrien, just that it won’t be before April. If you are of the opinion that a coaching change is needed, there are many more options available in the offseason than there are now so all is not lost on that end either.
Bergevin encouraged the blame to be directed at him.
That’s all well and good that he’s willing to shoulder the bulk of the frustration but that was going to happen whether he said this or not. I found it kind of funny that he even bothered to say something like that.
Beyond that, there were the other usual statements that are typical in his media gatherings (he’s always looking to improve the team, is hopeful that the youngsters in St. John’s can make a difference, and that he won’t make a panic or short-term move).
With the Habs plummeting down the standings quickly, many were hoping for heads to roll on Thursday, that Bergevin would be on the rampage. That’s not his style – it never has been – so those expectations just weren’t realistic.
Instead, he offered up measured responses. There was nothing over the top, nothing he’s going to regret later on. Instead, he was cool, calm, and collected. That’s what you want from a general manager in a public forum at the best of times, the worst of times, and everything in between. The more important statements, spoken to the players/coaches directly and to other GM’s with regards to trade availability, need to be made behind closed doors, outside the public eye.
While it may have been gratifying as a fan to have a bone or two to chew on, there are more drawbacks than benefits to having statements like that come out in the long run.
There are plenty of things to be upset about, the team’s struggles, the lack of significant roster moves, coaching decisions, etc. But Marc Bergevin not coming out and openly declaring “Changes are a-coming” in a mid-January press conference doesn’t really need to be one of them. Being upset about that, when there is plenty else to be frustrated with, feels a bit like overkill to me. The real statements will be made by his actions (or inactions) in the months ahead, not by what he said or didn’t say on Thursday.
(And if we’re looking at what he didn’t say, it’s all but evident that Price’s return or lack thereof will wind up dictating a lot of Bergevin’s actions in the next six weeks, if not longer.)
In other news Thursday, winger Daniel Carr was recalled late in the afternoon. He’ll take the roster spot of Paul Byron who was placed on IR yesterday. He had two goals and two assists with St. John’s in three games since being sent down.