Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin held a press conference with the media on Thursday in advance of what projects to be a very busy next few days around the league. Here are some of the key points from that session.
Carey Price: Bergevin indicated they had a Plan B had Seattle selected him but both he and Price were confident that they’d pass on him. (Kraken GM Ron Francis indicated in interviews after Wednesday’s expansion draft that his contract was a big reason for that.) Meanwhile, on the injury front, Bergevin doesn’t believe Price should miss much, if any time, for next season as he thinks the required surgery will be more of a 6-8 week timeline. Of course, as is always the case when seeing a specialist, that can change quickly.
Shea Weber: The news isn’t as good for Weber. As expected, Bergevin stated that they do not expect the captain to be available at all next season and probably won’t be back at all in his career. Weber has five years left on his contract and if he can’t return, he’ll likely be heading for LTIR; if he retires, he wouldn’t collect any of his remaining salary and there would be cap recapture implications as well.
Jonathan Drouin: Bergevin and head coach Dominique Ducharme met with Drouin on Tuesday and noted that the winger feels great and will be at training camp in September. Drouin unexpectedly left the team just after the trade deadline and was placed on LTIR for a personal matter; he did not play at all in the playoffs. He was left unprotected to Seattle but wasn’t selected, again likely due to his contract which still has two years remaining.
UFAs: Bergevin stated his desire to re-sign both Corey Perry and Phillip Danault. Perry wound up being a very important role player for the Canadiens this past season despite starting on the taxi squad while Danault had a quiet year offensively but was excellent in a shutdown role in the playoffs. Contract talks don’t appear to have gone anywhere in several months but Bergevin said the door isn’t entirely closed yet. He mentioned Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Jake Evans as players they believe can take on a bigger role if Danault doesn’t return.
Meanwhile, Trevor Timmins also held court with the draft set to get underway tomorrow. He had some enthusiasm at the potential for higher-quality prospects to fall due to a lack of viewings while acknowledging that there will likely be some movement made from their current 11 selections. Speculatively speaking, it wouldn’t be surprising to see some of those picks dealt for 2022 selections when Montreal will be hosting the event.