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February 28, 2013

Pucks On The 'Net: Bergevin Has Montreal On Return To Glory

If you are a fan of the Montreal Canadiens, you have to like what is happening in Montreal these days.

Even new general manager Marc Bergevin could not have envisioned such a successful start to this season. With only 4 regulation time losses, the Habs are first place in the east, tied or 2nd overall in the whole league. Their lofty place in the standings will likely slide some when all is said and done, but if the team can stay healthy they very much look like a playoff team. Montreal should always be a playoff team.

Bergevin's recent trade of Erik Cole for Michael Ryder was a subtle exchange of puzzle pieces that should work well in the short term, but also really well in the long term. Ryder will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, which leaves Montreal with more than $12 million in cap space to spend next season

The Cole trade also landed a third round draft pick in 2013. That gives the Canadiens 1 first round pick, 3 second round picks and 2 third round picks in a deep draft. That will allow them to either load up on prospects or make a move to land a bigger piece of the puzzle.

Throw in the Scott Gomez subtraction, the introduction of rookies Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher and the very reasonably priced signing of defenseman P.K. Subban, and the Montreal has quickly set themselves up with a returning core with plenty of roster flexibility.

Marc Bergevin is doing a great job in Montreal.The renaissance has just begun but hopefully they are on the return to elite status. Les Canadiens are like the Yankees or Lakers or Manchester United - one of those teams that always need to be relevant for the benefit of the entire sport.

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