For Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin, the high expectations he had going into the 2020-21 season have not changed.
#Habs Bergevin says he has to have more cap space in order to make a move prior to the deadline. He would have to move a roster player he likes in order to create that space, which he is loathe to do. @TSN_Edge— John Lu (@JohnLuTSNMtl) March 16, 2021
"We have to make the playoffs,” Bergevin in a Zoom media conference call. “I feel we have a team to make the playoffs and once we get in, I feel that anything is possible."
After a busy off-season that included acquiring Josh Anderson, Tyler Toffoli, Joel Edmundson and Jake Allen, as well as the in-season firing of coaches Claude Julien, Kirk Muller and Stephane Waite and replacing them with Dominique Ducharme, Alexandre Burrows and Sean Burke, the Habs currently sit fourth in the North Division with 33 points and a 13-8-7 record.
With the April 12 trade deadline fast approaching and the Habs up against the salary cap ceiling, Bergevin says he is happy with the players he has and isn’t eager to use any of his 14 draft selections in 2021 to incentivize another team to take on one of their contracts.
“I like the players we have,” said Bergevin. “They’re all useful players. For me to give up a pick, [for someone else to] take on a player we do like and get another asset, you’re going sideways. We don’t have any dead money on our roster that we’d like to move.”
As for the health of defenceman Ben Chiarot, who had surgery for his fractured hand on Monday and was projected to miss six to eight weeks, Bergevin predicts Chiarot will be back closer to the six week mark and before the regular season ends.