Highlights from Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin’s end-of-season press conference, thousands rally to help ailing Senators owner Eugene Melnyk, plus the latest on Jonathan Bernier, Ondrej Pavelec and Matt Hendricks.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin conducted his end-of-season press conference yesterday. He said he’s not reconsidering the club’s “defense-first” philosophy, took issue with critics of head coach Michel Therrien while stating he has no intention of replacing him, pointed out the difficulty of acquiring a top-line center via trade, isn’t convinced Alex Galchenyuk is ready yet to become a full-time center, hopes to re-sign defenseman Jeff Petry and declined to give any hints as to the club’s captain next season.
ESPN.COM: The Canadiens won’t be re-signing unrestricted free agents Sergei Gonchar, Mike Weaver and Manny Malhotra.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: No one should be surprised Bergevin isn’t replacing Therrien, who signed a four-year contract extension last summer. I certainly understand the criticism of Therrien’s system, especially since the “defense-first” attitude largely consists of goalie Carey Price bailing out his teammates. It was obvious to me that Therrien is his guy and I wasn’t surprised when he got testy with a reporter who kept pushing the issue. Regarding Petry, it’ll likely cost far more to re-sign him ($5.5 to $6 million per season) than Bergevin is willing to pay. I’ll have more about the Habs in the “Rumors” section.
OTTAWA SUN: Over 2000 people have contacted the Senators volunteering to help find owner Eugene Melnyk find a liver donor. Melnyk is currently hospitalized with a liver disease and requires an emergency transplant. It’s possible he could undergo the procedure this weekend.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s hoping Melnyk gets his transplant soon.
SPORTNET: Jeff Simmons reports colleague Elliotte Friedman believes Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Jonathan Bernier (a restricted free agent) should aim for a short-term contract in order to rebuild his value.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given his performance this season, I doubt the Leafs intend to offer up a long-term deal. Sure, they could get him locked up for a bargain price, but if he fails to pan out as a starter, why have him eating up valuable cap space?
WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec and prospect Connor Hellebuyck are playing well for their countries (Czech Republic and USA) in the IIHF World Championships.
EDMONTON SUN: Oilers forward Matt Hendricks is thrilled to represent Team USA in the IIHF World Championships.