Just four games into the 2021-22 campaign, it’s already felt like a long season for the Montreal Canadiens.
After opening the season with four consecutive losses to the Maple Leafs, Sabres, Rangers, and Sharks, nothing seems to be going Montreal’s way. The club has yet to score more than a single goal in a game, and was shut out entirely against San Jose Tuesday night.
Despite obvious struggles throughout the lineup, Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin believes in this group and isn’t about to start changing his roster.
“I don’t feel the need. It has nothing to do with cap space, it has to do with the group we have,” Bergevin said Wednesday during an impromptu media availability. “I do like our team, there are some pretty good hockey players … they are not playing up to their potential. And until they do there’s nothing that I’m gonna do to make a change just to make a change. Change a fourth-line player just to say I’m making a change? I don’t believe in that.”
Heading into this season, it’s been clear that this Montreal club is not the one that ran all the way to the Stanley Cup Final just a few months ago. Among a long list of roster changes, they’re missing the leadership of captain Shea Weber, who’s expected to miss the entire season due to injuries and may never play again. Franchise netminder Carey Price is currently on a personal leave after voluntarily entering the NHL’s player assistance program, and Bergevin announced Wednesday that veteran defenceman Joel Edmundson will also be away from the team for an indeterminate amount of time due to family reasons.
Bergevin dedicated to Canadiens, wants to sign extension
Of all the questions looming over the Canadiens, the status of Bergevin himself might be the biggest. The longtime GM, who’s been at the helm of the club since 2012, is due a new deal but has previously stated that he doesn’t want to negotiate an extension during the season.
He reiterated that on Wednesday, telling reporters he doesn’t want his contract status to be an ongoing topic this year. He did state, additionally, that he “absolutely” wants a new deal with the Canadiens.