Wanna blog? Start your own hockey blog with My HockeyBuzz. Register for free today!

Translated 919 Interview w/Bergevin + Huge News From Molson On Subban!

April 13, 2018, 9:57 PM ET [584 Comments]
Brandon Smillie
Montreal Canadiens Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Today I’m sharing with you some incredible work by a person named John who I have chatted with all season via Twitter. John, @TheEagleDares on Twitter, translated an interview that occurred on 919 radio the other day between M Langevin and Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin. ***I mistakenly said this was a TSN/Melnyk interview earlier. My bad***

John was translating some of the French interview via twitter in tidbits to engage with the community when I asked if he would translate the entire interview for me to place on HockeyBuzz. He couldn’t have been more gracious and helpful as to do all of this for me, for us all here who follow the Canadiens on HockeyBuzz.

So please, if you’re a Twitter user give @TheEagleDares a follow. I assure you his love of the Canadiens runs so deep that inside his bones must be Bleu, Blanc, et Rouge.

For now, enjoy the fruits of his labor…

ML: “Marc, it’s a big day for you guys. A big day for communicating. You are the face of the organization. I think it’s obvious you’re a proud man; did this year hurt you?”

MB: “Enormously; it really affected me. In this moment, I am talking to our fans who I know are passionate; I know we had a bad year. I did not enjoy this season and the tough times started from the beginning of the season until the end. The year Carey was injured, we had a good start to the year and we fought despite his injury. This year we never fought and for me, that is unacceptable. That is what really hurt me”.

ML: “What hurt you the most? The criticism? The lack of response from the players?”

MB: “Criticism does not bother me. I am the head of the organization hockey-wise; everything falls on my shoulders. I warrant criticism. If I cannot take criticism, then I am not the right man for the job. What hurt me the most was the lack of fight from my players. They did not fight like a team. The best example I can give is of a symphony. If one or two people do not play the right notes, it will be apparent immediately and the same can be said of a hockey team. There is so much parity in the NHL today (look at Florida who missed the playoffs by 1-2 points), that a detail here or a detail there can make all the difference but we were not even close to doing that and that is what hurt me the most and I am convinced that it hurt our fans too”.

ML: “At what moment did it become clear to you (after your “the answer is in the room” comment, I appreciate why you said that by the way), that, yeah, we will not be going anywhere this year?”

MB: “When I made that statement (“answer is in the room”), I believed it but then we went on the road and we struggled and there was no fight back; that’s when I knew we were in trouble”

ML: “Fans have an expectation that the team will put in the effort and I imagine even you expected that at a minimum…”

MB: “Obviously we play hockey to eventually win the Stanley Cup. We have a responsibility to perform and to give our all; we did not do that. This is very difficult to digest”

ML: “It’s a privilege to talk hockey with you today by the way. When you and Geoff Molson discuss hockey, I know that there was really no way of knowing that this would happen but when I look at the lineup from when you played the Rangers last year in the playoffs and the team that started training camp, it was a completely different team…”

MB: “You are absolutely right; I am going to try to be as transparent as possible with you and our fans here. Therefore, you look at the players that did not return; let’s start with the defense; Andrei Markov, Alexei Emelin and Nathan Beaulieu. First of all, there was an expansion draft last year and every team lost a player and we lost Emelin, who was a good defenceman but he had some difficulties too; let’s not kid ourselves. In an ideal world, he was a fifth defenseman.

Markov, a very intelligent player who has a great first pass and was instrumental for us on the PP, well we finished 12th in the PP last year, this year we finished 13th; so from that perspective we did not miss him. In addition, he is going to be 40 soon. So I’m not sure if we had had these players this year but with the same lack of attitude that we would have made the playoffs.

We brought in Alzner who had a tough year, no question about it. We brought in Schlemko who had injury problems all year and so I do not think we saw the real Schlemko at all. My point is that we did not lose big pieces but there is no question that I expected more from the players I brought in.

I’m a positive guy by design and I thought that these guys were capable of playing in the NHL and I figured they would do alright. The big piece we lost was in attack; Radulov. At the end of the day, did I want Radulov back in MTL? 100%. Let me explain that situation because before I could not really get into it but now I can. The contract he signed in Dallas, we offered him the exact same contract, dollar for dollar.

ML: “But what if you had offered it to him two months before?”

MB: “OK, let’s talk the truth. I met with Radulov’s agent in New York in January. At the time, he demanded 8 years and did not move from that until June; I’m not lying about this. We worked with the term and eventually we offered the same as Dallas. Am I supposed to offer him $1 million just because it’s Montreal? I can’t do that. That’s what his agent asked for, $1 million more per year”.

ML: “Let’s assume you had offered him $1 million more per year, do you think it would have helped you this year?”

MB: “Look; yes, his departure created a hole. It’s certain that his departure caused a lack of production offensively. But the lack of attitude was a broader problem and I don’t think him staying would have changed that. Radulov is an amazing hockey player but he’s not an out and out leader, he’s not captain material. It’s not true that I don’t like superstars but there are talents that exist that you have to let go of in certain situations”

ML: “For the guys that you and Geoff thought were not demonstrating the right attitude, did you try to fix this midseason? Did you try to trade them?”

MB: “Trading midseason is as you know, very difficult. There are fewer and fewer trades every year. I get that this is Montreal and expectations are high but the league is the same for everyone and I cannot do things differently just because it is Montreal. The restrictions are the same for everyone. Claude and I talk all the time, we all work as a team.

ML: “The system of play was called into question by a lot of people including your own Captain; what do you make of that? Why did the players not buy into it?”

MB: “I’m not prepared to abandon the system. The parity in this league is massive and teams that make the playoffs one year do not the next. Regarding why the players didn’t buy into it; it’s a conversation we’ve had internally for a long time now”.

ML: “Did you expect Carey Price to have the year he did? Is this a lost season?”

MB: “Absolutely not; over the last five years he’s been one of the best if not the best in the world. This is not a lost season if you learn something. What have I learned? I did not see this coming; I had my doubts but I honestly did not see this coming. I learned that I probably should have addressed issues earlier. My own red flag was the training camp. I knew things were shaky even then. For fans, it’s not as obvious to understand what is really going on”.

ML: “Carey Price is starting a mammoth contract; have you spoken to him about this season and what is to come? Was there too much pressure on him? Did you know about the chronic fatigue diagnosis?”

MB: “Well, I came to know about it. We knew he was having some trouble but it was not until after that we realized he was suffering from something. We tried to help him in the beginning by changing his pads and his skates, etc. He told us he was having a rough start and would bounce back but then everything snowballed and we were really behind the eight ball. He admitted that he lost some confidence. He made strides forward with the help of Stephane Waite but things just spiraled out of control quickly for the entire team”

ML: “Can this team rebound in a big way next season? What is your plan exactly?”

MB: “First of all, we need to score but I have to ask myself, did we pay the price on the ice to try to get goals? Gallagher and Byron definitely did but I am not sure others did. I have good hockey people and this notion that I have a bunch of “Yes” men is absurd. No GM can succeed with that type of person. I might as well work alone if that were true. Ask anyone about my hockey people and they will tell you that they are very opinionated and they share those opinions with me”.

ML: “Do you believe the leadership in the team is solid?”

MB: “I believe in the importance of leadership but clearly something did not work this year. I am not willing to say that the captaincy needs to change and clearly losing Weber hurt us but others have to step up and help the captain. This is my responsibility to fix”.

ML: “So, more goals? What else?”

MB: “More goals, better defensively; especially the penalty kill on the road which was unacceptable”

ML: “Pacioretty said he does not feel the heat and that he loves playing here. Do you ever get the sense that some players enjoy playing here because they know the love they will get from the fans but sometimes they players simply are not that good?”

MB: “No, look; there is a saying ‘you are never as good as you think and you are never as bad as you think you are’. Players need to be their harshest critic, no doubt about that”

ML: “Is there a positive spin to all of this cap space?”

MB: “It is definitely an asset and we will do our best to make use of it this summer. “Money talks”. In some cases, I am definitely asked to pay more because it is Montreal. If a player becomes available, it is my job to do everything possible to convince them to come here but at the end of the day it is their decision; they have all the leverage. Honestly, there is no better place to play and succeed than Montreal. Obviously, it is difficult to play here when things are going tough but if a player goes through that and does not find it tough, then I do not want them the following year”

ML: “Drouin did not have a great year but he definitely gives us hope; what is your analysis of his season?”

MB: “He had a tough year but he showed us what he is capable of. The potential is definitely there. I do not think anyone would not have made that trade. I can tell you he that he always wanted to play in Montreal and he has a lot of pride. My meeting with him at the end of the season went well”

ML: “I know you are a very loyal guy but do you feel changes are needed for those around you? Do you see guys in this market maybe who are capable of helping you out?”

MB: “The structure will remain the same but certainly if I feel someone can help the organization, I will strongly consider it. But I cannot make changes in only one department; I cannot make only staff changes and not player changes or vice versa”.

ML: “Did you ever worry about your job?”

MB: “Geoff was clear today; I am transparent with him and have been since Day 1. Honestly, I do not think about my job security and I will never do something hasty to save my job. I love my job and I have too much pride for the CH to do something for me and to save my job. If that ends up costing me my job, so be it”

End of translation.

Thanks again to John (@TheEagleDares on Twitter) for his effort to bring this not only to me, but to the fans of HockeyBuzz.com.

Clearly, Bergevin talks about some of the things I touched on during the year that in Montreal, they will likely have to overpay and that was the scenario with Radulov. He mentioned also that leadership this season was weak and without saying Pacioretty didn’t fulfill his role, I feel like that was a between the lines thing being said here by avoiding singling out the Captain. Trade values are on the line, and I get that.

All in all, a nice piece of info for us English only Habs fans out there.

John proceeded to talk about a recent interview with team own Geoff Molson in which Molson appears to admit that he had decided that Subban should be moved months before the transaction with Nashville occurred.

I’m going to presume the arbitration meetings didn’t go very well, well everyone kind of assumed that but this appears to confirm that those meetings went horribly and perhaps Molson wanted PK moved before that NMC was active in his contract.

This could take the heat off of then coach M Therrien and current GM M Bergevin. Molson stated that once S Weber became available the trade was easy to complete.

Just incredible information that NO ONE is talking about. Many have placed blame on Therrien and/or Bergevin this entire time and we have pretty much confirmed info from the horses mouth that the owner of the team felt a change was necessary and Subban had to go.

This has so many different questions to ask, so many levels to dissect, so much discussion left to have….

Hopefully we can get into that all in the near future if some of the local media can get over their possibly now false narratives about the Canadiens management wanting Subban gone. The fact that Molson volunteered this information in a interview is astounding. The fact there has been no media attention to it is disappointing, especially for a media group that has been hounding and slandering the Canadiens organization in attempts to gain more transparency and information! Just wild ….

This was my reaction to John’s info about Molson…

Go Habs Go!
Join the Discussion: » 584 Comments » Post New Comment
More from Brandon Smillie
» Canadiens Sign Phillip Danault To Fantastic 3 Year Deal
» Canadiens Complete Julien's Coaching Staff Overhaul
» Burrows Joins Laval as a Coach, Weber Surgery Info, DLR Signs for 2 Years
» **Weber out, Knee Surgery** Canadiens Quiet Canada Day Signals Change
» The Definitive List of Canadiens UFA Targets 2018