Cana­di­ens look to build through draft, add picks at trade dead­line

Sherbrooke Record - - LOCAL SPORTS - By Bill Bea­con THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

Marc Bergevin hopes to build the Mon­treal Cana­di­ens through the draft and spent the NHL trade dead­line col­lect­ing picks.

Bergevin made two deals on Mon­day, send­ing de­fence­man Joe Mor­row to Win­nipeg for a 2018 fourth round pick, while giv­ing up a 2019 fifth rounder to Min­nesota for 24-year-old rear­guard Mike Reilly.

But the big move came Sun­day when he shipped vet­eran cen­tre To­mas Plekanec and prospect Kyle Baun to the Toronto Maple Leafs for for­ward Kerby Ry­chel, de­fence­man Ri­nat Valiev and a sec­ond round pick.

That gave Mon­treal 10 selections _ in­clud­ing four in sec­ond round _ for the draft in Dal­las in June.

“We're go­ing to do some things and the goal is to get younger, faster, with char­ac­ter, and that's what we're go­ing to do,” said Bergevin.

The Cana­di­ens can also count on a high first-round pick af­ter a mis­er­able sea­son in which they are all-but cer­tain to miss the play­offs for a sec­ond time in three years.

Ev­ery­one in the Cana­di­ens man­age­ment has taken heat for the team's weak per­for­mance, with calls for the heads of Bergevin, scout­ing di­rec­tor Trevor Tim­mins and oth­ers.

But Bergevin gave a vote of con­fi­dence to Tim­mins and said that, af­ter talk­ing to team pres­i­dent and owner Ge­off Mol­son, he is con­fi­dent he will still be in his job in June.

What he didn't do on dead­line day was trade cap­tain Max Pa­cioretty, the five-time 30-goal scorer who was widely re­ported to be avail­able. The strug­gling Pa­cioretty, who has one year left on a con­tract pay­ing a rel­a­tively mod­est US$4.5 mil­lion per sea­son, has 17 goals this year.

Bergevin said neg­a­tiv­ity around the team has worn on Pa­cioretty, but now that the trade dead­line has passed, he ex­pects him to pick up his game.

“I think he's frus­trated,” said Bergevin. “It's hard to hear your name ev­ery day.

“He cares. It af­fected his game. But I'm con­fi­dent that in th­ese last 21 games we'll see the real Max.”

If Pa­cioretty moves on, it will likely hap­pen at the draft. Dead­line day is mainly for trad­ing po­ten­tial un­re­stricted free agents and depth play­ers, Bergevin said.

Mor­row had five goals and 11 points in 38 games for the Cana­di­ens.

The Cana­di­ens see NHL po­ten­tial in Reilly, a puck-mov­ing de­fence­man and strong skater. Bergevin said he may have be­come avail­able be­cause he was stuck be­hind Jonas Brodin and Ryan Suter on the Min­nesota depth chart. He has played 84 NHL games since join­ing the Wild in 2015-16.

“He's not a slam dunk, but he has po­ten­tial,” said Bergevin.

His fa­ther, Michael J. Reilly, was drafted in the eighth round by the Cana­di­ens in 1977 but he never played an NHL game.

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