If the pressure wasn't already extremely high on Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin, it certainly is now.
This week the Montreal Gazette, Montreal's largest English newspaper, published an absolutely scathing op-ed from Brendan Kelly, one in which Kelly calls into question the end of season comments from the Habs GM.
As many of you likely already know, Bergevin came under fire after he placed the blame for the Habs disappointing finish squarely on the shoulders of his players, and more specifically on his young players.
“At some point, players have to take ownership,” the GM said. “So I’m not going to start blaming our people. At some point, players have to take ownership, know where their game’s at. You tell players this is what you have to work on … and until young players realize that it is an issue, that they need to get better, they never will. So hopefully this year was a message strongly sent on their play and hopefully they can turn around.”
Kelly on the other hand believes that the onus should instead be on the general manager, a general manager that he feels has failed to build a strong enough team to compete with the National Hockey League's elite. And when you considered that Montreal still doesn't have anything remotely resembling a true #1 center, it's hard to argue.
Pathetic. People for years have wondered why Montreal has had so little success developing young players. Now we have the answer: It’s the players’ fault.
But this, of course, is vintage Bergevin. This is the same guy who has been talking for years about how hard it is to make blockbuster trades and he’s more recently moved on to whining about how hard it is to draft quality players.
I feel for him. In fact, I have a suggestion. If the job of managing an NHL team is so demanding, maybe he should find a job that’s a little less challenging. Just a thought.