The 2015-2016 Montreal Canadiens is one for the history books. They began the season by springing forth to a franchise best 9-0-0 start only to come crashing down in dramatic fashion. During one particularly agonizing stretch of hockey, the Habs would go on to lose 16 out of 20 games for the first time since 1940. As aforementioned, it’s been a season for the history books.
Despite their current dire situation, Montreal Canadiens General Manager Marc Bergevin still holds many defenders. In fact, any one of his supporters can more or less defend his actions, or lack thereof, this season. They can do so by citing key injuries, the lack of available experienced French Canadian head coaches, and the high prices on the trade market.
However, how can anyone, including Bergevin supporters (especially his supporters) defend his involvement in the John Scott debacle?
In an article published on The Players’ Tribune, John Scott details how ”a good story’ – being voted into the upcoming NHL All-Star Game by fans as a 33 year-old journeyman enforcer – can quickly turn into a professional nightmare. According to Scott, over the past few months, the league has repeatedly discouraged him from playing in this year’s All-Star Game, despite the fact that fan voting for the All-Star Game is a system implemented and encouraged by the NHL.
In his article, ”A Guy Like Me”, Scott recalls the frustrating news of his trade to the Montreal Canadiens, who would immediately send him down to their AHL affiliate, the St. John’s IceCaps. At the time, it came as no surprise to Scott. After all, even his own teammate in Arizona would tell him:
They’ll never let you play, John. They’re never going to let you be there. Not a guy like you.
All of which which brings us back to the central question: how can anyone defend Marc Bergevin’s involvement in the John Scott debacle? A debacle which has reminded everyone in the hockey world that the biggest enforcer in the league isn’t John Scott, but it is in fact the NHL itself. A league which seemingly recruited Marc Bergevin in order to help them attempt to settle the ”John Scott problem.”
Was Bergevin so desperate to trade away a young player in Jarred Tinordi, who his coach couldn’t even bother putting in the lineup, that he would allow the Montreal Canadiens organization to be willing participants in an ugly mess created by the NHL?