What the Puck: What if Habs had saved Pacioretty, Subban and Markov?

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What if Canadiens administration had continued to construct on the core of that high-quality staff that got here inside two victories of the Stanley Cup ultimate in 2014, shedding in six video games to the New York Rangers within the Japanese Convention ultimate?

Within the years since then, common supervisor Marc Bergevin shipped out two of the leaders from that group, Max Pacioretty and P.Ok. Subban, and let a 3rd, Andrei Markov, stroll away in a huff.

Then the Canadiens moved into their notorious “reset” — a time period coined in the summertime of 2018 after a disastrous season during which they completed 28th general in a 31-team league. Many figured the time was ripe for a full-on rebuild, however as an alternative Bergevin got here up with a plan that primarily entails stocking up on younger gamers and draft picks whereas holding on to a core group of veteran gamers, together with Carey Value, Shea Weber and Brendan Gallagher.

Two years later, the jury remains to be out on the experiment. The staff did higher than anybody anticipated in 2018-19, coming inside two factors of the ultimate wild-card playoff spot within the Japanese Convention. However this season issues went south and when the NHL shut down on March 12 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canadiens had a mediocre 31-31-9 document and had been sitting not-so-pretty in 12th place within the Japanese Convention with no hope of creating the playoffs.