Montreal Canadiens Spotlight: Marc Bergevin – A Busy Man
Photo by Bruce Bennett / Getty Images
By James Stephan (@J_Habs)
Saskatoon Blades blueliner Darren Dietz signs three year Entry Level Deal
On March 17, 2013 Marc Bergevin signed dynamic hard working defenseman Darren Dietz from the Saskatoon Blades to a 3 year entry level contract. Dietz was drafted in the fifth round, 138th overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, and since then has been turning heads in the WHL. Renowned for his elite work ethic and determination, Dietz posted an impressive career high 24 goals and 58 points, and lead all WHL defensemen in goals.
The Hockey Guys WHL Insider Cody Nickolet (@WHLFromAbove) gave his insight on the young Canadiens prospect.
“Dietz has major character. Never met such a hard worker. Shot and skating have really improved. Shocked if he never plays in NHL.”
“A big congrats to Darren Dietz on signing with the @CanadiensMTL! You don’t see too many players with the work ethic he has.”
Dietz is a rugged two-way defenseman that possesses a strong shot at the point, and can dish out crisp passes. Amassing over 200 penalty minutes over the span of two WHL seasons, Dietz does not hesitate to drop the gloves for his team mates, and while he prides himself on his defensive game, his offensive side has been progressively improving, and he would likely be a fixture on the powerplay at the pro level. Dietz’ work ethic and character are amongst his strongest assets, and it wouldn’t surprise anyone if he sported a letter on his jersey throughout his pro career.
Dietz’ Saskatoon Blades face 2013 Draft prospect Hunter Shinkaruk and the Medicine Hat Tigers in the first round of the WHL playoffs.
David Desharnais cashes in a four year extension
Earlier in the week the Montreal Canadiens signed David Desharnais to a four year 14 million dollar extension, which will pay the center 3.5 million per season.
Desharnais, tallying a career high 60 points last season, has been having difficulty finding the same offensive spark with his line mate Max Pacioretty. It is without question that Desharnais has forced himself into the top six, and many believe that it is a matter of time before he regains his offensive niche under the new system.
Many fans question the term of the contract, however it is worth noting that it is extremely rare to find a top six center with an AAV of 3.5 million. Paul Gaustad, Troy Brouwer, and Matt Stajan are all complimentary forwards, and carry a cap hit varying from 3.3 to 3.66 million per season; having Desharnais at price 3.5 million per season similar to Blackhawks center Dave Bolland is nothing short of a bargain for Montreal as the 26 year old center only takes up 5.44% of the Canadiens’ salary cap going forward.
The flexibility of Desharnais’ contract gives the Canadiens some cap flexibility, which in today’s NHL is just as valuable as a draft pick. Bergevin continues to impress with yet another signing that many would consider bang for your buck.
At 6’6 205lbs, Habs hulking rookie defender Jarred Tinordi did not look out of place in his debut versus the New Jersey Devils. The Millersville native was an absolute force cashing in on his first career assist, and logging 14:48 time on ice. If Tinordi was having pre-game jitters it was not apparent as Canadiens coach Michel Therrien showed confidence in the rookie by putting him in all situations, aside from the powerplay. Therrien commented on Tinordi’s first NHL game following the 2-1 win.
“We were pleased to see him land a good shot on net which was redirected by Tomas Plekanec but we look at his overall play – he looked mature for his age, stayed out of trouble. I thought he played really solid for his first game.”
Tinordi who has been a defensive juggernaut in Hamilton, made an excellent first impression and if he keeps it simple, he’ll be a permanent fixture in the NHL sooner rather than later.
Tinordi played 55 games in Hamilton, tallying two goals, 11 points, 51 penalty minutes and a plus -7.
Keep an eye on…
Two prospects to keep an eye on are Fighting Sioux star forward Danny Kristo and Färjestad’s defenseman Magnus Nygren. Nygren recently signed a 1 year extension with the Swedish club that would keep him into the 2013-2014 season; however it wouldn’t come as a surprise if Bergevin signed the Swedish prospect to give some much needed offensive relief to Hamilton.
Nygren has been an offensive force in the Elisterien league, logging 13 goals and 32 points in 51 games. Nygren was also awarded the Salming Trohpy for Defenseman of the year and for most goals by a defenseman.
Kristo has been an offensive threat for the University of North Dakota tallying 24 goals, and 49 points in 36 games. Danny Kristo has been talked about in the same breath as the candidates for the Hobey Baker award and it would be a lovely addition to his collection that he’s amassed throughout his college hockey career.
The Eden Prairie native is very likely to be next on Marc Bergevin’s list of signings; Kristo would be giving a huge boost to the offensively deprived Hamilton Bulldogs, and it is likely he’ll sign a contract as soon as the NCAA season is over.
Cody Nickolet is a Radio Color man for the WHL, a WHL Scout for FCHockey, and a WHL insider for @TheHockeyGuys, make sure to give him a follow.