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MONTREAL GM MARC BERGEVIN NAMES HIS UNTOUCHABLE PLAYERS; TALKS NEGOTIATIONS WITH MAX DOMI

Since May of 2012, Marc Bergevin has been the general manager of the Montreal Canadiens. Over the course of that time, for better or worse, he hasn't been afraid to make some big moves. His biggest to date is arguably the Max Pacioretty trade with Vegas that saw the team's leading scorer and captain shipped out of town for Tomas Tatar, Nick Suzuki and a 2nd round pick. After that trade, many felt no one on the team was untouchable, but Bergevin has stated that is not the case.

Appearing on TVA Sports, Bergevin was asked if he had any players he felt he would never trade right now. Bergevin named his men and added "you can put it in print." Here's a look at the list:

1. Carey Price

Now 33-years-old, Price is a former fifth overall draft pick of the Habs in 2005. He is a seven-time All-Star, a William M. Jennings and Vezina Trophy winner, as well as the winner of the Ted Lindsay Award as the league's most valuable player as voted by players (2015) and the Hart Trophy as the MVP as chosen by the Professional Hockey Writers' Association (2015). His other accolades include Olympic gold with Team Canada and the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. While he may be considered untouchable by Bergevin, others might consider him unmovable. Price has six seasons left on his contract that pays him $10.5 million per season (AAV).

2. Nick Suzuki

As it stands right now, Suzuki is on a trajectory to become one of the Canadiens' top offensive threats and possibly their number one centre, as well as having a solid defensive game in his arsenal. The former 14th overall pick of the Vegas Golden Knights was the team's leading points man in this year's playoffs and was promoted to the team's top-line. This was his first full season in the NHL. In 71 games this season, the 20-year-old netted 13 goals and 41 points in 71 games, and another four goals and seven points in 10 games in the playoffs.

3. Jesperi Kotkaniemi

The third overall pick of the Candiens in 2018 sputtered a bit in his second season in the NHL, eventually ending up in the minors before an injury ended his season. He returned for the team in the playoffs and saw his role greatly increased. In 10 games, he scored four goals and looked like an entirely different player defensively, taking on opponent's top guys while winning battles and dishing out hits. While he started in the NHL earlier than Suzuki, Kotkaniemi is actually younger by a year. There's still quite a bit of development that needs to take place, but progress certainly appears to be getting made.

4. Alexander Romanov

It must be nice for a player that has never played an NHL game to hear his coach say he is untouchable. Drafted by the Canadiens in the second round (38th overall) in 2018, Romanov has all the makings of a defensive powerhouse on the blueline. The 20-year-old has spent the last two seasons in the KHL playing with men and making a big impact while doing it. He won the Gagarin Cup, the KHL's top prize, with CSKA Moscow in 2019 and the team reportedly tried very hard to keep him from signing his entry-level contract with Montreal and coming to North America. However, Romanov has made his choice and appears to be all but a lock to make the Canadiens' blueline next season.

These were the four players that Bergevin stated he has no interest in trading right now. As for where negotiations are with restricted free agent Max Domi, the team's leading scorer in 2018-19, Bergevin wouldn't say much but stressed Domi has not asked to be traded as many are speculating. Domi recently changed agents and removed mentions of Montreal from his social media bios, leading to the speculation.

"He has to get back to the player he was in his first year," said Bergevin when asked what he expects of the 25-year-old.


TIM TUCKER
SEPTEMBER 15, 2020  (19H44)
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