Shaping identity

Monday, 02.07.2012 / 7:50 PM / News
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Shaping identity

BROSSARD – With a handful of signings, Marc Bergevin continues to shape the identity of the 2012-13 Montreal Canadiens.

Since taking over as Habs GM, Bergevin has claimed time and again that his goal is to bring a new identity to the team. Following an active day on the free agent market and inking a six-year contract with Carey Price’s name at the top, Bergevin met with the media Monday in Brossard to discuss his latest acquisitions.

“We’re getting closer to being a much more physical team on the ice. We, of course, also have to remember that we’re here to win games. The guys that we’re bringing on board all bring something to the table and can all help us win games,” affirmed Bergevin, of the Habs’ new arrivals. “We feel like we’ve acquired players that are all character guys that will all contribute to us winning.”

Marc Bergevin speaks with the media on July 2

Not only did Bergevin add players that fit the criteria of being tough to play against on the ice, but the latest crop of Canadiens will also bring a healthy dose of experience and character with them into the Habs dressing room.

“We picked up some real character guys; guys that are going to help reshape the identity of the Montreal Canadiens,” continued Bergevin, on the subject of Brandon Prust, Francis Bouillon and Colby Armstrong. “Since I arrived here, I’ve spoken a lot about team mentality and character and these players are all great examples of that.”

When asked if he still had any big game in his sights when it came to hunting in the free agent market, the Habs GM was quick to point out that sometimes everything you need is already right in your own backyard.

“We can’t forget that we have some talented prospects in the system right now that we still have to leave the door open for. Guys like Brendan Gallagher and Louis Leblanc could have a chance at playing in Montreal,” explained Bergevin. “I’m happy with our team right now. If I can do anything else to improve us further, I definitely will, but I feel good about what we’re working with at the moment.”

So, does that mean no more summer signings?

“We’re always on the lookout,” promised Bergevin, in the middle of his first foray into the free agent market as general manager. “My goal is to make this team better at every level. If I come across something else that I think could accomplish that while fitting in with our salary requirements, I’m prepared to take advantage of it.”

While the opening of the free agent market is usually associated with multi-million dollar contracts and the best players going to the highest bidders, Bergevin pointed out that people should never factor out a player’s desire to win.

“You often hear people say that it’s only a question of money, but you have to remember that guys want to win first and foremost. Some players might not want to come here because they believe we’re a long way off. But we’re headed in the right direction,” assured Bergervin.

On top of his three free agent signings, the Habs GM also inked deals with goaltender Cedrick Desjardins and forward Mike Blunden. Both are two-way contracts for one year each, meaning they could find themselves shuttling between Montreal and Hamilton, if necessary.

Vincent Cauchy is a writer for canadiens.com. Translated by Justin Fragapane.

ALSO SEE:
Canadiens sign Carey Price to a six-year contract
Canadiens sign Colby Armstrong to a one-year contract
Canadiens sign Francis Bouillon to a one-year contract
Prust packs a punch
Canadiens sign Michael Blunden to a one-year contract
Canadiens sign free agent goaltender Cédrick Desjardins
Canadiens sign Brandon Prust to a four-year contract