Free washer | Will Marc Bergevin inherit the position in Columbus?

Marc Bergevin is reportedly a candidate for the position of general manager of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Calling him a favorite to get the job remains premature for the moment, but he would have had discussions with the organization, say some well-connected insiders in the industry.


Posted at 12:17 p.m.

Since leaving Montreal, Bergevin has served as assistant general manager of the Los Angeles Kings. In Columbus is already his former accomplice Trevor Timmins, now assistant to chief recruiter Ville Siren.

Bergevin, or whoever gets the job, would inherit a team well equipped for a promising future. The Blue Jackets are straddling the line between rebuilding and rapid success.

They have some highly paid long-term veterans, among others Johnny Gaudreau, Damon Severson and Patrik Laine, absent in the second half of the season to heal his soul, but they already have several pieces to build a promising future.

The Blue Jackets will draft for the fourth straight time in the top 6 end of June, a seventh time in the first round in four vintages. The third overall pick in 2023 behind Connor Bedard and Leo Carlsson, 19-year-old center Adam Fantilli is coming off a promising freshman year with 27 points in 49 games, 45 points prorated for a full season.

Twelfth choice overall in 2021, Cole Sillinger, also a center, has already completed a third season. His progress remains interesting despite a season of only 32 points. He finished the season strong with seven points in ten games, in which he played 19 minutes or more six times.

The same can’t be said for 2021 fourth overall pick Kent Johnson, disappointing after a promising 40-point season at age 20 a year ago. Otherwise, Russia’s trio of 23-and-under forwards Yegor Chinakhov, a first-round pick, Kirill Marchenko, drafted in the second round, and Dmitry Voronkov were the focal points of the attack.

There’s always good old captain Boone Jenner, 30, to set an example and ensure harmony in this locker room and on the ice. Let’s see if the late-season success of 26-year-old Alex Nylander, the eighth overall pick in 2016, 15 points, including 11 goals, in 23 games, after being jettisoned by a third organization, will be sustainable.

On defense, the Blue Jackets have one of the best left-handed defenders of his generation, Zach Werenski, 26, 57 points in 70 games last year, the most productive season of his career. The sixth overall pick in 2022, right-handed defenseman David Jiricek, 20, is expected to establish himself in the NHL for good next season. He’s too strong for the American League. Ivan Provorov is under contract for another season.

We haven’t yet named this whole group of prospects in the anteroom, 5-foot-9 center Gavin Brindley, second-round pick in 2023, 53 points in 40 games at the University of Michigan, and one game in Columbus at the end of the season, or left-handed defender Denton Mateychuk, 19 years old, twelfth overall pick in 2022, member of the Canadian team at the World Championship, 75 points in 52 games in the Western Junior League. There is also center Luca Del Bel Belluz, 31-point season in 59 games in the American League, a goal in his only game with the Blue Jackets, or Quebec forward Jordan Dumais, too strong for the QMJHL, and a another center, Luca Pinelli, 48 goals this winter at 18 years old in Ottawa in the Ontario Junior League.

To this talent will be added the fourth overall pick in a few weeks. It is not known who among Ivan Demidov, Cayden Lindstrom and defenders Artyom Levshunov, Anton Silayev or Sam Dickinson will still be available.

In short, despite his often confusing changes of direction, former CEO Jarmo Kekalainen left a great succession to his successor. For Marc Bergevin, a fan of the reset, or reset on the flyas he liked to say in Montreal, the situation could be ideal for him.

Tocchet vilifies some of his players

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PHOTO DARRYL DYCK, CANADIAN PRESS ARCHIVES

Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet

Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet wasn’t kind to some of his players Tuesday night after his club’s 3-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers and a new goalie, Calvin Pickard.

” I’m disappointed. We were too soft on the third goal, four or five times, he told journalists. You have to draw. Five or six of our guys need to get going. We are in the Stanley Cup playoffs. For some, I don’t know if they know that we are in the playoffs, but we can’t play with twelve…”

On the Oilers’ winning goal, scored with 39 seconds left in the third period, JT Miller, Elias Lindholm, Brock Boeser, Filip Hronek and Nikita Zadorov, five key players, were on the ice. Tocchet is not exaggerating anything when he speaks of weakness.

The team’s offensive star, Elias Pettersson, has just four points, including one goal, in ten games. Three attackers play more than him, including Miller and Boeser, almost two minutes more. Defender Hronek, 48 points in the regular season, was shut out in the playoffs.

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