Marc Bergevin missed out on what could have been the trade of the century for the Canadiens

Published August 28, 2023 at 12:54

A piece of information has resurfaced in the last few hours about a significant trade that ultimately never came to fruition between the Montreal Canadiens and the Edmonton Oilers.

Looking back now, it's quickly evident that this transaction could have been a turning point for the Montreal franchise. It would have undoubtedly been the trade of the century for the organization, and it came very close to happening.

Go back to the summer of 2016 when the Habs, under Marc Bergevin, were actively trying to trade defenseman P.K. Subban, who had just finished a season with 51 points in 68 games.

As reported by the popular account Big Head Hockey on X, there were strong rumors that an absolutely massive offer was on the table between the Canadiens and the Oilers, which included five highly valuable pieces.

Without further ado, here is the trade in question that would have been a home run for the Canadiens:

To Edmonton:
- PK Subban
- 9th overall pick (which became Mikhail Sergachev)

To Montreal:
- Leon Draisaitl
- Darnell Nurse
- 4th overall pick (which became Jesse Puljujarvi)

In essence, Bergevin would have finally secured one of the NHL's superstars in Draisaitl, who would have become the centerpiece of the team. Additionally, he would have acquired a solid replacement for Subban in this trade with the arrival of the young Nurse, who was the seventh overall pick in 2013 and was 21 years old at the time.

Add to this the fact that the Habs could have selected in the top-4 of the draft. Rumors at that time indicated that Bergevin aimed to move up to select Pierre-Luc Dubois.

Sadly, the Columbus Blue Jackets surprised everyone by picking the Quebecer, instead of the expected choice of Jesse Puljujarvi. It's unclear if the deal between the two teams fell through because Dubois was no longer available at the 4th spot.

One thing's for sure: looking back, the Habs should have done everything possible to make this trade. Considering that Matthew Tkachuk and Clayton Keller were drafted 6th and 7th respectively, imagine if the foresight of management could have landed Draisaitl, Nurse, and Tkachuk for Subban and the 9th overall pick.

That would have been insane!

With a team that had intriguing pieces the following season, including Carey Price, Max Pacioretty, Phillip Danault, Brendan Gallagher, Alex Galchenyuk, Alex Radulov, and Artturi Lekhonen, to name a few, the franchise's future would have certainly looked brighter.

Credit: Hockey OTB
August 28   |   116 answers
Marc Bergevin missed out on what could have been the trade of the century for the Canadiens

Do you believe that the Canadiens would have already won a Stanley Cup with the trade of Draisaitl, Nurse, and the 4th overall pick of 2016?

Yes5749.1 %
No5950.9 %
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