Bergevin a finalist for NHL’s GM award
Marc Bergevin has once again been rewarded for his efforts in rebuilding the Canadiens. The National Hockey League announced Friday that Bergevin is one of three finalists for the General Manager of the Year award. The other finalists are Dean Lombardi of the Los Angeles Kings and Bob Murray of the Anaheim Ducks. Bergevin and Murray are finalists for the second straight season, while Lombardi is a finalist for the first time. Voting for the award was conducted among the league’s 30 general managers and a panel of NHL executives, print and broadcast media. Unlike most of the season-ending awards, the voting is conducted after the second round of the playoffs and it’s a good bet the Canadiens’ win over Boston in the second round boosted Bergevin’s stock. While Bergevin is a relative novice at the GM game, he has earned a measure of success in a short time. When the Pittsburgh Penguins dismissed GM Ray Shero, owner Mario Lemieux paid tribute to his longtime friend by saying that he wanted to find a GM like Bergevin.
Tokarski has future with Habs
When he was a player, Bergevin had a reputation for being a prankster and he’ll be happy that the tradition of playing practical jokes is alive in the Canadiens’ locker room. After Dustin Tokarski backstopped the Canadiens to a 3-2 overtime win over the Rangers in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference final Thursday night, the goaltender was cheered by his teammates as he entered the locker room after doing a round of TV interviews. But the respect only went so far. As Tokarski turned to his stall, Brendan Gallagher ran up from behind the goalie and “pied” him with a towel filled with shaving cream. Tokarski signed a two-year contract this year and the details show the Canadiens believe he has a future with the organization. He has a two-way deal next season when he will make $135,000 in the American Hockey League and $550,000 if he plays in the NHL. The second season is a one-way deal worth $575,000. Peter Budaj has one year remaining on a deal that pays him $1.4 million a season
Bell Centre will be busy Sunday
The Canadiens are on the road, but the Bell Centre will be busy Sunday. The team is having another viewing party with fans getting an opportunity to watch Game 4 of the Canadiens-Rangers series on the giant screens at the arena. There was a sellout crowd at the Bell Centre for Game 7 of the Canadiens-Bruins series, which was played in Boston. Tickets for Sunday night are $10 and the proceeds will go to the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation. The foundation is also partnering with the YM-YWHA to present Together for the Kids, a street-hockey fundraiser. The adult and youth tournaments will be played in Côte-des-Neiges on five rinks on Westbury Ave. in front of the YM-YWHA. Patrice Brisebois and Youppi! will be front and centre for a legends game at 2 p.m. along with Canadiens’ alumni Chris Nilan, Mathieu Dandeneault and Gilbert Delorme. For more information, visit the website at hockeyderue.com.
Halak signs four-year deal with Islanders
Speaking of former Canadiens, goaltender Jaroslav Halak has signed a four-year contract with the New York Islanders. The deal is worth $18 million. Halak, who was traded from St. Louis to Buffalo and then flipped to the Islanders, found himself in an ideal situation because the Islanders are starved for good goaltending. Halak gets a bump from the four-year, $15-million deal he signed after the Canadiens traded him to St. Louis for Lars Eller. In other news involving the Islanders, they have elected to keep the 2014 first-round draft pick they traded to Buffalo in the Thomas Vanek deal and will instead give the Sabres a first-round pick in 2015. The Sabres had hoped to own three first-round picks this year, but the Islanders opted to keep the No. 5 overall selection. Buffalo, which will draft second overall on June 27, has no reason to complain about the switch because the Sabres now have three first-round picks in 2015, which is the most highly anticipated draft in years. Franchise-changing talents Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel headline next year’s prospect list. The Sabres also have their own pick and they own St. Louis’s first-round selection as part of the Ryan Miller trade.
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