Former Canadiens GM Reveals the Team Nearly Drafted a Maple Leafs Star

Published September 4, 2023 at 5:59 PM

The NHL is full of what if moments, and now, after drafting Alex Galchenyuk back in the 2012 NHL Draft, the former Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin has revealed just how he wanted that draft to go.

A rival star


Back in 2012, Bergevin was newly named as the General Manager in Montreal, and as it has been revealed in a recent column, this severely effected the draft decisions made in that draft.

Yes, I liked Rielly a lot. But I had just been hired on May 2, and my new staff liked Alex Galchenyuk a lot. I was with Chicago that season, and we had a later pick. We didn't waste time with Galchenyuk, who was probably going to be chosen among the first; besides, he had hardly played that winter. I looked at our center situation, we had David Desharnais, Tomas Plekanec, and Chucky was considered a center. You step into the job, you haven't seen Galchenyuk play, and you're going to force them to take another player? That's not a good way to start a relationship. I let them choose. Plus, I agreed, I knew we needed centers. But I really liked Morgan Rielly.

Galchenyuk ended up being a solid player for Montreal, but it must be hard for the Canadiens to see Rielly continuing to thrive in Toronto, as he could have been a key piece for this blue line, especially during their Stanley Cup Finals runs in recent years.

Another misstep

The Canadiens have made some fantastic moves since the 2012 season, but beyond a few seasons of success, they've been unable to build consistency like the rival Maple Leafs and other teams in the Eastern Conference.

While drafting Rielly would have significantly improved their leadership and play on the blue line, their struggles to continue drafting may have held them back, but it's safe to say this move could have significantly changed the fortunes for multiple franchises.

As Read on Habs Fanatics - We have just learned that Alex Galchenyuk is not the player Marc Bergevin was going to draft in 2012
September 4   |   42 answers
Former Canadiens GM Reveals the Team Nearly Drafted a Maple Leafs Star

Would the Canadiens have won a Cup with the addition of Rielly?

Yes716.7 %
No3583.3 %
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