Montreal, QC, Canada (4E Sports) – The Montreal Canadiens are well-represented in the 2014 Sochi Olympics, with eight of their players seeing action for their respective countries in the event.
The number is the most for any team in the Eastern Conference and tied the fourth-most of any NHL team.
While he takes pride with that achievement, Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin said the team’s director of amateur scouting Trevor Timmins should be given credit for that.
Timmins and his staff were responsible for drafting four of the eight players picked — forward Max Pacioretty (United States); defensemen Alexei Emelin (Russia) and P.K. Subban (Canada).
Goaltender Carey Price (Canada). Forward Tomas Plekanec (Czech Republic) and defenseman Andrei Markov (Russia) were picked by the Canadiens prior to Timmins joining the team in 2002.
The only players not drafted by the Canadiens to make an Olympic team were backup goalie Peter Budaj (Slovakia), signed as a free agent in 2011, and defenseman Raphael Diaz (Switzerland), who never was drafted and made his NHL debut with the Canadiens in the 2011-12 season.
“Six of those guys were Montreal draft picks and most of them were drafted by Trevor’s staff,” Bergevin said. “Our drafting, from Day 1 when I got here, was the way to build a team. This shows we are on the right track.”
Bergevin especially was happy for Subban to make the Canadian team. The 2013 Norris Trophy winner enters the Canadiens’ game Tuesday against the Philadelphia Flyers tied for the lead among NHL defenders with 10 goals and fourth with 34 points.
“I came here two years ago, he was a healthy scratch,” Bergevin said. “The coaching staff did a great job with him; he won the Norris [Trophy]. Now he’s part of Team Canada for the Olympics. We’ve done the right things with P.K. and I’m proud that he’ll be able to represent his country at the next Olympics.”
Bergevin also was happy for Price, one of three goalies picked for the team. Bergevin said Price has been indispensable for his team this season.