Honestly, there is no poster I respect more on this site for the posts they make. I hope that is clear. I was probably too snarky with the strawman comment, and I apologize for mischaracterizing your posts like that.
That said, this whole debate, on Bergevin, on the trades, on whether the team has improved or regressed, on what the timeline should be for being a playoff club. All of this. I feel like its a discussion we've had in the last 6 months, on a number of occassions. I know we see things differently, but thats ok, lets see if I can summarize our two positions.
1) You and H29, and others: Bergevin inherited a good team that had a huge hole at Centre, he didn't fill that hole for many years. Now his team has a hole at LD and he's did nothing to fill it this past summer. Based on that, he should be fired.
You are also skeptical of the prospect depth.
2) Me, and others: I agree, Bergevin's first 4-5 years in charge, mistakes were made particularly at centre. I felt he should have been fired in 2018, but he wasn't. Since that time, I think his moves have shifted into a rebuild or retool of the club, and I actually like the moves he's made (Domi, Kulak, Suzuki/Tatar/Romanov for Pacioretty, overall drafting and prospect development. I agree we need a LD but I look around the league and no big LD moved in the last 18 months or so. He made a pitch on Gardiner who took less money to get out of the media spotlight after being in Toronto. So a stop gap was acquired in Chiarot, and I said at the time that Chiarot was an upgrade on Jordie Benn. Chiarot struggled his first two-three weeks of the season, but since then he's been really, really good. I think this signing is a win, even the need for the top pair guy hasn't been adressed.
I don't know what is out there in the trade market and what the cost is, cause I haven't seen a top pair LHD get moved in quite some time. So who knows what the cost is. This isn't centre all over again where we watched Bergevin not make moves while Tyler Seguin and Matt Duchene and other centres were traded. The only person who might be close was Jake Muzzin. So this is different cause no one close to that calibre of dman that we need is moving right now. So what has Bergevin done? He's had the organization draft a crap load of LHD, Romanov looks like a future stud. Norlinder, Harris, Struble are all doing well. Leskinen was signed and has played well in the AHL, lets see what he is (though i doubt its more than third pair), and there are others in the system. My opinion is that in filling this hole all he can do is stock the system full of good prospects. That has a dual effect in that if a legit D becomes available he has the prospect capital to move for him, or one of those prospects develops. I think in KK, Suzuki, Primeau, Caufield, Brook, Romanov, Fleury, et all, this prospect group is one of the best in the league and could be worth waiting for if nothing sensible emerges on the trade front.
With that evidence in mind, I don't know where to criticize the job Bergevin has done since I wanted him fired in the spring of 2018. The last year and a half, I'm not seeing miscues from him. Yes, there are things I'd like him to do on LHD, but I have no idea if something was available and he passed on it.
We've gone in this circle several times in the last six months, and I'm not sure what has changed for us to re-litigate this position over again. Without some sort of change in fortunes of the club (ie... they were a bubble team when this started... looking at the standings, despite an 8 game losing skid, we are a bubble team today)... no moves have been made either by the Habs or others to get that type of LHD.
So until something changes, I just feel like we are having this circular debate and no one is going to change their positions without more evidence being generated by the team, either on or off the ice.