That year the Habs chose a regional player-- Louis Leblanc from Pointe-Claire, Que. -- with the 18th choice overall. While scouts had him extremely ranked, he never developed into a daily NHLer and some fans point to this as evidence that the team buckled to pressure from the regional media to pick a player who spoke French.
But McCagg-- who was a part-time scout for the Habs when Leblanc was chosen-- doesn't think that history needs to be an issue.
"I didn't mind the Louis Leblanc choice; there weren't numerous scouts that said 'that's a terrible pick' at the time," McCagg stated. "So we can sit back and state, 'oh they only picked Louis Leblanc because he was French,' but that's actually incorrect."
Additionally, McCagg does not believe the Habs require to entertain putting the 2020 first-rounder on the trading block because the team has lots of assets it might use to negotiate rather.
"They have a pile of choices in the rest of the draft and they have some terrific potential customers in the pipeline."
GM's around the league are aware that the 2020 draft guarantees to be deep with talent. As the trade due date approaches the value for a first-rounder from a team that might not make the playoffs will only increase.
The Habs' current resurgence after dropping eight video games has actually also cooled the sensation of urgency to make a relocation immediately to enhance the group. Still, what Bergevin eventually makes with this choice will inform fans a lot about what he believes of his group now and how safe and secure he feels in his job moving on.
Building through the draft might be the consensus clever relocation for any team, but Bergevin may no longer have the high-end of taking a big-picture technique.
The Habs have actually missed out on the playoffs in 3 of the previous four seasons and the joke around town is that Bergevin remains in year 8 of his five-year plan to turn them around.
The pressure to win is mounting and there is a sensation that if they do not get to the playoffs he might not be around to make next year's choice, let alone be around to see that choice mature into an NHL player.
Even if Bergervin wanted to move the pick, the fact that Montreal is host of the 2020 draft makes complex things.
"You're hosting the draft, you got ta put on a program," McCagg stated.
The draft is split up into two days. On the first day the preliminary remains in the spotlight and there is wall-to-wall coverage of each pick. The rest of the draft rolls out on day two and draws much less attention. So hosting the draft without a choice in the very first round would be a disappointment for regional fans who will load the Bell Centre with the anticipation of seeing their group choose it's prospective next star player.
That is, if you rely on the Habs to make a great choice at house. Some fans don't based upon what took place the last time Montreal hosted the draft in 2009.