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Burke: Criticizing Bergevin for Subban trade is 'absurd'

Bruce Bennett / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Marc Bergevin continues to be a lightning rod for criticism after he sent P.K. Subban to the Nashville Predators, who are within four wins of a Stanley Cup.

But the Montreal Canadiens GM has at least one supporter in Brian Burke, the Calgary Flames' president of hockey operations, who says it's not right to shovel blame on Bergevin.

"Marc Bergevin has done a great job in Montreal," Burke told TSN 690 on Thursday. "He's a great person and it's ridiculous the attacks that he's undergoing right now. It's absurd."

Needless to say, the Canadiens' playoff run wasn't nearly as successful as Nashville's. Montreal was bounced in six games by the New York Rangers after kicking off the season with an impressive 13-1-1 showing.

But the disappointing finish doesn't all trace back to the deal that made Shea Weber a Canadien, according to Burke.

"(Bergevin) is one of the great judges of talent in the modern era," he added. "There's a handful of guys that can really watch games and pick players out. He's one of them, Rick Dudley's one of them, Bob Murray's one of them."

Dudley serves as Bergevin's assistant GM in Montreal, while Murray has been at the Anaheim Ducks' helm since 2008. Bergevin himself joined the Canadiens in 2012, after spending one year as assistant GM of the Chicago Blackhawks.

"What's haunting him here is the progression of Nashville through the playoffs. Nashville is not winning because of P.K. Subban alone," Burke said. "The notion Shea Weber for P.K. wasn't a good deal because P.K. is still playing, how does that work?"

Bergevin has five years remaining on his contract with the Canadiens, and putting together a winning squad sooner rather than later would go a long way toward quieting the current concerns.

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