Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Marc Bergevin Named the Next GM of the Montreal Canadiens

UPDATE: 8:25 AM: Sportnet's Louis Jean is reporting that the Montreal Canadiens will buyout Scott Gomez's contract. Wow. And the hits just keep on coming!

Kamal's Note: While this is a rumour right now, I have to say that it makes no sense to me. There is too much money left on the Gomez contract for a buyout to make any sense. The only solution that works is a demotion to the AHL.

Louis' Note: I agree with my colleague. If Geoff Molson has enough money to take on Tomas Kaberle and brush aside large portions of his richly paid hockey operations, then he should have the money to bury Gomez. A buyout is expensive and extremely cap-prohibitive. Brian La Rose crunched the numbers over at HabsWorld some time ago. The cap hits for 2012-13 and 2013-14 are not pretty.

UPDATE 8:58 AM: Well, it's official. The Habs have named Marc Bergevin as their new GM and will be holding a press conference at 2 PM this afternoon.

Here's the TSN piece.

UPDATE 9:15 AM: The Habs have posted the official press release. You can read it here.


According to a story by Chris Kuc, in the Chicago Tribune this morning, the Montreal Canadiens have chosen their new General Manager. And his name is... drum roll please...

Marc Bergevin.

Here is the Tribune story. RDS also reported the same thing earlier this morning.

The 46-year-old Montreal native served as assistant GM for the Chicago Blackhawks under Stan Bowman during the 2011-12 season.

In total, Bergevin has spent seven seasons in the Hawks' front office, holding various other positions with the team, including Director of Player Personnel and assistant coach. He also played 20 seasons in the NHL, totaling 1191 games and 1090 penalty minutes in the process.

Apparently, Pierre McGuire is the official runner-up and Geoff Molson informed him of their decision this morning. Francois Giguere, Claude Loiselle and Julien BriseBois were also in the running until recently.

And there you have it, folks. It seems the search is over for the most coveted position in hockey. I should specify that there has been no announcement, official or otherwise, from the Canadiens themselves.

But I imagine that isn't too far around the corner?

More to come, no doubt.

In the meantime, what are your thoughts on the Bergevin hiring?

Kamal is a freelance writer, Senior Writer/Editor-in-Chief of, Montreal Canadiens Blogger on and featured columnist on Kamal is also a regular on-air contributor on TSN 990, CJAD, and LiveSport New Zealand.

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Louis is an Associate Editor and Senior Writer at Born in Chicago, Louis grew up in Quebec City where he earned Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Université Laval. Find him on twitter @LouisMoustakas

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America)


Down to the wire with Bergevin and McGuire and ultimately the francophone got the job. I am not implying it was language that got him the job because ultimately both were qualified, both had similar management experience and both are supposed player analysts.

I hope Bergevin does a good job and I am glad to see Molson take his time and interview alot of guys out there.

Did they turn over every knick and cranny, no they did not. They turned out every francophone knick and cranny and of the 10 or so rumoured candidates Bergevin was selectd.

Again I hope he does well and I think he'll be fine because he is backed by big name hockey people but my worry is what he did as an Ass GM and director of player personel.

I am not going to pretend I know who was responsible for what but Chicago messed up big time with the handling of Byfuglien, Versteeg and made some really bad personnel decisions with who they traded.

I know alot of the problems were placed on Tallon but does anyone know what Bergevin's involvement was when Byfuglien, Sopel, Eager and Aliu were dealt for Reasoner, Crabb and Morin. Or when LAdd was dealt for Ivan Vishnevskiy? Why Brouwer, Burish or Kopecky were discarded for nothing.

There have been some questionable personnel moves made in the past few seasons so i hope his involvement with these decisions were limited.

The other puzzling thing is Bergevin's involvement with scouting. The drafting of the Blackhawks in recent years has been pathetic.

When they had top 3 picks they were able to chose guys like Toews and Kane but apart from these 2 guys if you take a look at their drafting since 2006, only Markus Kruger and Andrew Shaw have seen NHL action. Not exactly confidence in the scouting ability./


Can't argue with your assessment of their drafting. A lot of misses there.

Having said that, Rick Dudley was with the Hawks for a long time there and he is known to be especially keen on a certain kind of player (he lobbied to take Akim Aliu, for example).

In any case, Montreal still has the ever competent Trevor Timmins as well.


My fear is with a new GM there is usually a clean sweep throughout. I hope Timmins remains because I love what he's done.

@Bry: While I was in the McGuire camp, the great thing about Bergevin is that he is young and brings a completely different attitude to the table.

I think the Habs are going to be 100% different than they were under the previous regime(s)? I think we will see openness, communication and will be kept abreast of what management is doing and thinking, at pretty much all times.

On your points about mistakes he might have made in the past, is there really a better way to learn, in life, than from your mistakes?

Who learns anything if they get it right all the time? No?

@Louis/Bry: I'm also thinking that Timmens sticks around. The only reason to part ways with him, is so the Bergevin can achieve a true, 100% cleansweep. And that, in my opinion, is the only reason to potentially get rid of Timmens.

To have a true, clean break. Think about it in terms of Julien Brisebois. He was around under the Gainey era and while he is no doubt learning under Yzerman et al., it's better, imo, to go in a completely different direction.

But that's just me.

Bergevin has to know that one of Montreal's strengths is their drafting of players that actually play in the NHL. He can fix the issue of them playing well in Montreal but if he's sharp he will realize he has a stud in Timmens. Even if he's not that sharp every Montreal GM should ask themselves "If I let this guy go will he go and help the Leafs?" Kidding aside, it's more about will Timmens go and help any other team. It's just easier to make a point against the hapless Leafs.

I think it's a good choice, probably number 2 to Jim Nil.
McGuire is very knowledgeable but has been out of the front office too long. If he really wants to be a GM I think he has to take a lower level job and prove himself.
I think he would make a good Director of Pro or Amateur Scouting. Bergevin has recently already had these roles and in a winning organization. I actually hope he was part of some of the bad decisions the Hawks made as I agree with Kamal that you learn from them and become even better.
Hopefully all the hatchets can be put back in the closet for now and give the guy a chance to succeed.
If you don't, then in my opinion you are not a true fan but just a bitter individual who is likely negative about most things.
Life is too short to live glass half empty all the time!
Too risky for Bergevin to get rid of Timmens, his track record is very good.

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