After weeks of searching for a new GM to replace Pierre Gauthier, Canadiens owner Geoff Molson found the man for the job in Marc Bergevin. With Bergevin now in place, here are five reasons to be optimistic.
1. His work in Chicago
Bergevin joined the Blackhawks as a pro scout in 2005-06. After finishing that season in 14th place in the West – and 27th overall, exactly where the Habs finished this past season – the Hawks went on to draft Jonathan Toews (’06) and Patrick Kane (’07) on their way to becoming a consistent contender in the league.
Bergevin was director of player personnel in 2010 when the Hawks were Stanley Cup champions before working under Stan Bowman in 2011-12 as assistant GM.
Bergevin is said to be an elite evaluator of talent which the Habs hope to benefit from, especially at a time where they finds themselves with the third overall pick in this June’s NHL entry draft. While there will be no Toews or Kane type players available when the Habs have the podium, it’s fair to say that the Canadiens have a better core of players than the Hawks did when they began their turnaround.
2. Team mentality
It was clear during Bergevin’s press conference that he brings with him a true team mentality to Montreal.
The Habs new GM referred to himself as just a piece of the puzzle and reiterated throughout the conference that it will take a little bit from everyone to find success. When asked by Jessica Rusnak of Team 990 asked about the team’s identity, Bergevin answered, ” Everyone needs to contribute and put everything on the table. You have a lot of little pieces working together to make a winning team”.
Bergervin also stated that while skill is needed to win you could have skill without character and go nowhere. This would lead you to believe that he may tinker with the line-up by bringing in some character players.
3. Price and Subban are Top Priorities
” I think Price is one of the top goaltenders in the NHL. With a goalie like Carey you’re ahead of the game. Also as far as our agents, the priorities are Price and Subban”.
How’s that for reassurance? How many fans do you think let out a huge sigh of relief when those words came out of Bergevin’s mouth?
Coming out and stating his intention to sign these players was a huge step towards earningthe city’s confidence. The only way he could have been more effective in earning Montreal’s trust would’ve been to sign the two young stars.
4. Trevor Timmins stays put
When asked about the future of Randy Cunneyworth, Bergevin informed the media that Cunneyworth was told that he will return to the position of assistant coach but will ultimately have his future decided by whoever is brought in as the new head coach.
Bergevin also refused to go into whether or not he will be reaching out to Rick Dudley in regards to the position of assistant GM. What Bergevin did make clear is that Habs scout Trevor Timmins will be sitting alongside the new GM at the draft table this June in Pittsburgh and added that Timmins has done ” an excellent job in the past”.
Timmins has worked with the Habs for the past ten years and has helped the Canadiens draft such players as Carey Price, P.K. Subban, Max Pacioretty, Tomas Plekanec, and Alexei Emelin as well as former Habs Mike Komisarek, Chris Higgins, Mikhail Grabovski, Sergei Kostitsyn, Andrei Kostitsyn, Mark Streit and Jaroslav Halak.
5. Media friendly
Bergevin said that he will make himself available to the media and that is a plus for not only the press but the fans. After Pierre “Ghostier” the fans will feel closer to the team when the GM actually addresses what is going on with the team.
Gauthier spoke to the media as little as possible and was painfully vague and mind numbingly boring and without personality when he did choose to speak. Bergevin on the other hand was forthcoming and often joking around when meeting the media for the first time in what was hopefully a showing of what is to come from the 17th GM in Montreal Canadiens’ history.
Needless to say as time passes in Montreal under the hockey microscope it may become a little less enjoyable to meet the media and definitely tougher to crack a few jokes.