Audio (adds Gainey): Habs tee off new season

Geoff Molson (left) and George Gillett at today’s golf tournament in Laval. Molson and his group will assume 100 per cent ownership of the Canadiens.
Pierre Obendrauf, Gazette

Pull up a chair, here’s a LOT of audio from the Canadiens golf tournament. Stubbs column on the day is here.

George Gillett Jr., Geoff Molson news conference
Gillett post-conference
President Pierre Boivin
• GM Bob Gainey: English French
Carey Price
Scott Gomez
Brian Gionta
Mike Cammalleri

The day began at Laval-sur-le-Lac Golf Club with an emotional news conference, George Gillett Jr. virtually handing the reins of the Canadiens to Geoff Molson and his group of partners.

There is still work to be done and lawyers to be paid as the club changes hands, but Gillett shed more than a few tears announcing the passing of what he says is a “love affair” to Molson and an investment group that will take the Habs into their second century.

Major news items:

• Molson said Pierre Boivin will stay on as Canadiens president and head of the entertainment group that is bound to change names from Gillett Entertainment Group. Rumours had been circulating that Boivin would be replaced, probably by Geoff Molson himself. But Molson said he will be head of the partnership that owns the club and chairman of the board;
• The investment group intends to buy the 19.9 per cent stake in the club held by Molson Coors, which will give the partnership 100 per cent ownership of the team;
• Serge Savard, who was part of a bid group for a time, isn’t being considered for a major management position, Molson saying that he’s happy to work with the partners he has now. But he did add that Savard is a long-time friend of the family, so read into that what you will;
• GM Bob Gainey says he’ll have no problem starting the season without a captain;
• Scott Gomez has ordered a meal, or meals, in town using his new French. Seems he’s gotten what he ordered, too.

Players gathered on the grounds of the golf club and set off on a shotgun start in the annual tournament that’s an important fundraiser for the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation. It’s raised more than $2.3 million for the foundation since the organization was founded in August 2000.

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