Bergevin is GM; Gomez unaware of a buyout

Marc Bergevin

Marc Bergevin.
Dave Sandford, NHLI via Getty Images

AUDIO: Geoff Molson | Marc Bergevin I, II and III

The Canadiens have their new general manager. He’s  Chicago Blackhawks assistant general manager Marc Bergevin, whom the team introduced at a Wednesday afternoon news conference in Brossard.

Team owner Geoff Molson described the Bergevin hiring as “the first step toward creating a winning culture” on the club.

Molson frequently alluded to Bergevin’s leadership qualities, communication skills and commitment to winning.

The new GM was understandably reluctant to get specific about player personnel decisions, such as the future of Scott Gomez.

Bergevin listed his priorities as hiring a new coach, signing restricted free agents Carey Price and P.K. Subban and preparing for the June draft, where the Canadiens will have the third overall choice … although Bergevin would not rule out trading the pick if, in his judgement, the move would improve the club.

Bergevin said director of scouting and player development Trevor Timmins will “definitely be at the draft table.”

Assistant general manager Larry Carrière will remain with the team in an undefined role.

And Bergevin’s first phone was to Randy Cunneyworth. The GM considers Cunneyworth one of the team’s assistant coaches, pending the hiring of a new head coach, who will choose his own assistants.

•  •  •

The Chicago Tribune was first out of the blocks with a report in a 2:15 am ET blog item today that the Canadiens would name Blackhawks assistant GM Bergevin Montreal’s new GM. The Tribune attributed the report to a source. TSN and multiple sources later confirmed the news and the Habs made it official shortly after 8:30 am.

Bergevin and NBC analyst Pierre McGuire were apparently leading the race for the job, the candidate pool seemingly having shallowed in the past week.

This morning, Sports Illustrated’s Mike Farber told CJAD that McGuire was informed in the past hour (6:30-7:30 am ET) that McGuire was runner-up in the race, so that pretty much seals the deal. And Tampa Bay Lightning assistant GM Julien BriseBois told both CJAD and RDS that he’s received the call to tell him he was not the chosen one.

Sportsnet reports this morning that Scott Gomez’s contract is likely to be bought out.

This morning, by text message, Gomez told Hockey Inside/Out that he knew nothing of a buyout: “As I’ve said before, that’s a management decision,” Gomez texted. “I only worry about what I can control and I’m already in the gym getting ready for next season. That’s my only focus. I’ll let the media focus on rumours and debate what (the Canadiens) should or shouldn’t do.”

Here’s a Chicago Tribune profile of Bergevin from last December by Chris Kuc, who broke the story this morning. Follow him on Twitter at @ChrisKuc.

In the story, Kuc relates one of prankster Bergevin’s best:

“…which he pulled off while playing for the Blues. He worked with a St. Louis newspaper reporter to concoct a fake story that put Blues GM Larry Pleau in a bad light. Bergevin had the story inserted into the team’s daily clippings, and after Pleau read it, he angrily confronted the reporter before Bergevin revealed he was the culprit.”

Canadiens official release received at 9:40 am ET:


From the Blackhawks’ 2011-12 media guide:

Habs GM history, from their 2011-12 media guide:

Below, in 2002 with St. Louis. © Tom Pidgeon, NHLI via Getty Images

TV interview in French, 1992:

1,105 Comments

  1. HankHardball says:

    Is Gomez’ NHL career really over? Or is he not worth his contract?

    Once we have the reputation that we’re willing to send players to the minors because we don’t like their cap hit, even though they still have the talent to play in the NHL, it’ll hurt us in the free agent market.

    Veteran players will think twice before they take the chance that if they fall out of favour, they could end up riding the bus, eating at McDonalds, and sleeping in a Motel 6 with a no talent goon in the next bed. Even though they still have NHL calibre talent.

    Personally, I would bite the bullet, give Gomez one more year, then buy him out the following year if there’s no change.

  2. jonnyp says:

    Subban to resign as soon as next week !!

  3. nunacanadien says:

    The problem is while Molson has hired Bergevin, there is no change to the horrible committee system that has all but spelled the disasterous moves. Having a committee run a dynasty is like having the hour hand as the second marker for the habs, how fast do committees move when you want to sign a real talent? Not fast enough, look at how the Habs Management Committee system got us Gomez for instance. If we want a cup in Montreal, we need to have a real GM who doesn’t have to book time in the Bell Centre with his ownership committee, when the priority is again hockey in Montreal than Bergevin could indeed move things along. We could get the best of the best, but what can they sign when they have to wait a week for the Habs Management Committee to meet? By then the superstar is gone…..welcome to the world of real time hockey Geoff Molson…..

  4. HABZ24 says:

    ya i guess bergevins an ok choice, several yrs of hockey experience. prefered pierre mcguire but cant win them all. buy out gomez ? BONEHEAD MOVE NUMBER ONE !! send that massive underachiever/floater/bumm/salary thief back to the farm, let him ride the buses with 17 yr olds, i bet hes so embarassed he quits in a week.

    GO HABS GO

    • Ron in Ottawa says:

      Ilike the Bergevin hiring. I would have preferred McGuire just because we know more about him that MB. I heard a great interview with McGuire yesterday on the TEam 990 and he was excellent. A real class act. I know he pisses some peple off because he is so opinionated, but he does know his stuff. He just refuses to sugar-coat his opinions about the Habs.
      Moving forward, i think MB has some fiddicult choices- most notably Gomez and Kaberle. But if he really does have a free hand from the Molsons to build a winning atmosphere, then that should all work out. Best of luck.

    • DrA says:

      I think Pierre would also have been a good choice. Reminder that Rick Dudley on Tony Marinaro’s show a few weeks ago stated that MB was in the top 1% in the GM group. He then went on to blow away Serge and Geoff so that they cut their search short to offer MB the job. I trust these guys, so I am fully behind this choice.

    • srq3000 says:

      I refuse to believe that the Canadians would ever consider Regis (aka Pierre) McGuire. It’s just some of his boyfriends at CJAD who he paid to start that BS. McGuire is from New Jersey, his name is Regis and he knows nothing about hockey. Just look at his track record and listen to him on tv. ‘Big Bodies’ LOL

      • DrA says:

        He was interviewed, so your premise is plain factually incorrect.

        • srq3000 says:

          How do you know he was interviewed? Having Regis say so is meaningless. They may have asked if his name was Regis and was he from NJ. I don’t call that an interview but Regis would, no doubt. Despite his constant self-promotion, he has failed to overcome the facts of his chance in Hartford. It could only happen in Hartford.

  5. HardHabits says:

    93% in favour of the Bergevin hiring. That’s about as close to a HIO consensus as it gets.

  6. Chuck says:

    Of all the times to go to the bathroom…

    ___________________________________________________
    Being a Hab fan is like buying real estate: only over the long-haul will you appreciate the true value of your investment.

  7. Stormin says:

    Gnight all the refs looked happy

  8. commandant says:

    I dont even know what Craig Simpson is talking about half the time.

    \Go Habs Go!
    Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters
    http://lastwordonsports.com/category/lastwordblog/nhldraft/

  9. HardHabits says:

    Tough game to lose. You can see the Caps completely deflated.

    • smiler2729 says:

      Series turning point right there, momentum shift and that jazz… blah blah blah, oh well, I want to see NYR-PHI

      _______________________________________
      Calling it like it is:
      Jack Edwards is a clam.
      Boston Bruins, gutless diving weasel pukes.

  10. smiler2729 says:

    Well that’s that.
    Ho.
    Hum.
    G’night…

    We have a GM!!!

    _______________________________________
    Calling it like it is:
    Jack Edwards is a clam.
    Boston Bruins, gutless diving weasel pukes.

  11. Adidess says:

    What? Just like that!?

  12. jedimyrmidon says:

    Ryan MacDonaugh – 50min and counting on the ice…

  13. Stormin says:

    Fans are dead, if this were Montreal it would be incredibly loud and electric

  14. Stormin says:

    Holtby’s parents having a grand ol time at the game

  15. Adidess says:

    I know winning trumps everything, but what’s the point of sports when two teams decide they want to play this safe for entire games, just so any of them doesn’t lose.

    I just sat through two consecutive OT periods and don’t remember seeing either goalie make one spectacular save. At what point does it become a disservice to the spirit of the sport (eg making things happen, besting the opponent, conquering greatness), if blocking shots after shots is viewed as an end in itself as opposed to a means to and end?

    Anyway, if you believe I’m feeling sleepy and thinking too hard right now instead just giving up, you’re probably right. I wish i was being entertained though to try to stay…

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      Both sides have invested so much into this game both physically and mentally. I doubt either would want to throw caution to the win in the 3rd OT.

  16. Stormin says:

    That was awesome compete, if it was the bell center the fans would be going nuts

  17. smiler2729 says:

    I played goal for two teams in a tourney about 3 years ago and on the Saturday I played 5 games in 7 hours… my equipment was soaked and I felt stoned.

    Wonder if Holtby & King Henry feel that…

    _______________________________________
    Calling it like it is:
    Jack Edwards is a clam.
    Boston Bruins, gutless diving weasel pukes.

  18. Stormin says:

    Santa Claus is at the game but he shaved his beard and looks allot like Glen Sather

  19. otter649 says:

    So next game for Rangers/Cap is saturaday so NBC is deciding the game schedule one series earlier this year…….

  20. smiler2729 says:

    Gut feeling, Joel Ward scores for the Washers

    _______________________________________
    Calling it like it is:
    Jack Edwards is a clam.
    Boston Bruins, gutless diving weasel pukes.

  21. HardHabits says:

    That’s it for me. I am going to bed. Gonna watch the conclusion tomorrow morning during the 9th over time.

  22. ZepFan2 says:

    “”It’s been a beautiful night for a hockey game… Let’s play two!”

    ———————————————————————-
    “Bring it on home, Bring it on home to you…” – Plant/Page

    Bring it on Home

  23. commandant says:

    I guess Rinne really appreciates teammates who backcheck.

    Go Habs Go!
    Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters
    http://lastwordonsports.com/category/lastwordblog/nhldraft/

  24. Chuck says:

    Sweet… 3rd overtime! Sorry honey, but I can’t switch over to Toddlers & Tiaras… game’s still on!

    ___________________________________________________
    Being a Hab fan is like buying real estate: only over the long-haul will you appreciate the true value of your investment.

  25. jedimyrmidon says:

    Wow, they are really grinding it out in Washington…

  26. Stormin says:

    This game needs Pat Lafontaine
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1TarFlTdUM
    Bob Cole was still alive during this clip of Lafontaine’s goal

  27. kempie says:

    Pekka Rinne is in the freaking zone!

  28. Max says:

    Rinne is playing like a 7 million dollar goalie tonight!

  29. smiler2729 says:

    Where’s Petr Klima when ya need him?

    Hide the beer, Klima’s here

    _______________________________________
    Calling it like it is:
    Jack Edwards is a clam.
    Boston Bruins, gutless diving weasel pukes.

  30. Chuck says:

    Someone should tell Holtby’s parents that they’re on camera a lot so that one of them doesn’t inadvertently pick their nose on live TV.

    ___________________________________________________
    Being a Hab fan is like buying real estate: only over the long-haul will you appreciate the true value of your investment.

  31. HardHabits says:

    Is there a new rule that over time is to be played in slush with a rubber ball?


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