Bergevin in Montreal as the Canadiens rock the front office


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Christian Dvorak (28) of the Montreal Canadiens returns to the dugout after scoring in the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh on Saturday, November 27, 2021 (AP Photo / Gene J. Puskar)

PA

The Montreal Canadiens fired general manager Marc Bergevin and two other managers on Sunday amid difficulties on the ice just months after qualifying for the Stanley Cup final.

The Canadians announced the firing of Bergevin as well as those of assistant general manager Trevor Timmins and Paul Wilson, senior vice-president of public affairs and communications.

“Their hard work has provided our fans with many great moments, including last summer’s playoff race which culminated in the Stanley Cup Final,” said team owner Geoff Molson. in a press release. “I think, however, that the time has come for leadership. change within our hockey operations department that will bring a new vision and should allow our fans and partners to continue to support a champion team.

The Canadiens have said Jeff Gorton will take on the role of executive vice president of hockey operations as the team seeks a new general manager. Bergevin was in his 10th season as the team’s general manager.

“Montreal is the city where I took my first steps in skating and it is also the city where I learned to lead the most victorious franchise in the NHL,” Bergevin said in a statement. “This city and this organization will always have a special place in my heart.

“Having said that, and despite this trip coming to an end, I am proud of the legacy I am leaving within the organization. The current team is much better than the results show, and I have no doubts that my successors will rise to the challenge.

Montreal is 6-15-2 this season and is just ahead of the New York Islanders and Ottawa Senators in the Eastern Conference standings.

Bergevin’s long-term status with the team has been a question since he entered the season with an expiring contract.

Still, it wasn’t the start to the season the Canadiens had come to expect as the team entered the campaign after an unexpected run to their first Stanley Cup Final appearance since winning it all in 1993.

Supported by goaltenders Carey Price, the Canadiens came back from a 3-1 deficit to overthrow the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round of the playoffs. They followed with a Winnipeg sweep in the North Division final and a victory over Vegas in the conference final before losing to two-time Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay in the final.

Instead, the Canadiens had an offseason to forget and started the campaign without Price and captain and defensive pillar Shea Weber in the lineup.

Price voluntarily signed up for the joint NHL / NHL Players Association assistance program during training camp. He has since revealed that he entered a residential drug treatment center. Weber, meanwhile, is on the long-term injury reserve list with a foot / ankle injury and could be out all season.

The challenges started even before that, with Bergevin losing two of his four crosses in free agency. Free agent with compensation Jesperi Kotkaniemi signed with the Carolina Hurricanes and the Canadians lost Phillip Danault to the Los Angeles Kings in unrestricted free play.

Meanwhile, the Canadiens had to overcome not only the absence of Price, but also the injuries of top substitute Jake Allen.

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