After an improbable run to the Stanley Cup Final over the summer, an extremely eventful off-season, and a slow start to the 2021-22 season, the Montreal Canadiens have decided to relieve Marc Bergevin from his role as General Manager, as well as Trevor Timmins who served as assistant general manager while leading the draft duties for the team.
Bergevin mentioned in the preseason that he would see out the final year of his contract, however the Canadiens in the midst of one of their worst starts ever, decided it was time to make a change.
The Canadiens have announced changes within the organization's hockey operations department.https://t.co/N6bAn7FwIb— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) November 28, 2021
This move also comes on the heels of the resignation of Scott Mellanby from the organization, with rumours flying that he was suggested to be Bergevin’s heir, by Bergevin himself.
Bergevin has been at the helm of the Canadiens since 2012 when he replaced Pierre Gauthier as GM. Under his guidance the Canadiens amassed a 344-265-81 record, and made one full Stanley Cup run this past year, while making the Eastern Conference final in 2014. The team missed the playoffs four times.
While the drafting and prospect development improved leaps and bounds in recent seasons, a lack of on-ice NHL results this season all but sealed the fate for Bergevin. Trevor Timmins, who was the main voice of the team for the draft during Bergevin’s tenure, is also one of the people fired today, and will need to be replaced before the draft takes place in Montreal next summer.
The search for a general manager will now begin, led by Jeff Gorton, the new executive vice-president of hockey operations; a role that the team hadn’t had during Bergevin’s tenure.
The 53-year-old Gorton was most recently the general manager of the New York Rangers, where he and team president John Davidson were fired days after the team issued a statement blasting the NHL Department of Player Safety. He came under fire for the fact that the team’s rebuild — which involved acquiring Norris Trophy-winning defenceman Adam Fox, signing Artemiy Panarin, and drafting Kaapo Kakko and Alexis Lafrenière — wasn’t moving fast enough. The Rangers are currently third in the Eastern Conference with a 13-4-3 record.
He also was interim GM with the Boston Bruins for the 2006 NHL Draft, where the team drafted Phil Kessel, Milan Lucic, and Brad Marchand, and traded Andrew Raycroft for Tuukka Rask. He also oversaw the free agent signings of Zdeno Chara and Marc Savard.
The most likely candidates for the new GM role are Martin Madden Jr., Mathieu Darche, and Patrick Roy, among others.
Also out today is Senior Vice President of Public Affairs, Paul Wilson.