Boivin's Replacement Named by Canadiens.

According to Mike Boone of the Montreal Gazette's Montreal Canadiens hockey blog; Hockey Inside/Out, the Montreal Canadians have named Kevin Gilmore as the new COO of the Habs. He replaces the outgoing Pierre Boivin.

Boivin will remain with the club after the adjustment period as a member of the board of directors.

Here is the team's announcement:

Montreal Canadiens Chairman of the Board of Directors and Team Owner Geoff Molson announced today the appointment of Kevin Gilmore as Chief Operating Officer.

With the appointment of an experienced administrator like Kevin Gilmore as COO, Geoff Molson thus completes an important chapter in the restructuring of the company and paves the way for the smooth transfer of power. The new COO can turn to the presence and experience of Pierre Boivin until the end of June, when he officially steps down as President of the Montreal Canadiens, in favour of Geoff Molson who will take over as President and Chief Executive Officer.

The transition period that began last summer enabled us to consolidate our corporate philosophy and move in a direction that is more conducive to the organization’s growth, said Geoff Molson. We are very pleased that Kevin has accepted the invitation to return to Montreal to pursue his career and join our experienced management team. His extensive knowledge of the sports and entertainment industry, along with his legal experience and management qualities make him a top-rate asset for our company.

In his new role, Kevin Gilmore will work in conjunction with Geoff Molson, managing several key departments within the organization. As the newly appointed COO, Gilmore will supervise the departments of corporate sales, marketing and communications and spearhead major projects. Geoff Molson will focus on corporate development of all areas of the company and will also take an active role in the community.

A native of Arvida, Quebec, Kevin Gilmore boasts an impressive professional track record in the areas of corporate business, professional sports and the entertainment industry. He was involved with several prestigious conglomerates, including The Walt Disney Company and Anschutz Entertainment Group, Inc. (AEG). A graduate of the University of Ottawa, Gilmore launched his career at the Martineau Walker law firm in Montreal, before going on to practice law for three years as an associate with the Latham & Watkins firm in Los Angeles.

Perfectly fluent in French and English, Kevin Gilmore was recruited by the Walt Disney Company to lead the negotiations that resulted in Anaheim obtaining a National Hockey League franchise; the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, owned by the Disney Sports Enterprises. As the Mighty Ducks Vice President of Hockey Operations and Business Affairs, Gilmore was closely involved in the daily management and operations of the organization as legal advisor to the team’s president and general manager.

From 1996 to 1998, he served as Vice President of Corporate Affairs for Anaheim Sports, Inc., owners of the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and the Anaheim Angels baseball club. Kevin Gilmore was responsible for all legal aspects of the operations of the NHL and MLB teams, as well as the Anaheim Stadium, for all legal matters relating to the operations, including licensing matters, advertising and broadcasting rights.

Between 1999 and 2006, Kevin Gilmore served as the Los Angeles Kings’ Vice President of Hockey Operations while still fulfilling his duties as Governor and General Manager of the Manchester Monarchs, the Kings’ American Hockey League affiliate team. From 2006 to 2009, as Senior Vice President, Corporate Development and Strategic Planning for Anschutz Entertainment Group, Inc., (AEG), Gilmore was responsible for all new business development initiatives for AEG’s overall world operations, including the management of venues, professional sports teams and the promotion of shows.

Married, with three children, Kevin Gilmore is a skilled businessman with an acute sense of corporate leadership and a strong vision, who was president and founder of two companies — Professional Sports Advisory Group, a professional sports consulting firm, which he ran from 1998 to 1999, and, since 2009, as head of the South Coast Soccer City, LLC, a 73,000-square- foot sports complex that features seven soccer fields under one roof.

It seems that Gilmore has a lot of experience, however he has big shoes to fill. Although many fans never warmed up to Pierre Boivin, it's important to recognize an intelligent businessman when you see him, and that's what Boivin's job was; the business side. Many fans of the Montreal Canadiens conveniently forget that the team was struggling to sell seats in the early 2000's. When I moved to Montreal in 2005, you could still buy tickets for games half way through the season with ease. Not so anymore, and Pierre Boivin has a lot to do with that.While many fans tired of the centennial celebrations through the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons, they were marketing brilliance, and sold incredible amounts in merchandise. Beyond that, the penultimate centennial game, the pregame skate with the legends, was one of the greatest hockey events in decades with it's simplicity and elegance.

Boivin also created the "Je suis" campaign for last season when the team was rebuilt on the fly, which was a smashing success with fans of both languages. It was a simple and intelligent way to introduce the new players to the to the fans, while honouring the culture of the city.

Another credit to Boivin; his first act as President and COO of the Canadiens was to fire Rejean Houle as general manager. I don't think any Habs fan will disagree with that move, or it's importance.

Gauthier and Gilmore both worked for the Anaheim Mighty Ducks organization in the early-mid 1990's, so it seems Molson is going with familiar faces in management. You could spin this as either hiring buddies, or going with who you trust, but that's up to you.

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