Chris Johnston at Sportsnet dropped a bit of a bomb today in regards to the 2012 NHL Entry draft:
Marc Bergevin says he liked Morgan Rielly in the 2012 draft, but listened to scouts with the Alex Galchenyuk pick.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) November 17, 2014
In what would be the most important draft in a long time for the Canadiens, a rookie general manager in Marc Bergevin had a choice. Take control and assert himself over his employees, or delegate to the experts who were likely working with more, and thus better information.
Bergevin, not even two full months on the job, chose to trust his scouting staff. The may not seem like a big deal initially, especially since Morgan Rielly is a heck of a player anyway, but Alex Galchenyuk was a risky pick. He had barely played in his draft year, was coming off a brutal injury, and played with 1st overall pick Nail Yakupov, which could have boosted his junior stats.
Yet Bergevin made the smart choice. He trusted the people whose job it was to navigate these waters, and ended up with (so far) the highest scoring player in the draft, a player that's emerging as a near-elite talent, and who will only get better once he changes to the center position.
Morgan Rielly on the Canadiens wouldn't be bad by an stretch of the imagination, so it's not like Bergevin trusting his scouts averted disaster, but good managers know when to delegate and when to lead, and we've seen time and time again that Bergevin keeps making the right choices.
I got a chance to talk to Bergevin at the John Molson School of Business' Sports Business Conference, where he and Julien BriseBois did a talk with Darren Dreger that was half retrospective on their careers, half talking about the nature of the business. Even with decisions like that, Bergevin admitted that he's always learning how to get better.
"I'm learning, every day I'm learning. I'm a better GM than I was two years ago, and after all my experiences in the league as a player, and as a manager, I'm still learning today. Three years from today I'll look back and say 'I wish I knew what I know now', but it's all about experience and going into different situations, and learning from it. The day I know everything, I'll be out of hockey."