Quotes and highlights from Geoff Molson and Marc Bergevin’s press conference
A round up of the owner and general manager’s thoughts after the end of the season.
After the players emptied out their lockers this morning and talked to the media, it was the turn of Montreal Canadiens owner and President Geoff Molson and General Manager Marc Bergevin to hold the annual post-mortem at the end of the season.
Molson began the press conference with an emotional offer of his condolences to the victims of the Humboldt Broncos tragedy, his voice noticeably cracking when trying to deliver the message.
«J'aimerais offrir mes plus sincères sympathies aux victimes du terrible accident impliquant les Broncos de Humboldt» - Geoff Molson— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) April 9, 2018
"My thoughts and prayers go out to all of them who are affected by this horrible accident." -Geoff Molson
Molson then switched over to talk about the season that passed, and left no doubt as to his disappointment and a need for a global change in the organization.
"We are extremely disappointed with our season. When things don't go well, it gives us the chance to evaluate everything we do. The status quo is unacceptable. We must bring back a winning culture which we did not see this season." - Geoff Molson— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) April 9, 2018
Molson spoke of a need of improving the on-ice product, but also off the ice a need to improve communication to the fans across all areas of the organization. The fan experience will be improved in several key areas.
"If I can send one message to our fans, it would be that we will be better, both on the ice and off it. On the ice, changes will be required. Off the ice, we are going to improve our communication with fans at all levels." -Geoff Molson— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) April 9, 2018
Geoff Molson:"status quo is not acceptable."— Renaud Lavoie (@renlavoietva) April 9, 2018
They also announced that they will be dropping the controversial surcharge to charge ticket holders for printed tickets.
Season tickets holders won't have to pay an extra for printed tickets. @CanadiensMTL #tvasports— Renaud Lavoie (@renlavoietva) April 9, 2018
Marc Bergevin then offered his opening statement, starting as well by offering his condolences to Humboldt.
"It was a disappointing season from start to finish, and that was was unacceptable. The overall attitude of our team needs to change. We will do a complete assessment of our hockey operations. As general manager, I take my share of responsibility." -Marc Bergevin— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) April 9, 2018
Both men then faced some tough questions from the media, keeping a lot of details close to their chest, obviously not ready to announce their plans with precision.
Molson says he has confidence in "people in place". Vote of confidence for Bergevin. #Habs— L.A. Lariviere (@L_A_theRiver) April 9, 2018
Bergevin on potential acquisitions : "regardless who we bring in, if the team’s attitude doesn’t change, the results won’t" #Habs— L.A. Lariviere (@L_A_theRiver) April 9, 2018
Marc Bergevin was adamant that the correct attitude is a major requirement.
"I believe that with a better or different attitude, we don't have 40 losses." Marc Bergevin #TSN690— Conor McKenna (@mckennaconor) April 9, 2018
Marc Bergevin did admit that he over-evaluated certain players, but did not want to go into specifics about which players those were. He did take the blame for his over-enthusiasm when he said that he thought that the defence was better this year.
#Habs Bergevin admits to being “over-excited” in his comments at last fall’s golf tournament that he believed this year’s defence would be better than last year’s.— John Lu (@JohnLuTSNMtl) April 9, 2018
À la défense de Bergevin, aucun DG - tout sport confondu - ne dira quel joueur il veut signer et qui il va essayer d’obtenir... il fait toutefois son mea culpa et admet avoir été trop (euphémisme) optimiste en début de saison. #Habs— L.A. Lariviere (@L_A_theRiver) April 9, 2018
Answering a question on the player, he did admit that Karl Alzner was one of the players who under-performed, but he did not want to blame Alzner solely for the team’s season.
Bergevin “Karl Alzner is not the reason why we’re here today” #Habs— Douglas Gelevan (@DGelevan) April 9, 2018
Carey Price was another player who Bergevin pointed out as having a bad year, stating that Carey himself would admit to it as much.
Bergevin: “Injuries are not the reason we’re here today, but Shea Weber missed a lot of time and I feel like no one really stepped up after that..”— Joey Alfieri (@joeyalfieri) April 9, 2018
Bergevin did not want to blame injuries for this season’s results, but the fact remains that Weber missed the majority of the season.
«Je veux être clair, on n'est pas ici à cause des blessures. Ce n'est pas la raison. On a manqué Shea Weber pour une cinquantaine de partie et ça n'a pas aidé, mais je n'ai pas senti personne se lever» - Marc Bergevin— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) April 9, 2018
As to whether his entire staff is coming back or whether some people were given notice that they were coming back. Bergevin remained non-committal, but did not discount the need to make some changes.
For this moment no decisions have been made to change anyone in hockey ops. Could happen, but nothing right now.—bergevin— Eric Engels (@EricEngels) April 9, 2018
#Habs Bergevin’s biggest disappointment: “(The season) was never fun... We were never in synch.” Repeated that the team’s attitude needs to change and he is already addressing that issue.— John Lu (@JohnLuTSNMtl) April 9, 2018
#Habs Bergevin says he is still not sold on Galchenyuk playing at centre.— John Lu (@JohnLuTSNMtl) April 9, 2018
Bergevin defended Max Pacioretty, and denied the rumours of a pending trade at the deadline. One reporter asked whether there might be a change at the captaincy level, which Bergevin quickly and flatly denied.
«Les changements, est-ce que ça pourrait aller jusqu'à demander un nouveau capitaine?»— Hockey 360 (@hockey360) April 9, 2018
Marc Bergevin «Non»
'Je promets aux gens de dépenser toutes l'argent possible pour gagner, garder 8M$ dans les poches n'était pas dans le plan cette année.' -G. Molson— jeremy filosa 🎙 (@JeremyFilosa) April 9, 2018
Molson says the money #Habs had unused under cap was earmarked for Radulov & Markov and after that didn’t work out there was nothing worthy spending it on. Says his commitment to fans is to spend every dollar has to to win #Habs— Douglas Gelevan (@DGelevan) April 9, 2018
Geoff Molson: “Changes are coming”— Joey Alfieri (@joeyalfieri) April 9, 2018
#Habs Bergevin refuting notion of an echo-chamber in his hockey ops dept: “There’s a lot of f-words going back and forth.” He says his braintrust have plenty of differences of opinion.— John Lu (@JohnLuTSNMtl) April 9, 2018
Bergevin: my expectation (this year) was to fight, make playoffs, and do damage and ultimately that wasn't the case— Kyle Bukauskas (@SNkylebukauskas) April 9, 2018
«Ceux qui ne sont pas prêts à changer ne vont pas être là l’an prochain», promet @GMolsonCHC #Habs— L.A. Lariviere (@L_A_theRiver) April 9, 2018
«J'ai dit à Carey qu'il y a peut-être 99% des gens qui l'aiment et qu'il ne doit pas porter attention au 1%. C'est un gars sensible, peut-être que les critiques l'ont affecté» - Marc Bergevin— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) April 9, 2018