After struggling through a disappointing 2011-2012 season, the Habs made big changes in the front office by hiring Marc Bergevin as their new general manager. As GM, Bergevin’s responsibilities will include the salary cap and CBA for the team. Montreal’s former general manager, Pierre Gauthier was dismissed after a long history with the Habs (via Canadiens.com).
After a grueling season, Montreal made the right move to turn their management around. The Canadiens made clear with the firing of Gauthier that a 31-35-16 record, would no longer be tolerated. The Habs were last place in their division and in the Eastern Conference. It was also the first time since 2007 that the team had missed the playoffs. So it was no surprise when the team cut assistant coaches Randy Cunneyworth and Randy Ladouceur as well (via the Winnipeg Free Press).
Bergevin enters his first top-level role in the NHL with a newly managed team. According to the Winnipeg Free Press, the Habs recently named Michel Therrien as the new head coach. Bergevin has no experience little experience with general management. But that’s not to say that he doesn’t come with any credentials. The 46-year-old former NHL defenseman has experience as an assistant coach, a scout, and spent time in the front office for the Chicago Blackhawks.
Bergevin could offer a fresh outlook for the Canadians as they rebuild for next season. Greg Wyshynski from Yahoo! Sports reported that with “$18.5 million in cap space this summer,” the new GM has some breathing and learning room. Known for his personable demeanor, Bergevin will most likely strengthen player and management communication, and work with Therrien to revive the lifeless Montreal team.
Some fans and players may be concerned, as well as doubtful, of Bergevin—a novice to upper management positions—but he may be just what the Canadiens need. Instead of recycling an experienced manager, it would be more beneficial for the Habs to try something (or someone) new. Many are still unconvinced of Bergevin's capabilities, as well as a bounce-back from Montreal, but the GM seems confident and eager to learn.
With a new GM and a new coaching staff, the Canadiens will be "learning by doing" from all ends. Now is a great time for the Habs to start over.
Bergevin has already made some moves of his own and set a tone for the hopefully, new and improved Habs. The Winnipeg Free Press reported that Bergevin left the decision up to Therrien to keep or dismiss Cunneyworth and Ladouceur. Therrien made the right move: out with the old, and in with the new. Bringing in new coaches along with new management should give the Habs new confidence and motivation.
As Bergevin gets settled into his new role in Montreal, we can only wish him and the team the best.
Hopefully, the Habs can only go up from here.