Hiring Marc Bergevin to be the team's next general manager was a great decision by the Montreal Canadiens, who desperately needed someone with the ability to build a winning franchise.
Montreal has advanced past the second round of the playoffs just once since winning their last Stanley Cup in 1993, and fans around Quebec are hoping that Bergevin can build a team that will bring the franchise back to its glory days.
Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman talked about Bergevin prior to the 2012 NHL Draft via the team's official web site. Bergevin's previous job before joining the Canadiens was alongside Bowman as assistant GM of the Blackhawks.
Marc has had a lot of experience in so many different areas. Obviously, he played for 20 years in the league, and he’s had a lot of different experiences from that side. Then he wanted to get into the management side, so he’s done scouting. He finally worked his way up to where he was in charge of the pro scouts and amateur scouting this past year, so he’s really brought his skill set over the last five years to the point where he’s ready for this job.
He’s very well-connected, he’s a people person, he’s got excellent relationships with agents and other people in hockey and his network is vast because of his playing days; he played for a number of teams, so he’s got a lot of background on coaches and players. His work ethic and dedication to the Blackhawks is unparalleled. He’s very excited and we’re happy for him.
When will the Canadiens be a real Stanley Cup contender again?
Bergevin was only an assistant GM for one season, and even though the ideal situation might have been to hire someone with previous general manager experience, there's no question that he has enough front office experience to do a good enough job rebuilding the Canadiens roster.
In his role as a scout, Bergevin was able to improve his ability to judge players' abilities, and his eye for talent is certainly something that Montreal fans can be excited about.
As someone who retired just eight years ago, Bergevin understands today's game, and his experience in many different hockey jobs will allow him to bring a unique amount of knowledge and experience to his new role.
It will be interesting to see how Bergevin does as a general manager in arguably the most difficult market in the league, but there wasn't a better choice that Canadiens ownership could have made when deciding who to replace former GM Pierre Gauthier with.
Tampa Bay Lightning assistant general manager Julien BriseBois would have been a good choice for the job too, but Bergevin has a bit more experience, and is better suited for this kind of job right now than BriseBois.
Bergevin was born in Montreal, and understands the hockey culture in the province, so he won't be fazed by the expectations and pressure put on him.
He knows the remarkable history of the franchise, and also speaks French, which is an important prerequisite for this job.
Bergevin will be comfortable in Montreal, and was the right choice as general manager of the Montreal Canadiens.