Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Bienvenue à Montréal, Marc!

If you are familiar with me, and the considerably hectic life that I lead, you're aware that I rarely sleep. I am able to function due to excessive caffeine intake, without which I wouldn't make it through the day. Therefore, it should come as no surprise when I say that I usually only get about four hours of sleep each night, with a 4AM wake up call (DISCLAIMER: You'll get no complaints out of me; it's all very worth it). 

Not much tends to happen in the way of local sports news between midnight and four, so imagine my surprise when I awoke this morning to discover that the Habs had selected their new general manager... While I was sleeping. (Side note: I hate not knowing things the moment they happen, which could very well be the reason why I don't sleep). All histrionics aside, I wasn't at all surprised to learn that the new hire was Marc Bergevin. 

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Unless you've been living under a rock for the past month, you've known that he was in the running for the prestigious position, along with Julien Brisebois, Claude Loiselle, and Pierre Mcguire. Geoff Molson stated in a press conference earlier today that the Canadiens interviewed "at least" ten people for the job. Marc Bergevin's credentials are impressive, despite the fact that he has never previously held the position of General Manager for an NHL franchise.

A journeyman drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks at the 1983 NHL Entry Draft, Bergevin played in the NHL for eight different teams over the course of his twenty year career, becoming just the second 1,100+ games played player with fewer than 200 career points (along with Ken Daneyko). Notching 36G & 145A, it's safe to say Bergevin's strengths didn't include lighting the lamp. His career highlights include 1,090 PIM in 1,191 regular season games, and 49 fights (opponents include Shane Doan, Owen Nolan, Steve Bégin, Mark Messier and Ian Laperrière). 

Upon his retirement at the end of the 2003-04 NHL season, Bergevin took a job within the Blackhawks organization, though he didn't really get going until the following year, due to the lockout and subsequent cancelled season in 2004-05. 

He spent three years as the Blackhawks director of pro-scouting, before becoming Joel Quenneville's assistant coach in 2008. By 2009, he was named director of hockey personel, during which time he was an integral part of the Blackhawks 2010 Stanley Cup. He became Stan Bowman's assistant general manager last summer. 

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It's clear that he knows the ins and outs of the game, having played, scouted, coached and managed. A self professed "people person", he's also bilingual, a Montreal native from Point-St-Charles, and has a fantastic sense of humour, as was made evident by the numerous smiles and jokes at the press conference at the Bell Sports Complex earlier today. Bergevin considers himself "a piece of the puzzle", and clearly has a vision for how he wishes to proceed with this team, starting with finding the right head coach, and ensuring that essential cogs in the Habs machine are in place before the start of the next season, like Price and Subban.

Do I think that Geoff Molson made the right decision in hiring Marc Bergevin? Yes, I do. But only time will tell if I, and he, are right.

1 comment:

swandad said...

Today's presser was a refreshing start of (hopefully) good things to come for the Habs!