The Montreal Canadiens team owner Geoff Molson had finally seen enough.
The team is off to its worst start in franchise history, and the Habs have a very long history. Finally, on Sunday, Molson chose to fire general manager Marc Bergevin and bring in Jeff Gorton.
Gorton was the general manager of the New York Rangers last season and put together a terrific young roster. He is now the Canadiens Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations and will oversee the search for a permanent general manager to replace Bergevin.
That won’t be an easy search, as there are many criteria that need to be considered before bringing someone in to be the GM of the Habs. The person should be quite knowledgeable about hockey obviously and would ideally have lots of managerial experience already to be equipped to handle the pressure of running the Canadiens. The candidate also, of course, has to speak French which limits the pool somewhat.
However, Molson kind of got around that criteria already by hiring Gorton in the first place. The general manager’s boss is from Massachusetts, so the general manager needs to speak French but Gorton doesn’t so the whole language argument about whether it limits the team should end with the hiring of Gorton.
There have been a lot of names already thrown around as Bergevin’s potential replacement, but some of them just don’t make any sense. For one, Patrick Roy and his enormous ego would not fit well working under Gorton. He left his last job because he didn’t like that Joe Sakic had more say than him in personnel decisions. If he can’t respect Sakic enough to let him do his job, is he going to listen to what Gorton has to say?
No disrespect there to Gorton, but he isn’t Joe friggin Sakic.
So let’s just take Roy’s name off the table now. Who is on the table? These three are the only ones that make sense.