Montreal Canadiens Rumour: The 8 Candidates to be Interviewed for General Manager Job

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 18: Patrick Roy (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 18: Patrick Roy (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) /

The Montreal Canadiens have been searching for a new general manager for over a month. The team fired Marc Bergevin in November and hired Jeff Gorton to be the team’s Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations.

Essentially, Gorton will be the boss of the new general manager and they will work in tandem to build the Canadiens organization.

So, Gorton is really at the top, so the next general manager won’t have quite as much say as previous ones, but the question remains, who will be the next general manager?

Well, according to Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports, the Canadiens team of Gorton, Geoff Molson, Bob Gainey and Michael Andlauer will interview eight candidates for the job. These candidates are Patrick Roy, Daniel Briere, Stephane Quintal, Mathieu Darche, Emilie Castonguay, Daniele Sauvageau, Kent Hughes and Marc Denis.

Roy is well known as one of the greatest goaltenders of all time and backstopped the Canadiens to their past two Stanley Cups in 1986 and 1993. He infamously played his last game at the Montreal Forum allowing nine goals to the Detroit Red Wings before saying he would never play another game for the Canadiens as he was fed up with new head coach Mario Tremblay.

Roy had a short stint as head coach of the Colorado Avalanche but infamously stormed out of there as well complaining that he did not have enough say in player transactions. He doesn’t seem like a great fit though he is very interested in the job.

Briere played one season late in his career with the Canadiens but also somewhat infamously snubbed the organization when he was a free agent to sign with the Philadelphia Flyers. He has two years experience working in the Flyers front office but has been working at the ECHL level with the Maine Mariners as a general manager/president/VP of hockey operations. It’s a big jump from Maine of the ECHL to GM of the Montreal Canadiens.

Quintal is also a former Canadiens player and was once the head of the player safety department as George Parros predecessor. He doesn’t have much experience working in a front office setting so it would also seem like a big jump for him to take over the Habs GM role.

Mathieu Darche is yet another former Canadiens player. However, he has some front office experience working in his third seasons for the Tampa Bay Lightning as their Director of Hockey Operations. He has won two Stanley Cups with the Lightning and would make a lot of sense to work under Gorton as the Canadiens general manager.

Emilie Castonguay is an NHLPA agent and currently represents players like Alexis Lafreniere, and a handful of other Quebec natives like Antoine Roussel, Mathieu Joseph and Canadiens centre Cedric Paquette. She has a law degree and interned with the Canadiens year ago when Pierre Gauthier was the team’s general manager. As an agent, she would be well aware of how front offices work in the NHL and would be a great fit as the Canadiens general manager.

Daniele Sauvageau is best known as being the head coach of Canada’s women’s Olympic team in 2002 that broke a 50 year drought by winning a gold medal. She was also the first female coach in the QMJHL when she was an assistant coach of the PEI Rocket, and was hired to build a women’s hockey program for the Montreal Carabins where she quickly won a national championship. She worked for 24 years as a police officer and has plenty of experience in the world of hockey.

Kent Hughes is the agent for Kris Letang, Patrice Bergeron, Darnell Nurse and Drake Batherson among many other NHL regulars. When Gorton was asked about who he might hire he mentioned an agent would make sense because they have a different perspective than him. Hughes has many years experience negotiating contracts for NHL players and would be a good fit to continue doing that from the other side of the table.

Marc Denis is another former Canadiens player, though it was for literally one period. His final pro season was with the Canadiens AHL affiliate but he was called up and relieved Jaroslav Halak for 20 minutes. Denis has been working for many years as an analyst on Habs games for RDS, but he has no experience working in an NHL front office.

There are eight candidates here, the ones that really stand out are Darche, Castonguay and Hughes. Darche would essentially be taking on the same role, but with different titles, as the one he has for the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion. Castonguay and Hughes fit the criteria laid out by Gorton in his first press conference as people who bring experience but a different skillset than himself.

It will be interesting to see how much we hear as they inevitably whittle this list down to a couple of final candidates. My money would be on Darche at this point, but also hiring Castonguay or Hughes as Darche’s assistant general manager would make a lot of sense.

Related Story. Five Habs contracts that are impossible to trade. light