Keep Calm and Carey On
Well we’ve got our guy. So let’s hear it folks, what do you think of new Habs GM Bergevin and what does he need to do now?
Sean – I’d be lying if I said I was intimately familiar with any of the alleged GM candidates – my understanding of Mr. Bergevin’s pros and cons essentially amounts to those outlined in the same ‘blurbs’ we’ve all read 1,000 times. On paper, however, I love the signing – while it remains to be seen how Bergevin will handle running the NHL’s most storied franchise, the ‘feel’ of the signing is right. Just as much as the GM position is about evaluating talent, managing the salary cap, finding a competitive edge, etc, the signing of a new GM is often about creating a positive ‘buzz’, changing an organizational culture and reversing institutional inertia and groupthink. On these counts, the signing appears to be a success; Bergevin is a young, fluently bilingual, Stanley Cup-winning executive with an impressive track record of player scouting and development. Is he the man for the job? I’m not sure – but I’m sure glad we took a chance on a potential up-and-comer rather than hire yet another mediocre NHL retread.
Kyle – First of all, I’m glad we finally have somebody in place. Given all of the opinions and agendas that were out there, it was hard to see through the bluster and evaluate a guy solely on his own merits.
Different media outlets were pushing “their guy” which helped to muddy the waters. For what it’s worth, I was backing Bergevin once it was known that he was a serious candidate. There were guys like Nill who would have been terrific, but never really were an option, were they? Bergevin seems to check all of the boxes that Molson outlined, as well as those that this market dictates. He’s got my support, as I believe Molson had to have asked the right questions and made a solid decision.
As for the task ahead of him, Bergevin has a ton of work to do. He has to acquaint himself with the people within the organization, and see if they fit with his vision and plan (I pray that Trevor Timmins is a part of that plan) (Don’t worry Kyle, we now know he is!). He has to find an assistant, lest he hang on to Larry Carrière, and then get on the arduous task of sorting out the coaching staff, which is a headache unto itself. He needs to figure out a plan for the draft, what to do with dead weight like Gomez and Kaberle, he needs to get cornerstones like Price and Subban under contract, and has to see where else roster improvements can be made. All this while he instils his vision & culture for the franchise and sets new organizational standards.
Not much to do there, is there?
What I know about Marc Bergevin, I know because of what I’m hearing on the radio or what other people have wrote about him. It seems all positive. And really, that’s all I want right now. Some positive vibes in this organization.
Steph – What I know about Marc Bergevin, I know because of what I’m hearing on the radio or what other people have wrote about him. It seems all positive. And really, that’s all I want right now. Some positive vibes in this organization.
My true judgement will be reserved once the draft has passed, once Free Agency has started, and once we see some moves. I am excited to see who he will hire and surround himself with.
All that to say: Congrats Marc Bergevin, and welcome back to Montreal! When people aren’t breaking stuff, it really is a lovely city.
Zach – To quote Albert Brooks’ character – Bernie Rose – in ‘Drive’: “I’m actually excited.” Now I just hope things don’t turn as ugly as Bernie Rose’s relationship with Driver did. SPOILER ALERT. People die.
I concur with my fellow Forumites who said that, above all else, it’s nice to see that the Habs actually went about this process the right way. They talked to people. Lots of people. They took their time and made a decision based on who they felt was the best candidate available.
And here’s what I like about Bergevin, according to what I hear people say about him. Firstly, the man has won a Stanley Cup as a member of upper management with an NHL organization. Secondly, it seems that this is being applauded as a good move right across the NHL, which is always a good sign. Thirdly, when he played in the NHL he didn’t have all the talent in the world, but he figured out how to make himself a useful player enough so that only 96 guys in the entire history of the NHL played more games in their career. That means he seems to be a guy who understands his strengths and weaknesses. It’s easy to know what you can do. It’s not so easy to figure out what you can’t. Bergevin figured it out in his playing career and based on a couple statements he’s made since getting in an NHL head office he seems to still carry himself with that mentality.
Other good things: He has Scotty Bowman’s stamp of approval, he’s buddies with Mario Lemieux (Why does this matter? More like: how does this NOT matter?), he has a sense of humour (which will at least make a regime change feel different from ol’ what’s his name), he’s willing to talk to the media immediately, and he has strong ideas on chaos theory.
This is an exciting day no matter how you look at it. It’s a new beginning that we might someday look back at as the key piece in obtaining Cup number 25. I’m excited.
Pat – Like everyone else, I’ve heard very positive things about Bergevin. He was the best choice once the list of prospective GM’s was down to himself, McGuire, and BriseBois. It seems to me that the names McGuire and BriseBois were out there way sooner and more often than that of Bergevin.
Of course McGuire and BriseBois are talented guys, but one hasn’t had a back office job since the 90s and BriseBois has nothing but back office experience i.e. not a hockey mind. They both come with their respective strengths but they had some serious trade-offs.
I know that I’ve been watching a lot of ’30 Rock’ now that the Habs are back page news, but I’m starting to suspect that Molson and Savard used The Hornberger System! What you do is you choose the guy you want and put him on a shortlist with a bunch of second-rate candidates who have no chance. This makes your choice look even better and thus he’s guaranteed to get the job.
Damon – I don’t know what to think about the hire. I hate the media frenzy that front office hires generate. Past success isn’t always a good indicator of future success. The fact is that Montreal is a very different beast than most other jobs in the league.
No matter how much enthusiasm or hype generated no one wins a championship in the offseason.
I’m just anxious to see what kind of moves he makes and to see what product he puts on the ice. The player they draft will say a lot about his vision and what phase the Habs are in.