Wednesday, 2 May 2012

It's (almost officially) Marc Bergevin as the new Canadiens GM

So it looks like it’s Marc Bergevin who will be the next General Manager of the Canadiens, the guy who’ll benefit from the oodles of picks and prospects accumulated by Mr. Gauthier as well as from the bad apples he divested the team of, and will sweep to the first of many Cups in a couple seasons or so. In the age of Twitter, you can’t keep a secret, no matter how hard the Canadiens tried and how well they did, comparatively, in keeping the process out of the headlines.
As happy as I am with the change, the process, the selection of the candidate, Mr. Bergevin himself, I’m going to have cold sweats nightmares if the report that Pierre McGuire was one of the final two applicants in the competition are true. We dodged a bullet with our name on it if this is the case.
It brings me to wonder, maybe I’ve been underestimating this guy. I never thought he was harmful or dumb, just maybe a little annoying and irrelevant. I didn’t think he had the gravitas for the role, that he wouldn’t inspire the same respect around the league. Maybe I need to pay more attention to him, maybe he’s a little like Jacques Demers, easy to brush off at first, but give him a chance and he wins you over. I had him off my list completely, nowhere in the same league as François Giguère, Pat Brisson, Julien BriseBois, Doug Risebrough, Blair MacKasey, etc., guys who are in the league right now, proving themselves. Guys who didn’t have a disaster tenure (Hartford) on their résumé.
I said I’d trust the selection committee’s judgment, maybe I should trust them in this also, that he was a very good option.
Having said that, I feel heaps more confident in Marc Bergevin. He has the reputation, the credibility, the track record, the experience in a winning organization. I get the feeling that he will sit with the cool kids at the GM meetings, instead of being the oddball outsider about whom people snort about and deride. He fulfills the critical need to be connected with the community and market the team serves. Based on the reports we have read about his innumerable contacts around the league, how well he is perceived, his much ballyhooed sense of humour, and his physical presence and bearing, he has a much better chance of providing leadership in the office and for the guys in the dressing room.
He worked in an organization in Chicago which had lots of brains on its staff, so he’ll want to replicate this formula in Montréal and hire good people to engender a capable front office, with resources up to the task. There’s no salary cap on this kind of spending, let’s invest lots in scouting and player development. Lots and lots. Maybe some of these also-rans like Mr. Giguère or Vincent Damphousse might want to join the team and might be good hires as front office staffers, contribute to the success of the team and build their résumés this way.
It’s a good day, the Canadiens had a wealth of candidates to pick from and didn’t hire a stunner like Réjean Houle or Irving Grundman. Good work, Mr. Savard and Mr. Molson.

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