Another One Bites the Dust: Bergevin Out in Montreal

A surprise run to the Stanley Cup Final may have extended things an extra year, but Marc Bergevin was always on his way out of Montreal. Now, it has become official as the team looks to rebuild for the future.


The Canadiens underwent a number of ups and downs during Bergevin’s tenure in Montreal. (Courtesy of Twitter)

The Montreal Canadiens made major shake ups in the front office this week highlighted by Marc Bergevin’s departure from the general manager’s chair. Bergevin was in the midst of his ninth season running the Habs, boasting six playoff appearances and a trip to the Stanley Cup Final just last summer. 

Bergevin was on the hot seat coming into last season. The Canadiens had not gotten past the first round since Carey Price’s MVP season in 2015 and should have been a lock, considering the easy track the North Division gave them. They stumbled into the four seed last year but beat Toronto and Winnipeg to reach the semifinals. They pulled the upset against Vegas to set a date with Tampa. The Bolts manhandled the Habs and won their second consecutive Stanley Cup. 

That magical — and lucky — playoff run bought Bergevin a little bit of runway heading into the final year of his contract. However, the offseason brought major challenges as they lost Shea Weber to retirement, Phillip Danault to free agency, Jesperi Kotkaniemi to an offer sheet and Carey Price for the first two months of the season. Nick Suzuku’s extension was the offseason’s lone star, an eight year deal for the budding star that keeps him in Quebec through 2030. Suzuki and Cole Caufield represent the future as the past heads out the door, but there will be a new boss to oversee that transition.

Bergevin will obviously be a top candidate for a job coming up this summer, despite his poor results over the past five years. One job that we can rule out immediately is the Chicago Blackhawks. Bergevin was the director of player personnel there from 2009–2011, which is right in the window discussed in the Kyle Beach story from earlier this season. Bergevin would not be an option as the organization attempts to move away from that time. Anaheim would be an interesting landing spot but there will be other openings for Bergevin on the horizon.

Canadiens’ owner Geoff Molson also announced the departure of Assistant General Manager Trevor Timmins and Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Communications Paul Wilson. Molson tabbed a familiar name to run the day-to-day in Jeff Gorton after the full house cleaning. The former Rangers GM was named Executive VP of Hockey Operations in a permanent role. 

It was known that Gorton would land on his feet eventually after his surprise firing in May. His counterpart John Davidson traveled back to Columbus while Gorton remained on the free agent market for the past six months. His name was tied to the Blackhawks opening, but they decided to stay in-house, leaving him open for Montreal’s taking. He has a tall task ahead of him as Montreal finds itself against the cap ceiling with many holes to fill.

Montreal had a slim chance to make the playoffs coming into this season, but a tough start has made it nearly impossible now. They will start their retool early with Gorton in the power chair for the upcoming trade deadline.