The Montreal Canadiens fired general manager Marc Bergevin on Sunday following the team’s disappointing 6-15-2 start.
The Canadiens also dismissed two other front-office executives: assistant general manager Trevor Timmins and senior vice president for public affairs and communications Paul Wilson.
Montreal also hired former New York Rangers GM Jeff Gorton as the executive vice president of hockey operations.
According to a statement from the team, Gorton was brought on “to assure the continuity of the day-to-day hockey operations during this process,” the statement said.
“A process to recruit, as soon as possible, the team’s next general manager is under way,” the Canadiens said in a statement. “While the next general manager will bring significant hockey expertise to the organization, an additional criterion of that person’s role will be to communicate with fans in both French and English.”
Bergevin, 56, held his position since 2012 after building his executive career with the Chicago Blackhawks, where he helped win the 2010 Stanley Cup as director of player personnel.
The Canadiens are just months removed from reaching the Stanley Cup Final and losing in five games to the Tampa Bay Lightning — and Bergevin was just months removed from finishing second for the NHL’s General Manager of the Year award.
“Despite the fact that this journey is coming to an end, I am proud of the legacy I’m leaving within the organization,” Bergevin said in a statement. “The current team is much better than the results show, and I am convinced that my successors will be able to rise to the challenge.”
The moves came one day after another assistant GM, Scott Mellanby, resigned. The Athletic reported that Mellanby resigned after the organization told him he could become the interim GM, then changed that offer to president of hockey operations.
“On behalf of myself and the organization, I wish to thank Marc Bergevin, Trevor Timmins and Paul Wilson for their passion and engagement towards our club over the last years,” owner Geoff Molson said in a statement. “Their relentless work allowed our fans to experience many memorable moments, including last summer’s playoff run that culminated with the Stanley Cup Final. We wish them all the success they deserve in the pursuit of their careers.
“I think, however, that the time has come for a leadership change within our hockey operations department that will bring a new vision and should allow our fans and partners to continue cheering for a championship team.”
(Field Level Media)