It will be a new regime indeed for the Montreal Canadiens.
The organization has officially announced that general manager Marc Bergevin, along with assistant general manager Trevor Timmins, have been relieved of their duties. Replacing them is former New York Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton, who will be named executive vice-president of hockey operations.
"Saying farewell to an organization like the Montreal Canadiens is not an easy thing to do," Bergevin said in a statement. "I want to leave the organization in the same way I came in: with a lot of pride."
The news comes amid a woeful 6-15-2 start to the season, and after another former Bergevin aid, Scott Mellanby, resigned from his assistant general manager position Saturday.
The Canadiens have announced changes within the organization's hockey operations department.https://t.co/N6bAn7FwIb
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) November 28, 2021
Gorton is expected to help lead the search for a new general manager, who is likely to be both English and French-speaking — or at least possesses the "ability to communicate with the fans in French and English."
Canadiens owner Geoff Molson had previously been resistant to creating a senior management position above the general manager, but clearly saw Gorton has reason to make an exception.
Montreal made the Stanley Cup Final last season with Bergevin as its architect. The team has since lost Shea Weber and Phillip Danault through retirement and free agency, respectively, and have also been without star netminder Carey Price all season as he attends to personal matters.
Molson thanked the departing regime while explaining the decision via press release:
"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."
Bergevin's contract was set to expire at the end of the season, and most expected him to move on eventually after failing to negotiate an extension in the offseason.
It should be noted that Bergevin was tabled a contact offer after the Final appearance.
The Canadiens have also moved on from Paul Wilson, their former senior vice president of communications.
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