In just over 24 hours, the Montreal Canadiens find themselves without a General Manager, Assistant General Manager, and a new Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations. After Scott Mellanby resigned last night, the Canadiens moved to fire General Manager Marc Bergevin and Assistant General Manager Trevor Timmins this afternoon, as well as to name former New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton to the Executive VP of Hockey Operations role.
Sweeping changes have come to the Canadiens: GM Marc Bergevin, AGM Trevor Timmins and even their head of communications Paul Wilson have been relieved of their duties.
— Julian McKenzie (@jkamckenzie) November 28, 2021
Along with the Blackhawks, the Canadiens find themselves in the market to find a new General Manager. Bergevin had served in the role in Montreal since the 2012-13 season after previously being a scout, Director of Player Personnel, and Assistant General Manager with the Blackhawks from 2005-2012. Under Bergevin, the Canadiens made the Stanley Cup Playoffs six times in his nine-year tenure, making the Stanley Cup Final last season.
Jeff Gorton, Montreal's new EVP of Hockey Operations, will handle the day-to-day for the Habs as the club searches for a new GM that will be able to "communicate with fans in both French and English."
— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) November 28, 2021
Montreal got off to a terrible start this season, going 6-15-2 to begin the year following their appearance in the Stanley Cup Final. Without the expansion of the postseason in 2020 and likely without the realignment of divisions last season, the Canadiens were not a serious Stanley Cup Playoff contender under Bergevin. Along with the unacceptable results in Montreal, Bergevin came under fire this offseason after his name surfaced in the investigations and lawsuits against the Blackhawks stemming from the 2010 sexual assault allegations against former video coach Brad Aldrich. After the findings of the Jenner and Block investigation became public, Stan Bowman, Al MacIsaac, and Joel Quenneville lost their jobs. At the same time, Bergevin and Winnipeg Jets General Manager Kevin Chevladayoff stayed in their positions.
After the firing of Stan Bowman in Chicago, Gorton was quickly a name that many thought could be a candidate to take over the role. Now with Montreal in the market to find a new General Manager, the Blackhawks have more competition to land their next General Manager if they decide not to keep Kyle Davidson in the role or go outside the organization for the hire.
Gorton served as the General Manager of the New York Rangers from 2015-2021 but was fired this past season after the Rangers released a statement following the Tom Wilson-Artemiy Panarin incident in May that Gorton and then-Team President John Davidson tried to distance themselves from. Previously, Gorton served as Assistant General Manager and Director of Player Personnel for the Rangers from 2008-2015 and served in the Director of Scouting and Assistant General Manager roles for the Boston Bruins from 1994-2007.