Assistant GM Marc Bergevin leaves for GM job with Canadiens
BY ADAM L. JAHNS email@example.com May 2, 2012 8:38PM
Montreal Canadiens Introduce Marc Bergevin As General Manager
Updated: June 4, 2012 11:49AM
For the second consecutive offseason, Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman has to replace his right-hand man.
Less than a year after Kevin Cheveldayoff left to run the Winnipeg Jets, Hawks assistant GM Marc Bergevin officially departed Wednesday to take over the Montreal Canadiens.
It’s a somewhat expected — but still very substantial — loss for the Hawks, who entered the offseason with plenty of questions about their makeup after being knocked out in the first round of the playoffs for the second consecutive season.
Bergevin, a Montreal native, long was considered one of the front-runners for the Canadiens’ GM job, which became available after Pierre Gauthier was fired March 29.
Bergevin first was contacted by the Canadiens in early April. He was introduced Wednesday at news conference in Montreal and carries the title of executive vice president/GM.
What do the Hawks lose? It’s their third highly respected talent evaluator to leave to revamp another team. It started with Dale Tallon, who left in 2010 under different circumstances than Cheveldayoff or Bergevin did.
Bergevin, an NHL defenseman for 20 years, has many personal connections around the league. He has handled various roles for the Hawks, including serving as their director of player personnel, and played a key role in their rise.
Bergevin, who is very close with coach Joel Quenneville, was promoted to assistant GM after Cheveldayoff left. He didn’t manage the day-to-day nuisances of the salary cap, like Cheveldayoff did, but he handled the communication and information shared by all those
involved in the Hawks’ hockey
operations. He has a diverse background, having also been an assistant coach and the Hawks’ director of pro scouting.
‘‘I know I’m ready,’’ Bergevin said during his news conference in Montreal. ‘‘[The Hawks] gave me the chance to get where I am. . . . Dale Tallon was the guy who opened the door for me, so I thank Dale for that.’’
In Bergevin, the Canadiens get someone who is easygoing and
approachable. Hawks players related to and liked him, which helped the organization in many ways.
Bowman and the Hawks, meanwhile, gain another trading partner who is familiar with their prospects and roster. Bowman has executed trades with Cheveldayoff and Tallon since taking over as GM.
It wouldn’t be a surprise if Bergevin interviews Hawks assistant Mike Haviland and/or former coach Denis Savard for the Canadiens’ head-coaching vacancy. He said interim coach Randy Cunneyworth will remain on the staff as an assistant, but only at the discretion of the new coach.
For the Hawks, their search for Bowman’s new assistant likely will begin in-house, with Mark Bernard (GM of minor-league affiliations), Mark Kelley (director of amateur scouting) and Norm Maciver
(director of player personnel) as the leading possibilities.
‘‘While it is never easy to lose someone of Bergevin’s caliber, both professionally and personally, it is a tremendous opportunity for him and his family,’’ Bowman said in a statement. ‘‘He has played a significant role in our success over the last several years.’’