Friday, May 04, 2012

Bonjour, Je M'appelle Marc!

And with the signing of a contract, Marc Bergevin enters the Lions den, aka, Le Club de hockey Canadiens de Montreal.

Bergevin left the relative quiet of his work as assistant General Manager with the Chicago Blackhawks, to take on the task of turning around one of the NHL's most historic of franchises, one steeped in tradition of the past and of late concern for its future.

Awaiting him is a tinderbox of media attention where every shrug, glance, or clearing of a throat is construed as a game changing moment, all of it broadcast daily and dissected in print by one of the largest and at times most demanding of writing corps that the NHL has.

There are 30 NHL GM jobs in the league, at any given time more than a few of those jobs are up for grabs, most of them in locales that don't provide for much more in pressure than to making sure you can find the coffee pot in the morning and that your phone is working.

Places where time is your ally, an opportunity to rebrand your new squad as your own and for better or worse, stand back and await judgment on your hockey sense.

Then there's Montreal, where each and every day provides for drama that at times borders on farce, where real problems of society are set on the back burner, a situation where perhaps far too many residents of the province discuss if Gomez will ever score again, if PK Subban is going to be the stud on defence the team needs and of course if Randy Cunneyworth ever did make it to his Berlitz class.

To the latter, it would seem that if he hasn't yet, perhaps he could get a refund, all indications from the debut press conference with Monsieur Bergevin suggest that unless Cunneyworth picked up bilingual status in the last month he is in the long term, most likely long gone from Montreal.

And while the early indications are that Cunneyworth will return to assistant coach duties, one has to wonder if Montreal is now a good fit for him and if by September he hasn't asked to be released to pursue other opportunities.

It's no doubt a decision that probably isn't fair to Cunneyworth, who was thrown into perhaps the worst possible scenario in hockey and then immediately thrown under the buss by both his GM and owner, still even he probably realizes that a new GM is going to want his own coach and considering the noise over Cunneyworth's arrival, a clean slate certainly puts the new GM in the drivers seat out of the gate.

That of course is going to be one of the first of decisions for Bergevin to make, followed by a few others including what should be done with Scott Gomez and his rather handsome contract, draft choices and rebuilding the team will take up most of Bergevin's summer, all of it carefully watched and commented on by a Canadiens press corps that can be merciless when the mood strikes.

So far, his arrival has been heralded as a wise move by Mr. Molson and his management team, but hey, it's only been less than 72 hours, we imagine the honeymoon period is almost over...

Welcome to the fishbowl Mr. Bergevin, hope you brought some food for the sharks.

National Post-- New Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin eager to restore winning culture
National Post-- Canadiens hire Marc Bergevin as new GM
Globe and Mail-- New era begins with a wink in both languages
Globe and Mail-- Who is Marc Bergevin?
Globe and Mail-- Marc Bergevin named as Canadiens new GM Bergevin 'right person' to rebuild Canadiens  GM Marc Bergevin's first press conference liveblog Bergevin's sense of humour will come in handy in Montreal GM Marc Bergevin's first press conference liveblog Reaction to Marc Bergervin as Canadiens new GM New Canadiens GM must be able to choose next coach Key for Candiens GM Marc Bergevin will be wisdom A good first impression of Canadiens' new GM Marc Bergevin
CBC-- Montrealer Marc Bergevin named Canadiens GM
CBC-- Bowman was never called, but endorses Bergevin hiring
CTV-- What do Montrealers think of new GM Marc Bergevin?
Toronto Sun-- Bergevin has plenty of work to do
Ottawa Citizen--  Bergevin becomes biggest piece of Habs puzzle
Toronto Star-- New Man in Montreal
Sportsnet-- Business time for Bergevin
Sportsnet-- Can Bergevin walk the walk?
TSN-- Habs hire GM Bergevin: move Cunneyworth to assistant coach
TSN-- Off-Season game plan: Montreal Canadiens
ESPN-- Marc Bergevin can arrest Habs' cultural slide
ESPN- Q loses an ally with Bergevin's move Canadiens hope to reverse course with new GM Marc Bergevin
NBC Sports-- The Montreal Media already likes Marc Bergevin more than Pierre Gauthier
Chicago Sun Times-- Assistant GM Marc Bergevin leaves for GM job with Canadiens
Chicago Tribune-- Canadiens hire Bergevin as GM

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