Canadiens GM Bergevin gives Therrien full vote of confidence

Newly acquired Canadiens goalie Ben Scrivens is really excited to be back in the NHL and to be in Montreal, says his agent gave him the heads up that trade was in the works prior to the announcement.

Canadiens general Marc Bergevin said the thought of firing coach Michel Therrien during a slide that’s seen the team lose 10 of their last 11 games never crossed his mind.

“When we were 19-4, 19-5, we were talking about Michel Therrien as a possibility [to be on the coaching staff for Canada] for the [2016] World Cup of Hockey,” Bergevin told reporters in French ahead of Montreal’s game with the Lightning. “I have confidence in Michel Therrien and the players, there’s no doubt about that.”

Bergevin’s Monday started with trading forward Zack Kassian to Edmonton for goaltender Ben Scrivens.

Kassian, who was acquired by Montreal in a trade last July, was involved in a car accident on the eve of the regular season. He entered into Phase 2 of the NHL and NHLPA’s rehabilitation program for substance abuse the following day. Upon his reinstatement Dec. 15, the Canadiens placed him on waivers. Once he cleared waivers, the team sent him to their AHL affiliate, the St. John’s IceCaps, but asked him not to report to the team.

“Here in Montreal we have standards,” said Bergevin. “Zack took a decision we didn’t agree with. He paid the consequences.”

As for the decision to bring Scrivens in, Bergevin said it had nothing to do with concerns starting goaltender Carey Price – who was expected to miss six weeks with a lower-body injury suffered Nov. 25 – might be out longer than expected.

“The timeline remains the same,” said Bergevin.

Bergevin met with the players later Monday morning to discuss the team’s slide. He did not divulge what was said behind closed doors.

“We’ve seen across the league, with the salary cap, that deals are harder and harder to make,” Bergevin told the media in Tampa. “I think it’s a matter of time before we turn this around. I believe in this group.”