The Montreal Canadiens have fired general manager Marc Bergevin and have hired Jeff Gorton as the team’s new vice president of hockey operations.
The Canadiens also relieved assistant general manager Trevor Timmins and senior vice president of affairs and communications, Paul Wilson, of their duties.
“On behalf of myself and the organization, I wish to thank Marc Bergevin, Trevor Timmins, and Paul Wilson for their passion and engagement towards our Club over the last years,” owner and team president Geoff Molson wrote in a statement. “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.”
The team said the process to hire a new general manager is underway and they are looking for one that will “bring significant hockey expertise to the organization, an additional criterion of that person’s role will be to communicate with fans in both French and English.”
In a long letter to the team’s fans posted on the Canadiens website, Bergevin offered thanks to “everyone who, in one way or another, has helped make this dream come true,” as well as to the players, coaches, et al., Molson, the media and especially to “the fans for their support, passion, and loyalty to the Montreal Canadiens.”
He also wrote, “despite the fact that this journey is coming to an end, I am proud of the legacy I’m leaving within the organization. The current team is much better than the results show, and I am convinced that my successors will be able to rise to the challenge.”
“It is with my head high and with unforgettable memories that I am leaving my role as General Manager of the Montreal Canadiens.”
Bergevin was in his 10th season as the team’s general manager leading the team to a trip to the Stanley Cup Final last season.
Molson will address the media at a press conference from the team’s practice facility in Brossard, Que., on Monday at 11 a.m. ET.
Assistant general manager Scott Mellanby resigned on Saturday. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported that Mellanby, who was one of Bergevin’s first hires in 2012 and was promoted to assistant GM in 2014, was Bergevin’s choice to replace him as GM. But, Friedman added, the club informed Mellanby this week that he was not in the running for an elevated role, which led to his resignation.
The Canadiens received permission from the New York Rangers to speak with Gorton about a role in the organization. The Rangers fired Gorton and team president John Davidson on May 5 with Chris Drury replacing both as president and GM. Gorton has been doing analysis on the NHL Network.
The Canadiens, without captain Shea Weber and star goalie Carey Price, are 6-15-2 this season after making an appearance in the Stanley Cup Final last season.