Canadiens receive permission to talk to former Rangers GM Gorton

Former New York Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton. (Seth Wenig/AP)

The Montreal Canadiens have been given permission to talk to former New York Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman is reporting.

Gorton, who has been spending time this season as an analyst on the NHL Network, spent 30 seasons with the Rangers and Boston Bruins. In his 14 seasons with the Rangers, Gorton was GM for six of them (2015-21) after spending four as assistant GM. He joined the team as a professional scout in 2007. Gorton’s most noteworthy recent additions to the Rangers were Mika Zibanejad, Adam Fox and Artemi Panarin.

The Rangers fired Gorton and team president John Davidson on May 5 in a move that surprised the hockey world. Chris Drury replaced both as president and GM.

While with the Bruins, Gorton was director of scouting information from 1994 to 2005 and, at one point, interim GM in 2006.

It is believed Gorton’s discussions with the Canadiens would be about a position other than general manager. Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin is in the last year of his contract with the team.

Bergevin has been general manager of the Canadiens since May 2012. Montreal has gone a combined 353-265-81 with six playoff appearances during his tenure, coming off a Stanley Cup Final berth in which the Canadiens lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning, four games to one.

The Habs, without captain Shea Weber and star goalie Carey Price, are 5-15-2 this season.

In his time as GM, Bergevin has made some significant trades involving fan favourite players such as P.K. Subban and Max Pacioretty while also bringing in important contributors such as Josh Anderson and Jake Allen.

Bergevin signed his current contract in 2015.

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