Geoff Molson: « I think this team will be better managed with two people at the head of hockey operations »

The Montreal Canadiens need a fresh start.

How does a departure cost? Well, one that involves the organization of operating in a way never seen before in the National Hockey League.

Habs co-owner, president and CEO Geoff Molson held a press conference in Montreal on Monday morning to discuss the decision to fire general manager Marc Bergevin and appoint Jeff Gorton as new executive vice president of operations hockey.

« Formerly, Marc [Bergevin] was responsible for the performance in hockey, now there will be two, ”Molson said. « I think this team and this organization will be better managed with two people in charge of hockey operations. »

What we’ll see next with the Habs is Gorton leading the show behind the scenes, while someone else who can communicate with the market in both French and English will be the public face of the operation. Molson also confirmed that Gorton signed a long-term contract.

“A fresh start. I firmly believe this organization needs a fresh start,” Molson said. “At this point, a new beginning is not so much at the team level, but rather at the level of the team. management On the ice we have a much better team than the results show.

“We’ve made 45 draft picks in the last five years since our reset and we have 11 more to come to Montreal this year. It is essential that we structure our organization around the proper development of this group of talents.

The objective for this tandem will be to find more success in the draft. Under Bergevin, who became general manager in 2012, the Habs have only selected eight players who have played at least 100 NHL games. Of these eight, Artturi Lehkonen is the only one still with the organization.

When asked if the team could enter a rebuilding phase, Molson hinted it was a possibility.

“I’m not afraid of that word and I think it’s something our fans aren’t afraid of,” Molson said.

The decision to embark on a rebuild will be made by Gorton and the CEO the organization hires to work with him. The same goes for the team’s coaching staff, as Molson has confirmed that the new tandem will decide whether Dominique Ducharme et Cie will remain behind the Habs bench.

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