HabsWorld.net -- 

The Habs made their first big decision of the offseason earlier this week by
announcing that Marc Bergevin has been hired as the new GM.  Our writers
have had some time to ponder his appointment as well as the subsequent demotion
of Randy Cunneyworth back to assistant coach and offer up their thoughts. 
Plus, the result of our survey, who did the fans vote for as their ideal GM? 

Matt Dilworth: In light of who was available and Montreal’s unique requirements, I’m
satisfied with the selection of Marc Bergevin as the General Manager for the
Canadiens.  To be honest, my first reaction was one of relief, as I had feared
that Pierre McGuire might be named GM, but Bergevin is a solid, if not
spectacular choice.  He boasts an impressive resume, which up until Wednesday,
was pretty much only lacking "GM" in his work experience.  Nevertheless, his
experience as Assistant GM should serve him well, and Bergevin has already
stated that he is aware of his shortcomings, and won’t hesitate to utilise his
personnel when his own abilities are insufficient.  From the media and fans
perspective, Bergevin is certainly more outgoing than his predecessors, and
should make for more frequent and entertaining press junkets.  Along the same
vein, his many connections made in his almost 3 decades of NHL involvement
should most increase the number of Montreal’s potential trade partners. 
Although it will take some time for Bergevin to make his mark, it is hard to
be pessimistic when he openly identifies the club’s needs, and displays no
reluctance to do what needs to be done.  Finally, his re-assignment of former
coach Randy Cunneyworth to assistant coach (however temporary it may be) was a
classy gesture, and will hopefully be the first of many moves bringing the
Canadiens back to respectability.

Alex Létourneau:

Geoff Molson and the Montreal Canadiens went the complete opposite way after
relieving Gauthier of his duties. It was almost strange listening to Marc
Bergevin crack jokes and be completely transparent with the media during his
introductory press conference on Wednesday. More importantly, it was
refreshing. I admit not knowing very much about the man. I know he’s a homeboy
and had a long NHL career with several teams. He was a part of building a
Stanley Cup championship with another original six team and from everything
I’ve read, is a well liked prankster and is highly respected in the NHL
community. These are all great qualities. He also said all the right things at
the presser, putting a focus on Quebec-based talent, hiring a French-speaking
coach and basically restoring the team to the one he grew up adoring. So to
me, that’s a start. We’ll see what he’s made of very soon with hiring a head
coach, big contracts to sign (dump?) and the draft but, in simple terms of
restoring the groundwork of faith in the Montreal fanbase, Molson picked up
where he left off after his heartfelt press conference last month. The future
is certainly looking brighter.

Just to touch on Randy Cunneyworth being kept on as an assistant coach, I liked
that move. In what could have been another classless move by letting him go
altogether after the unparalleled hell he was put through, they kept him on and
informed him of his role right away. I’m not sold on him being a head coach in
the NHL just yet, but then again, he was given the absolute worst stage to make
his debut. Good on Molson for retaining him in an important role.

Curt MacLellan:

Bergevin is a fine choice for the GM
position. His hockey pedigree, both as a player and as a front office executive,
has honed his skills as a keen hockey mind and has adequately prepared him for
his new role with the Habs. For the past several years Bergevin has acted as
director of player personnel, pro scout, and assistant GM with the Chicago
Blackhawks, where he helped the team win a Stanley Cup in 2010. Although he is
taking over the reins for a team that finished 3rd last in the NHL,
Bergevin has publicly stated that the current Montreal roster is quite strong
and he is only a “piece of the puzzle” moving forward. Immediately after his
appointment as GM, Bergevin correctly demoted “interim coach” Randy Cunneyworth
back to assistant coach, making room for the heir-apparent to select his own
coaching staff. Now that these two moves have taken place, the rest of the
dominoes will soon fall; that is, RFAs like Carey Price and P.K. Subban will be
re-signed, a new coach will be hired, a key young player will be selected in the
upcoming draft, and potential free agents will be courted in an attempt to
resurrect the pride and glory of The Canadiens. With Scotty Bowman’s blessing
also in place, Bergevin is poised to bring the team back, not only to
respectability, but also to thriving success.

The Fans’ Choice

Earlier this week, we released a survey to get your thoughts on the GM
situation.  Unfortunately we had less than a day to collect responses
before the Habs made their selection but we still gathered quite a few
responses.  Here are the results of who you picked for GM:

1) Pierre McGuire: 39.6%
2) Marc Bergevin:  24.4%
3) Julien BriseBois: 15.4%
4) Other: 10.2%
5) Patrick Roy: 4.0%
6) Doug Risebrough: 3.5%
7) Blair Mackasey: 1.8%
8) Claude Loiselle: 1.1%
9) Larry Carriere: 0%

In the ‘other’ category, we had a variety of selections.  Dale Tallon
and Jim Nill were popular write-ins while a few people voted for themselves. 
I personally would like to thank the one voter who chose me as a write-in. 
Our writers took the same poll a couple of days in advance of the fan one, there
was a tie for their winner between Bergevin and one of the other finalists in
Julien Brisebois.

Part 2 will be posted on Saturday which will include more thoughts from our
writers and some more results from our survey.