PHILADELPHIA - JUNE 09: Director of Player Personnel Marc Bergevin (2L) hoists the Stanley Cup after the Blackhawks defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3 in overtime to win the Stanley Cup in Game Six of the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Final at the Wachovia Center on June 9, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Marc Bergevin is the new general manager of the Montreal Canadiens, and it's a move that makes a lot of sense in the wake of the Pierre Gauthier firing.
There are a couple different -- but quite interesting -- storylines that come out of the Montreal Canadiens' decision to hire Marc Bergevin as their new general manager.
For starters, Bergevin was most recently an assistant general manager in Chicago with the Blackhawks. This marks the second year in a row that a Chicago executive was tabbed as a general manager for a different NHL team. Last summer, the Winnipeg Jets named Kevin Cheveldayoff as their GM after moving from Atlanta and cutting ties with Rick Dudley.
If you want to count Dale Tallon, now the GM of the Florida Panthers, the Blackhawks have now produced three general managers in less than a full calendar year.
As if the success on the ice isn't enough, due credit should be given to guys like Stan Bowman and John McDonough for their ability to help their people advance their careers. Surely, Cheveldayoff and Bergevin deserve kudos for the hard work they've put in, but the Blackhawks have helped them along the way.
Bergevin fits many of the (at least) perceived requirements for Montreal's top job. He speaks the language (French, that is). He's from Montreal. He's spent plenty of time learning how to run a hockey organization. He started out as a scout after his retirement, and moved into the front office for the Blackhawks -- the team that drafted and with which he spent most of his NHL career -- in 2009.
His name's on the Cup. He's a Francophone. He's a Montreal native. He's worked for a very successful NHL organization as an executive. For the Canadiens, it makes perfect sense.
Reports have stated that NBC analyst Pierre McGuire was the runner-up for the job. American hockey fans might be incensed that McGuire didn't get the job -- not because he looked like the most-qualified and best candidate for the job, but because it means they have to put up with him on their televisions for an indefinite period of time.
McGuire's one of those guys. You know the kind. He is outspoken, unafraid to say what's on his mind, and unafraid of being wrong (good thing, because according to Twitter, he's wrong a lot).
He's also drawn the ire of college hockey fans in the past for commentary during the NHL Draft that intimated he was biased in favor of kids skipping out on college commitments to play Canadian major junior hockey instead. Like someone who's heard the critiques, McGuire has spent a lot of time in the playoffs talking about players who went the college route and got to the NHL, such as Florida's Jason Garrison and New Jersey's Andy Greene.
McGuire is also a passionate supporter of the sport, along with being an articulate and enthusiastic analyst who has helped revolutionize how hockey games are televised.
(It's easy to forget that McGuire was really the first guy to work with the "Inside the Glass" concept, and he's probably the best at it to this day.)
While McGuire appeared to be very interested in this job, it's hard to argue the Canadiens didn't make a good move with Bergevin. The defenseman-turned-personnel executive hasn't had a GM job before, but he'll help move the Montreal franchise forward after the disastrous stint of deposed boss Pierre Gauthier.
At this point, it's nothing but hope, but that's more than Montreal had for most of the season.