Well, after about a kajillion rumors based on silly speculation creating a field of candidates that could form a line between St. catherines street and avenue des Canadiens-de-Montréal, the Habs have finally chosen their new General Manager. Yay.
More on this today, and what changes we can expect to happen over the next couple of months.
BERGEVIN PRESS CONFERENCE UPDATE: So the new guy in town is just in the process of being introduced/giving his first press conference to the bloodthirsty scribes in Montreal. First impressions are no different than anticipated perceptions - Bergevin looks like a solid guy and a solid choice to run the show, in hopes that this team, with many of the necessary pieces in place, can make a firm run for a championship in the near future.
A few notes and thoughts:
- Randy Cunneyworth, as expected, will not be returning as head coach, but has been asked to stay on as an Assistant, which I think is a fair decision, and an offer that Cunneyworth would be advised to take (because he's not ready to take the coaching reigns of any NHL club - and almost certainly would be pressed to find a related position with another organization). So a new head coach is official - the wires will be buzzing with anticipation over when Patrick Roy will get his phone call.
- Trevor Timmins will be retained as head scout - Bergevin just gave him a huge endorsement. There's lots of debate, pro and con, over Timmons' scouting record - on the plus side, the Habs have done a pretty good job drafting NHL-capable talent, but not-so-good in picking up backyard talent (2006 first round pick of the now obscure David Fisher, followed immediately after by the Flyers pick of now all-world Claude Giroux ... ooops).
But anyway, Timmins stays.
- Scott Gomez. Yeah - this again. Reports were filtering out this morning that the Habs had decided to buy out Gomez' contract. I don't believe it for a second. First, any decision to buy out any contract can't be made for another 45 days (at least), and secondly, the Habs would be making a significant mistake by taking the buyout route, which would have significant cap implications for the next four years.
If Gomez is to be dealt with for maximum benefit to the team, he must be demoted. It wipes his salary totally off the sheet, which allows the team to better pursue big-name free agents, and sign its must-haves for long term contract extensions (Price, Subban, Pacioretty, Desharnais, etc.).