Montreal Canadiens president and CEO Geoff Molson met with the media for more than an hour today to discuss the recent changes in senior leadership. He discussed several things, including the dismissal of former general manager Marc Bergevin, the appointment of the new executive vice president of hockey operations Jeff Gorton, and the search for the team’s next GM. The team continues to explain to fans that the next GM will speak french, which immediately set off speculation across the hockey world on who could be a candidate for the job.
One interesting point Molson made, however, is that the Canadiens are open to hiring someone who does not have previous GM experience. The executive pointed to the fact that Bergevin himself did not have any GM experience when he was hired in 2012, and the new front office boss will have Gorton to lean on in a partnership.
With that in mind, Eric Engels of Sportsnet reports that Daniel Briere is “very high up on the list” of candidates for the GM job. That would certainly make sense, given his familiarity with the language, market, and Gorton. The Gatineau native played the 2013-14 season for the Canadiens and has been running the Maine Mariners of the ECHL–a team that was affiliated with the New York Rangers when Gorton was in charge–since 2017. Briere is considered an up-and-coming executive after his long, successful NHL career, though jumping from the ECHL directly into the Montreal GM job would certainly be a leap.
Of course, the Canadiens are likely to hire several people after firing not only Bergevin but also assistant GM Trevor Timmins and seeing assistant GM Scott Mellanby resign. Even Molson admitted today that the job is too big for one person, explaining his regret that he didn’t insulate Bergevin further with another high-ranking executive. Obviously, Gorton–who signed a long-term deal–will be one of the decision-makers, but whoever does take the GM job will need assistants as well.
In all, this should be an exciting search that could result in a huge opportunity being given to someone who has yet to lead an NHL front office. Briere is very high up on the list, but that list is long.
I was trying to figure out what random French speaking former player they would name as the “GM” while Gorton did the real work…not named Patrick Roy, of course.
Yo Danny lets go.
I don’t like their odds of success with the “learn while you earn” approach to being Canadiens’ GM. @forwhomjoshbelltolled – Maybe they’d consider Georges Laraque, too. Team not playing well? “Georges wants to have a word with you” notes in the locker room. We don’t want Sergio in the mix, though, for selfish reasons – he’s great on the radio side with Dan.
Yes that’ll solve the Habs problems – hire a guy with ZERO NHL front office experience. This is why the Habs will always be terrible. They have to hire a French guy off the street because that’s more important than winning. Briere ran the Maine Mariners. An ECHL club for Christ sake. What a joke.
No more a “joke” than the presumption some of you seem to have that French speakers don’t have the “necessities” to be an executive in this league, or that being a ECHL executive automatically means you don’t have what it takes to be a NHL executive.
i think you’re not getting it. people think it’s silly that it’s their priority.
You’re misinterpreting my statement. The fact of the matter is there are no clear or obvious choices of GM that can speak French. That is a matter of fact, not an opinion. The Canadiens, have and always will have to recycle the same executives and coaches because they have to be able to speak French. That is why they are doomed to repeat the same mistakes. They can never hire the best guy for the job. Just the best French guy. And no – being ECHL executive does not qualify you to be an NHL GM. It barely qualifies you to be an ASGM. Go ahead, list off all the NHL GMs that went from ECHL executive to NHL GM. Go on, I’ll wait.
I can see Briere as an Assistant GM,Not the GM. I could see Vinny Damphouse, Trevor Linden would be a Good choice as well. Linden turned the Canucks around then Quit cause they deviated from the plan. How are the Bucks doing these last 2 seasons.. lol
I remember when they drafted that bum Louis Leblanc instead of Chris Kreider because muh FrEnCh SpEaKeR and they didn’t want Hab fans to boo. So brutal that that’s basically all you need on your resume.
Where has Martin Brodeur’s name been for all of this? French? Check. Executive experience? check.