The Los Angeles Kings have hired Marc Bergevin as senior advisor to the general manager, a role that will represent the next step for the former Montreal Canadiens executive. Rob Blake, general manager of the Kings, released this statement about the hire:
Marc brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our hockey operations staff and will be a valuable addition to our group. We look forward to his contributions.
Bergevin, 56, spent nearly a decade at the helm of the Canadiens but was let go in November after a brutal start to the season. He previously worked with the Chicago Blackhawks in various roles, including scout, director of player personnel, and assistant general manager. His playing career, which included nearly 1,200 regular season games, spanned basically the same period as Kings’ president Luc Robitaille and all three–Blake included–were teammates at the 1994 World Championship, where they earned a gold medal.
It’s his time in Montreal’s front office that will color this hire, however, as Bergevin’s tenure with the Canadiens was at best a rollercoaster of success and failure. The team did reach the Stanley Cup Final last year under his watch, but returned this season with a roster that has won just seven of 34 games, sits 31st in the NHL, and has long-term commitments to several underperforming players. Overall, the Canadiens reached the playoffs in six of the nine full seasons that Bergevin was in charge.
In an advisory role, Bergevin can help a Kings team loaded with youthful potential build into a contender while also keeping his eyes open for a new opportunity. Unemployed for just over a month, it’s obvious that his perceived public relations mistakes–which include selecting Logan Mailloux in the first round despite the young defenseman trying to renounce himself from the draft–will not keep him from landing another high profile job in an NHL front office.