WAS HABS’ GM ASLEEP AT THE SWITCH?
Four weeks into the job as general manager of the Montreal Canadiens, everything was coming up roses for Marc Bergevin.
Until today’s announcement that Bob Hartley had taken a the job as head coach of the Calgary Flames.
If you believe everything you read on Twitter, Hartley was destined to take over as bench boss of the Habs. Mind you, we were hearing the very same thing about Patrick Roy up until just a few short weeks ago, when he seemed to fall off the Twitter radar.
But I digress.
Hartley was going to be “the one.”
Well, he’s not. Not in Montreal, at least.
The optics of today’s developments are not good for Marc Bergevin, through no fault of his own. Bergevin, first in Shawinigan during the Memorial Cup, and then, just yesterday, at the NHL GM’s meetings in New York, made it clear that he was in no rush to name a new head coach. He said the move could come quickly, or it could take awhile. Yesterday he stated the obvious when he said there would be no annnouncement coming from the Canadiens this week.
In fact, Bergevin might not have a head coach with him at the draft table when it comes time for the Canadiens to make their picks next month in Pittsburgh.
So, basically, Bergevin has said a whole lot of nothing about the team’s vacant coaching position over the last week or so — because there hasn’t been anything to say.
You can’t fault the guy for that.
But Habs fans who were hoping to see Bob Hartley behind the Montreal bench are going to equate Bergevin’s decision-making process as “waffling.” They are going to see this as Bergevin’s inability to land the big coaching fish in what is a very small coaching pond for the Canadiens. They are going to accuse Bergevin of being asleep at the switch.
Was he? I don’t know. I have no idea how close Bob Hartley might have been to becoming the next head coach of the Montreal Canadiens. In my view, only two people know the answer to that question: Bob Hartley, and Marc Bergevin. And, at the news conference held today in Calgary to introduce their new head coach, Hartley acknowledged that although the Canadiens had shown an interest in his sevices, he called Bergevin to tell him that he would be joining the Flames.
So while Marc Bergevin was wowing them with his initial front-office signings of Bobby Kinsella as a U.S. scout, Rick Dudley as assistant GM, and Scott Mellanby as Director of Player Personnel, he still hasn’t given Canadiens fans what they’ve been lusting for.
A new head coach.
Welcome to Montreal, Marc.
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