There seems to be two trendy hiring practices in the NHL. When it comes to coaches, you look at who’s hot in the AHL. If you want to tap the next GM, just look at whoever is sitting next to Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman.
The Chicago Tribune’s Chris Kuc quotes sources who say that Marc Bergevin (pictured on the left) will go from Bowman’s assistant GM to the new general manager of the Montreal Canadiens.
The Blackhawks’ front office has been picked apart in recent years. The Winnipeg Jets hired former assistant Kevin Cheveldayoff in 2011. Rick Dudley preceded Cheveldayoff when the Jets were the Atlanta Thrashers and most recently served as one of Brian Burke’s many high-profile assistants in Toronto. Dale Tallon set the table for Bowman in Chicago but now he’s building something promising with the Florida Panthers.
Bergevin was an NHL defenseman for 20 years, playing 1,191 regular season games and 80 postseason contests. After that, he moved on to the Blackhawks’ front office, where he bounced around from scouting and assistant coaching positions before working his way up to assistant GM. The 2011-12 campaign was his seventh season in the front office, according to his bio. I hear he’s an “epic prankster” as well, but I’m not sure how relevant that is to his job as GM.
(Oh yeah, he’s also a Montreal native, so speaking French isn’t an issue – if his last name didn’t give it away already.)
So, what are you thoughts? Was this a good hire? Do you think the Blackhawks are getting tired of seeing their front office harvested year after year? Do tell.
UPDATE (9:00 a.m. ET): It’s official, Bergevin is Montreal’s man. Pierre McGuire was the runner-up for the position.
The Los Angeles Kings may owe Mike Richards money until 2031 (seriously), but in settling his grievance, the team and player more or less get to turn the page.
Not before Kings GM Dean Lombardi shares his sometimes startling perspective, though.
Lombardi has a tendency to be candid, especially in the press release-heavy world of sports management. Even by his standards, his account of Richards’ “destructive sprial” is a staggering read from the Los Angeles Times’ Lisa Dillman.
“Without a doubt, the realization of what happened to Mike Richards is the most traumatic episode of my career,” Lombardi said in a written summation he provided to the Los Angeles Times. “At times, I think that I will never recover from it. It is difficult to trust anyone right now – and you begin to question whether you can trust your own judgment. The only thing I can think of that would be worse would be suspecting your wife of cheating on you for five years and then finding out in fact it was true.”
Lombardi provides plenty of eyebrow-raising statements to Dillman, including:
- He believed he “found his own Derek Jeter” in Richards, a player who “at one time symbolized everything that was special about the sport.”
- Lombardi remarked that “his production dropped 50 percent and the certain ‘it’ factor he had was vaporizing in front of me daily.”
- The Kings GM believes that he was “played” by Richards.
Again, it’s a powerful read that you should soak in yourself, even if you’re unhappy with the way the Kings handled the situation.
Maybe the most pressing of many lingering questions is: will we get to hear Richards’ side of the story?
Despite owning two Stanley Cup rings, there are a healthy number of people who aren’t wild about Jonathan Quick.
Those people might feel validated through the Los Angeles Kings’ first two games, as he followed a rough loss to the San Jose Sharks with a true stinker against the Arizona Coyotes on Friday.
Sometimes a goalie has a bad night stats-wise, yet his team is as much to blame as anything else. You can probably pin this one on Quick, who allowed four goals on just 14 shots through the first two periods.
Things died down in the final frame, but let’s face it; slowing things down is absolutely the Coyotes’ design with a 4-1 lead (which ultimately resulted in a 4-1 win).
A soft 1-0 goal turned out to be a sign of things to come:
Many expected the Kings to roar into this second game after laying an egg in their opener. Instead, the Coyotes exploited Quick’s struggles for a confidence-booster, which included key prospect Max Domi scoring a goal and an assist.
It’s worth mentioning that Mike Smith looked downright fantastic at times, only drawing more attention to Quick’s struggles.
After a troubled summer and a failed 2014-15 season, Los Angeles was likely eager to start things off the right way.
Instead, they instead will likely focus on the fact that they merely dropped two (ugly) games.