“From galvanized to polarized in one short month.”
That’s how Dave Stubbs describes the mood regarding Marc Bergevin’s very young reign as the Montreal Canadiens’ GM after ushering in the second Michel Therrien era. Stubbs believes that making that controversial coaching hire has already ended the “honeymoon” era for Bergevin.
Compared to Pierre Gauthier, his sometimes lifelike predecessor, Bergevin has been a breath of communicative fresh air, keeping some cards tight to his vest yet willing to show others.
But in the dark of night Monday into Tuesday, Internet reports confirmed by team communiqué roughly nine hours later, Bergevin confounded many fans and infuriated plenty more with his hiring of Michel Therrien to a second tour of duty as Canadiens head coach.
All this iron-rich new blood in the front office, and then Bergevin gives the team what many critics are calling a stale infusion.
The “honeymoon” moniker might just be the important thing to remember, though.
Sure, Therrien’s hire is the first “major” move of the Bergevin era (apologies to Dudley), yet there are much bigger decisions ahead. Most obviously, Bergevin needs to lock up young cornerstones – and restricted free agents – Carey Price and P.K. Subban with reasonable new deals.
It’s a tough situation for a general manager considering the differing pressures of a crowd that wants wins right away and a role that often calls for patience, but ultimately, Bergevin needs to go with his gut.
Picking Therrien will test that intestinal fortitude, though.