Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Choice of Bergevin like a breath of fresh air

I don't profess to know a great deal about Marc Bergevin, but I do know this: among the candidates the Canadiens interviewed for the vacant general manager's post, he's as qualified as anyone, and he can't be any worse than Pierre Gauthier.
It reportedly came down to Bergevin and broadcaster Pierre McGuire before the Chicago Tribune broke the story last night that the Canadiens have settled on Bergevin, who served this past season as an assistant to Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman after stints as director of player personnel, assistant coach and scout. He's been in the league in one capacity or another since 1984, when he played his first of nearly 1200 games as an NHL defenceman. He's also the politically correct choice, being a French-first, bilingual Montreal native.
What's intriguing about Bergevin is that he's described a prankster with a quirky personality - a description supported by a photo of Bergevin in full Julius Caesar garb, presiding over a kangaroo court at an international tournament in Norway a few years ago. Not that a knack for mirth and merriment is high on the list of qualifications for the job, but quirky pranksters are conspicuous by their absence in the Canadiens front office, and a guy with a sense of humour would represent a welcome departure from somber deliberations of Bob Gainey and Gauthier's detached, button-down corporate stylings.
Ultimately, Bergevin will be judged by how the Canadiens progress or regress under his watch, but infusing some personality and character into the process certainly can't hurt an organization with a history of taking itself far too seriously.

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