In a ‘perfect world,’ Marc Bergevin would remain as Canadiens GM

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In a ‘perfect world,’ Marc Bergevin would remain as Canadiens GM

Doesn’t want to talk about report he could be joining the Los Angeles Kings next season.

Author of the article:

Stu Cowan  •  Montreal Gazette

Publishing date:

Oct 20, 2021  •  14 minutes ago  •  3 minute read  •  13 Comments

Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin during a news conference at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard on Oct. 7, 2021.
Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin during a news conference at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard on Oct. 7, 2021. Photo by John Mahoney /Montreal Gazette

Marc Bergevin says that in a “perfect world” he wants to stay on as GM of the Canadiens beyond this season.

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“In a perfect world, yes,” Bergevin said during an unexpected interview session Wednesday at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard.

Of course, this isn’t a perfect world and Bergevin is in the final year of his contract. Bergevin’s answer certainly makes it look like money and/or term is the issue in his talks with team owner/president Geoff Molson about a new contract.

It also makes it look like he won’t be back in Montreal next year.

“I do still control all the strings,” Bergevin said about doing his job as a lame-duck GM. “I’m totally in charge. And like always in the past when I make something significant, I always run it by not only the people who work with me, either (assistant GM) Scott Mellanby or whoever, but I also run it by Geoff, telling him what I do, why I do it. So nothing has changed that way. I’m pretty transparent.”

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The Canadiens have announced they won’t discuss Bergevin’s contract until the end of the season, but there are many questions that should be answered. For example, why is Molson OK with a lame-duck GM running a team that has an 0-4 record?

There was a report by Larry Brooks of the New York Post last week that Bergevin could end up with the Los Angeles Kings next season. When Bergevin was asked about that, he didn’t want to talk about it, saying his only focus is on making the Canadiens a better team.

There was no early announcement Wednesday from the Canadiens that Bergevin would be speaking to the media.

“There’s no reason especially,” Bergevin said. “But Montreal’s a different market, it’s a special market. As we know, sometimes tension is higher than it should be or vice-versa. I feel as the hockey boss I think it’s just to show my support to the team and also my concern. But I believe the answer is within and if you have any questions that’s why I was here today. No other reason.”

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The GM said he hasn’t spoken with Carey Price since the goalie entered the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program two weeks ago.

“Those type of situations, they’re very limited in their contacts outside,” Bergevin said.

The GM also announced that defenceman Joel Edmundson, who missed all of training camp and has yet to play a game this season because of an undisclosed injury, has left the team to be with his ailing father.

“He came to me … it’s his father and it’s been an ongoing battle with cancer,” Bergevin said. “Joel came to me and he’s a big man … you know the way he plays and that’s how he conducts himself and he was very shaken up by the fact that his dad was not doing well. So I gave him a hug and I said: ‘Listen, take the time you need. Family comes first.’ So I don’t know when he will be back, but he needs to take the time he has to take with his family.”

Bergevin said he has spoken with captain Shea Weber, who remains at his home in Kelowna, B.C., while recovering from numerous injuries. Bergevin said Weber won’t play this season. When asked if Weber will play again, the GM said: “I think it’s a long shot. You never know, but I would say it’s a long shot.”

It’s also looking like a long shot that Bergevin will be back as GM next season.

scowan@postmedia.com

twitter.com/StuCowan1

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