Molson takes run-around route to important decision with Canadiens

·3 min read

There was one interesting tidbit from Geoff Molson's otherwise safe and tactful press conference while answering questions about the decision to move on from the Marc Bergevin era and step into one that will be partially, or mainly, run by former New York Rangers GM Jeff Gorton.

Molson wishes that, at some point along the way, he hired someone to pair with Bergevin to help deal with all that goes into running the Montreal Canadiens. 

It isn't interesting because it supports his current strategy and latest decision, which is to lean on Gorton as the key decision-maker for hockey operations before bringing in a Francophone executive to not only work in tandem, but to handle the public relations element of hockey operations. 

But because he had been staunchly against it previously.

While there might be valid reason for the flip-flopping, it's flip-flopping nonetheless. 

In June of 2020, when the team was on the path to missing the postseason before being welcomed to the COVID-19 bubble, Molson rejected the notion that another level of management to bridge the gap between himself and the general manager was needed. 

Less than 18 months later, Molson has created that position.

A new era is beginning for the Montreal Canadiens. (Photo via Getty)
A new era is beginning for the Montreal Canadiens. (Photo via Getty)

Perhaps there isn't any fabrication to the story. It's possible that Molson does truly regret not structuring the front office differently back in 2012, or that in the time since he wishes he could have added that extra tier without it being seen as a slight against Bergevin. 

What's maybe more likely is that his stance is completely self-serving. 

And while the added cost wasn't deemed necessary when the organization had a French-speaking general manager it trusted to run the program, it's imperative now that it has turned to an anglophone to head things up. 

In however manner he arrived at the decision, though, it seems it's the right one.

Boxed into choosing from a very specific faction of hockey people to both run hockey operations and coach, it's only natural that the more who can be involved the better. 

Gorton has a track record of success and he should be both trusted to orchestrate the re-tooling or rebuild phase ahead for the Canadiens, while also choosing which French-speaking hockey person to carry out these objectives with. 

That Molson and Gorton are willing to be patient with this process is another encouraging sign.

Adding new voices will also apparently include an effort to add more progressive and essential elements to the organization's inner workings. Molson also revealed that Montreal will be working to institute a mental skills department while also welcoming more diversity to hockey operations. 

It's been a bit clumsy, his arrival to this point. But the decisions made and philosophies taken after a woeful 6-15-2 start to the season, and with Bergevin in the final year of his contract, and while only six months removed from a surprise appearance in the Stanley Cup Final, sure seem like positive ones. 

That's really all that matters for a team and organization that Molson correctly described as clearly in need of a fresh start.

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