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Canadiens fire GM Marc Bergevin, hire Jeff Gorton as VP of hockey operations

Montreal Canadiens

DALLAS, TX - JUNE 23: Marc Bergevin of the Montreal Canadiens handles draft duties the 2018 NHL Draft at American Airlines Center on June 23, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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The Montreal Canadiens are making sweeping changes to their front office.

The team announced on Sunday afternoon that general manager Marc Bergevin, assistant general manager Trevor Timmins, and senior vice president Paul Wilson have all been fired.

On Saturday, assistant general manager Scott Mellanby resigned.

A search for a new general manager is already underway, while former New York Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton will be hired as executive vice president of hockey operations.

“On behalf of myself and the organization, I wish to thank Marc Bergevin, Trevor Timmins, and Paul Wilson for their passion and engagement towards our Club over the last years,” owner Geoff Molson said in a statement released by the team, announcing the changes.

“Their relentless work allowed our fans to experience many memorable moments, including last summer’s playoff run that culminated with the Stanley Cup Final. We wish them all the success they deserve in the pursuit of their careers. I think, however, that the time has come for a leadership change within our hockey operations department that will bring a new vision and should allow our fans and partners to continue cheering for a championship team.”

It has been a wild year for the Canadiens to get to this point. They managed to make the playoffs in the reconfigured North Division during the shortened 2020-21 season and went on a stunning playoff run -- thanks in large part to the stunning play of starting goalie Carey Price -- to the Stanley Cup Final where they lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

They have not come close to recapturing that magic this season.

The team lost Philip Danault and Tomas Tatar to unrestricted free agency, top defender Shea Weber to a potentially career ending injury, and then Price missed the start of the season following offseason surgery and then entering the league’s player assistance program. He has still yet to play a game this season. As if all of that was not enough, they also lost Jesperi Kotkaniemi to a restricted free agent offer sheet. Add in a slow start for top prospect Cole Caufield and minimal contribution from key offseason acquisition Christian Dvorak and the roster is a shell of what we saw in the playoffs.

Even after Saturday’s win against the Pittsburgh Penguins the Canadiens are just 6-15-2 so far this season with one of the league’s worst records.

The low point of the offseason, though, was when the Canadiens used their first-round draft pick on Logan Mailloux, a player that told NHL teams not to draft him following a 2020 conviction in Sweden for taking and circulating a photo of a woman performing a sex act without her consent. Montreal was harshly criticized for the pick, while Molson spoke out saying he understood the anger fans had and that the team let them down.

In short, it has been a tumultuous year for the Canadiens.

Bergevin has been with the Canadiens since the 2012-13 season. They made the playoffs six times during his tenure.