NHL

Canadiens hire Bergevin as new GM

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MONTREAL

The Montreal Canadiens hired Marc Bergevin as general manager Wednesday to replace the fired Pierre Gauthier.

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The 46-year-old Montreal native served as assistant GM for the Chicago Blackhawks under Stan Bowman last season. The club introduced Bergevin at a news conference at the team training center.

Gauthier was fired on March 29 with five games left in the regular season for the Canadiens, who missed the playoffs for the first time since 2007 after an injury-plagued season.

Bergevin's first order of business was to inform interim head coach Randy Cunneyworth that he won't be back in that role next season. Bergevin said he told Cunneyworth that he'll return to his job as assistant coach for the time being.

Cunneyworth was under fire for his inability to speak French after he was promoted to interim coach midseason to replace the fired Jacques Martin.

A former defenseman with 20 years NHL experience, Bergevin has spent seven seasons in various jobs in Chicago's front office. Bergevin replaced assistant GM Kevin Cheveldayoff, who left to become GM of the Winnipeg Jets.

''While it is never easy to lose someone of Marc Bergevin's caliber, both professionally and personally, it is a tremendous opportunity for him and his family,'' Bowman said in a statement.

Bergevin played for Chicago, the New York Islanders, Hartford, Tampa Bay, Detroit, St. Louis, Pittsburgh and Vancouver from 1984 to 2004.

Bergevin must consider the status of Scott Gomez and his annual $7.3-million salary cap hit. Some feel the underperforming center should either be bought out or banished to the minor leagues.

He'll also need to deal with the contract status of young players, including Carey Price and P.K. Subban, ahead of the NHL draft in June.

Tagged: Canadiens

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