For the second summer in a row, the Blackhawks have an opening behind general manager Stan Bowman. Assistant general manager Marc Bergevin officially left the Hawks to run the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday.
Bergevin, a native Montreal, was long rumored to be one of the front-runners for the Canadiens' general manager position, which became available after Pierre Gauthier was fired. Bergevin was first contacted by the Canadiens in early April.
Bergevin's official title with the Canadiens is: executive vice president and general manager.
"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. "He has played a significant role in our success over the last several years as a member of the front office and coaching staff, and his roots in Chicago stretch to 1983 when he was drafted by the Blackhawks. I want to personally thank him for his dedication to our organization and certainly wish him all the best in Montreal."
Bergevin, an NHL defenseman for 20 years, has garnered a reputation as a solid talent evaluator with personal connections around the league. He has handled various roles for the Hawks, including being the team's director of player personnel.
He was promoted to assistant GM in June after Kevin Cheveldayoff left to run the Winnipeg Jets. He's also been an assistant coach and the Hawks' director of pro scouting.
One of the biggest difference between Bergevin and Cheveldayoff is that Bergevin didn't handle the day-to-day responsibilities of the NHL's salary cap. Cheveldayoff did. But Bergevin's evaluation of talent was highly respected in the Hawks' front office.
Bergevin has a very affable personality and was well-liked by some of the Hawks players. He's a renowned prankster from his playing days, but those ways still showed up in the Hawks' front office.
"I took this position because I know that I'm ready," Bergevin said during his introductory press conference in Montreal. "If I wasn't, I wouldn't be sitting here today."