Bergevin hired as general manager

The Sports Xchange

The Montreal Canadiens' exhaustive search for a general manager has ended with Marc Bergevin.

The former defenseman was announced Wednesday as the 17th general manager in Canadiens history. Bergevin will leave his post as an assistant to Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman.

In Montreal, the 46-year-old replaces Pierre Gauthier, who was fired March 29 after a two-year run that ended with a last-place finish in the Eastern Conference with a 31-35-16 record.

Drafted in 1983 by Chicago, Bergevin played 1,191 games in 20 seasons with eight teams. He joined the Blackhawks' scouting staff in 2005, eventually rising up to assistant general manager after Kevin Cheveldayoff left to become GM of the Winnipeg Jets in the summer of 2011.

After picking up only one win in their first eight games, the Canadiens went on a 6-2-0 run from Oct. 26 to Nov. 12. The run was impressive because the six wins were against teams that wound up in the playoffs. They beat Boston twice, Philadelphia, Ottawa, Nashville and Phoenix. Their losses were to the New York Rangers and Edmonton.

The Canadiens reached the high point in their season on Dec. 13 when they beat the New York Islanders and improved to 13-11-7. Four days later, general manager Pierre Gauthier fired coach Jacques Martin hours before a home game against New Jersey. Randy Cunneyworth lost in his head coaching debut and then went 1-5 on a six-game road trip around the Christmas holiday.

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