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The Upper Canadien

Habs GM search rounding the home stretch

Various reports today in numerous media outlets, and it all boils down to this: there are four candidates remaining. Or perhaps three. Marc Bergevin, Pierre McGuire, Julien Brisebois and Francois Giguere appear to be the four finalists for the GM role with the Montreal Canadiens. As of this afternoon, some media report that Francois Giguere is out of the running. It also appears that Claude Loiselle is no longer a candidate.

We’re left with the joker (Bergevin) the media man (McGuire) and the capologist (Brisebois). Each candidate has their own talents that they bring to the role. Bergevin has been training under Scotty Bowman, assisting with Chicago as they build a regular contender and perennial NHL powerhouse. He’s got a reputation as a bit of a joker, and there’s no questioning his pedigree as an NHL player for two decades who knows the game well.

McGuire is also a student of the Bowman school, having been Bowman’s assistant with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Bowman is on the record as endorsing McGuire, and also suggesting that his rival for the job (Bergevin) still has some learning to do. McGuire has a rolodex the size of an encyclopedia, but he’s been out of hockey management for 15 years. Now, there’s a good reason why - he’s been making big bucks as an NHL analyst - but is he too far removed to be an effective manager?

Brisebois comes with baggage, as the former assistant to GM Bob Gainey. However, he’s the youngest candidate (at 35), trained as a lawyer and apparently a whiz with the salary cap. His hiring would be similar to the Boston Red Sox hiring of Theo Epstein a decade ago, and that returned Boston to contender status. Could Brisebois do the same for the Habs?

If you read this blog regularly, you know who my pick is: it’s McGuire. He knows more about talent evaluation than the other two contenders, and his contacts stretch far and wide across the NHL. I believe talent evaluation is where the Canadiens need to focus, not on numbers, and not on bringing in a former player, which they’ve done so many times before.

I was leaning towards McGuire, until I heard Scotty Bowman, who is Bergevin’s current boss, wholeheartedly endorse McGuire. That sealed it for me. McGuire’s my guy, and I hope he gets the nod.

Agree? Disagree? Regardless, we should know within a couple of weeks.

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Comments

yreland's avatar

Pretty pretty please take McGuire!!!!

Posted by yreland from Hockey's black hole South Carolina on 05/01/12 at 09:16 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Pretty pretty please take McGuire!!!!

Hahaha… exactly. Then we don’t have to hear him yell to Enzo how such n such is really steppin’ up their play. What a feckin’ tool that guy is.

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 05/01/12 at 11:42 PM ET

Avatar

For god sakes, as long as he is bilingual he will be fine!  Good, it is this type of irrational thinking that will keep the best candidate from getting the job.  If the coyotes move to Quebec, they would probably fire
Dave Tippet immediately since he ins’t bilingual.  Tippet has proven his merit as a top 10 coach in this league by getting that cast of misfits to the playoffs the last few years.  But,  because he doesn’t know French, he isn’t good enough for that market.  Whatever happened to “wins” being a universal language?

Posted by 11B3PF7 in MN on 05/02/12 at 01:25 AM ET

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The Upper Canadien is your one stop shop for all things Montreal Canadiens. Since the summer of 2010, I've been providing Habs related news, notes, and most importantly, opinions. As a blogger, I don't believe it's my job to report the news, it's my privilege to comment on it. You may disagree with what I suggest. In fact, you most likely will. But that's the great part about blogging: it spurs opinion, comment and engages all involved. I've really enjoyed all the debate and commentary from readers thus far and I encourage everyone to respond with ideas on lineups, trades, logos, sweaters, mascots, whatever. The Upper Canadien is a conversation for all hockey fanatics.

I've come to Kukla's Korner with four years of campus radio and three years of sportswriting from my time at Mount Allison University on Canada's East coast. Not only do I not have any professional journalistic training, after five years in the corporate world, I've spent much of the past two years completing an MBA. Business by day, hockey by night, I'm a Canadiens fan through and through. I hope you enjoy reading as much as I do writing.

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