1) Right Man for the Job
After taking office on May 2, 2012, Bergevin’s first order of business was to find the perfect coach to lead his troops to victory. One month later, he re-introduced Habs fans to Michel Therrien, who rode his team concept and “No Excuses” mantra to a Northeast division title and a 29-14-5 record in the lockout-shortened campaign. Under Therrien’s guidance, the Canadiens dragged themselves out of the Eastern basement, all the way to finishing No.2 in the conference one year later.
2) Pick of the Litter
Bergevin set out to stock the Canadiens’ cupboards with top prospects in his first NHL Entry Draft as general manager. With the third-overall pick in 2012, the new GM called on Sarnia Sting forward Alex Galchenyuk, who went on suit up for the Habs on opening night a few months later. The rookie sensation finished his debut campaign fifth in rookie scoring with nine goals and 27 points, while also maintaining an impressive plus-14 differential, all before celebrating his 20th birthday.
3) Heart and Soul
Looking to toughen up a Canadiens team known more for speed than size, Bergevin used his first July 1 as GM to add a little sandpaper to the lineup. With Therrien in tow, Bergevin headed to London, ON, to make his pitch to Brandon Prust in person, landing the gritty UFA, who did everything from fighting, hitting and blocking shots to scoring goals and grooming rookies in his first year as a Hab.
4) Big Brother
Having already successfully reintegrated former Habs coach Michel Therrien back into the fray in June, Bergevin once again looked into the past to help the team’s future. In bringing Francis Bouillon back home to where he started his career in 1999, Bergevin injected veteran leadership into the lineup, finding the perfect mentor to pair with rookies like Nathan Beaulieu, Greg Pateryn and Jarred Tinordi in their first NHL games.
5) Return of Ryder
Bergevin didn’t wait for the trade deadline to make his first major deal as GM, sending Erik Cole to Dallas in return for another born-again Hab, Michael Ryder, on February 26. The five-time 20-plus goal scorer didn’t disappoint, quietly leading the Canadiens with 16 goals in 46 games, registering 21 points in 27 games in his return to Montreal.
5) Front Office
From the day he was hired, Bergevin made it clear that to succeed, his plan was to surround himself with good people. He didn’t disappoint, bolstering his front office by nabbing one of the league’s best hockey minds in Rick Dudley, re-upping assistant GM Larry Carriere and draft guru Trevor Timmins, improving the team’s player development department by adding seasoned NHLers in Scott Mellanby, Patrice Brisebois and Martin Lapointe to the mix and, most recently, recruiting an experienced capologist with the addition of John Sedgwick as Director of Legal Affairs.
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