Jeff Gorton never set foot in Montreal, he knew the work in front of him would be too big. His presence at the Bell Center for Thursday night’s game against Avalanche only confirmed this fact.
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The new executive vice president of hockey operations flew to Nashville on Friday morning to attend his first Montreal media bath. During the half-hour press briefing he examined the team situation, its focus, the plan for resuming training, the process of hiring a general manager … and its purpose in learning French.
“I saw the team for the first time yesterday (Thursday). I want to see a little more about it before making any decisions,” the American said.
“Obviously, things have to happen. If you look at the teams I’ve involved with, they are quick and efficient. I want to pay special attention to player development and add to the advanced statistics section,” he said.
In the immediate future, Gorton will have to consider appointing a general manager, who will be clearly selected on the committee. We understand that Gorton and Geoff Molson will be part of the decision – making process. Who else?
One thing is for sure, the subject continues to produce a lot of ink as Gorton insists on not nominating before Christmas. At the same time, he said that Dominic Ducharm’s position was not in danger this season.
No GM before Christmas
In the meantime, he makes decisions on team destiny. So Gorton gave himself a few days and a few games to adequately assess the staff he had. It was during this time that he wanted to direct the team.
In New York, it will be recalled that the Rangers made it clear in February 2018 that they would carry out the reconstruction by writing a letter to their supporters.
“In New York, our team was in good shape, but not exceptional. We held internal meetings, this time we decided to follow this path. We chose to be transparent with our fans by telling them exactly what we were going to do,” Gorton explained.
The idea of reconstruction has never been hotter in Montreal. One word makes many people tremble. Mark Bergwin was the one who came closest to pronouncing it when talking about reset (“reset on the fly”). Gorton is well aware of this contraction, which does not preclude him from considering this possibility.
Here, too, he said he would deal transparently with supporters if a similar decision was made.
Reconstruction is possible
JT Miller, Ryan McDonagh, Rick Nash, Mark Stahl, Michael Grabner and Nick Holden are the veterans who changed addresses as a result of this letter.
“Except for Chris Creeder and Henrik Lundwist, they all traded,” Larry Brooks recalled. New York Post, In an interview Newspaper, Earlier this week.
In order to effectively rebuild in Montreal, if the Canadian chooses this avenue, it will be necessary to get rid of the huge deals. After all, Canadians are the team with the longest contracts in the circuit (another three years and 10 contracts).
“We need to evaluate everything. Definitely need to look at and negotiate some long deals. Decide who will be there, who will go. But first, I want to take the team’s pulse a little bit.
Because there is so much work to be done, there will not be more than two people to make decisions.