Jun 7, 2013, 11:03 AM EDT
According to Geoff Molson, there’s one person primarily responsible for Montreal’s turnaround season in 2013:
GM Marc Bergevin.
Bergevin, who was named one of the three finalists for the NHL’s general manager of the year award, was showered with praise as Molson addressed the media on Thursday.
“We had good coaching, but it all starts at the top and I’m not talking about me,” Molson told reporters, as per the Montreal Gazette. “I’m talking about (general manager Marc Bergevin).
“He lives hockey and our success starts with him.”
He also stood firm during the P.K. Subban negotiations, and was able to secure the Norris-nominated defenseman’s services for $2.88 million per season.
With those moves complete, Bergevin sat back and watched Montreal go from 15th in the Eastern Conference last year to Northeast Division champions this year — the club’s first divisional banner since 2008.
Pretty good first year on the job.
Overall, Molson was happy with just about everything this season save the finish, when injuries besieged the Habs and they were bounced in five games in the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
“We didn’t have any bad stretches until the end when we ran into injury problems,” Molson said. “But we went a long way toward building for the future.
“We’re headed in the right direction.”
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- It’s back! PHT’s Team of the Day summer series starts tomorrow 5
- Pens sign Spaling — two years, $4.4 million 12
- Agent: Subban hasn’t told me to make him NHL’s highest-paid D 30
- Devils sign Greene to five-year, $25M extension 18
- Subban seeking $8.5 million in arbitration, versus the Habs at $5.25 million 46
- Marchand on Plekanec: ‘I hate him. I can’t stand him’ 59
- Gettin’ paid: Gardiner inks five-year, $20.25M extension with Leafs 15
- Report: Trottier to join Sabres’ coaching staff 21
- Blues sign former eighth overall pick Mueller 31
- Cashing in: Rangers sign Brassard to five-year, $25 million deal (63)
- Marchand on Plekanec: ‘I hate him. I can’t stand him’ (59)
- Subban seeking $8.5 million in arbitration, versus the Habs at $5.25 million (46)
- Trotz plans to let Johansson, Kuznetsov, and Burakovsky compete for time at center (45)
- Richards: If not for the cap, half the league would want to play for Hawks (36)