As for now, Canadian hockey fans will only get to cheer on two teams from the nation: the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Winnipeg Jets. The Ottawa Senators, Montreal Canadiens, Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks seem to have given up long ago, and the Calgary Flames recently did after gaining field in the playoff run, but losing their last fourth straight games was the last nail in their coffin.
Come to think of it now, it seems like a lot of Canadian team's general manager could be on the verge of losing their job during the summer. Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli has been heavily criticized from his recent trades and the absurd signing of veteran forward Milan Lucic. Senators GM Pierre Dorion was under the microscope once he revealed he could be shopping star defenseman and captain Erik Karlsson and Habs general manager Marc Bergevin has been on a poor decision-making run since he moved much beloved defender P.K. Subban to the Nashville Predators two summers ago.
And while many of the aforementioned GMs could be in trouble, NHL insider Elliotte Friedman has landed on an internal email that reveals a lot about one of the Canadian team's future going forward with the front office. In his latest 31 Thoughts article on Sportsnet, Friedman revealed the following information:
"Montreal owner Geoff Molson came out and publicly backed GM Marc Bergevin. It is believed that, at some point this season, Molson sent an internal email to his staff with a similar message of support. It wouldn’t be a surprise, either, if Martin Lapointe’s role grows in the organization, too."
So it is not a lie nor a fantasy. Molson is quite serious about keeping Bergevin in the fold, and is not lying to the press. As mentioned, his vote of confidence for Bergevin was shared to the entire organization as everyone is getting ready to see Bergevin back next season.
However, before fans in Montreal get even more upset over the news, let's wait and see what Bergevin chooses to pull this summer. A few weeks ago, several NHL insiders revealed that Molson could be waiting to see if Bergevin can manage to convince New York Islanders captain and star forward John Tavares to come on board. Tavares will be the most coveted free agent on the market if he does not sign a lengthy extension with the Isles, and this could be a make or break chance for Bergevin.
“So specific to Geoff Molson and his loyalty to Marc Bergevin, I’m going to throw something out there that is probably going to rattle some cages: What if Molson is sitting back and saying, ‘Alright Marc, I hear what you’re saying. I believe in the direction of your want as general manager of the Montreal Canadiens. But if John Tavares is available, if he goes to market, and you don’t find a way to land this guy – then you’ve got a problem. You’ve got a problem', Darren Dreger said on Montreal's TSN 690, as transcribed by FanRag Sports.
“I”ve got to believe that that has to be the bigger plan for the Montreal Canadiens. I’m not saying they’re going to get him. I still kind of think even though the days continue to drift by and it seems more likely Tavares tests the open market, if he gets to the open market I think that has to be the all-in game plan of Marc Bergevin. And that’s what Geoff Molson might be counting on.”
Let's see how quickly the internal email disappears if Bergevin disappoints Molson this summer...