The Calgary Flames appear to be casting an extremely wide net in their search for their new general manager. Both internally and externally, the organization is leaving no stone unturned when it comes to naming a new head honcho.
One name that raised many eyebrows earlier on Monday with the release of the newest 32 Thoughts the Podcast was Marc Bergevin—a name that made most of the Flames fan base groan a collective groan.
Who is Bergevin and would he even be a good fit for the team’s GM role? Let’s take a look:
Who is Marc Bergevin?
Bergevin has an extensive history in the NHL, both on and off the ice. Taken with the 59th overall selection by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft, Bergevin would play in 20 NHL seasons for eight NHL franchises. He would log 1,191 regular season contests and 121 playoff games, and was well known as a stay at home defenceman with physical prowess and penalty killing proficiency.
He would retire after the 2003–04 NHL season and join the team that drafted him as a professional scout. He would go on to serve as an assistant coach for Chicago for one season before being appointed the director of player personnel. He would own this role for the team’s first of three Stanley Cup in the 21st century. He would continue to grow in the organization, being promoted to assistant general manager in 2011.
The next year he would go on to inherit the general manager title with the Montreal Canadiens, where he would go on to serve in that role for just over eight seasons. In November of 2021 he was relieved of his duties after an extensive tenure that included a Stanley Cup Final visit in 2020.
He is currently serving as a senior advisor to the general manager for the Los Angeles Kings where he has been for just over the past year.
Why would the Flames hire Marc Bergevin?
The main reason the Flames are most likely interested in Bergevin is simply because he has experience. It may not all be considered to be good experience, but at least it’s something that ownership can rely on.
During his time as GM of the Canadiens, he made a few shrewd moves that ended up paying off for the team. The signing of Alex Radulov and Jeff Petry, the Max Domi acquisition, and some key draft picks ended up being some of his best work.
He also may have the largest biceps of any general manager in the league, which shouldn’t go unnoticed.
Aside from that, the rest is absolutely nothing to applaud when it comes to his skills as a GM.
Hesitations on hiring
Bergevin has a very long runway in Montreal, and despite that lone Stanley Cup Final appearance, the team only made the playoffs in four of his nine seasons as GM. That is about the same pace as Brad Treliving’s tenure with the Flames. The amount of team success was not as extensive through that long of a tenure.
One could argue that his time in Montreal should have been over much sooner.
There are countless examples of how poorly managed the Canadiens were during his tenure. Looking back at some of the moves, there are some that just stand out like stains on a curtain: the trading of Mikhail Sergachev, the Karl Alzner contract, the P.K. Subban trade, Carey Price’s contract, their inability to find any centremen, and of course letting key free agents walk for nothing.
I don’t think many Canadiens fans look back at his time at the helm and say “that was a really good tenure.” So many moves either crippled the team further or haltered any significant progression that the team was showing. His losses far outweigh his wins.
It would also be remiss to mention his involvement during the Chicago Blackhawk’s sexual abuse scandal back when he was director of player personnel. Bergevin denied he was involved in any meetings associated with the abuse reports, but many have questioned that despite his statements. The Montreal Canadiens also drafted Logan Mailloux despite him renouncing himself from the draft after he was fined while playing in Sweden. Bergevin defended the decision despite the public backlash from both the hockey world and beyond.
There are better options
Looking at who the Flames have spoken to over the last few weeks, and who they have internally, it would just make very little sense to go after Bergevin. Maloney was clear that he wanted a pair of fresh eyes and forward thinking, and despite his ability to keep up with the young guys on the bench press, Bergevin doesn’t check off any other boxes.
It would be a real deviation to see him get hired, but you never know with the Flames. He might be one of their top candidates as it stands.
Calgary Flames GM Candidate Profiles
Check out our previous general manager candidate profiles here to get the full run-down on who Calgary should have considered and why they would be good or bad fits with the team: