Jeff Gorton Points Out Everything Wrong in Montreal

Published February 20, 2022 at 3:16 PM

The Montreal Canadiens have undergone sweeping organizational changes since going all the way to the Stanley Cup Final last season. Marc Bergevin was the first domino to fall, after he was dismissed in November. Jeff Gorton was quickly brought in shortly after that as the Vice President of Hockey Operations, His first task? removing the Canadiens from the stone age, and into the modern-day NHL, according to Sportsnet's Eric Engels

Here's what is shocking right off the bat. The Montreal Canadiens are not only lacking with their product on the ice but also in fundamentally important off-ice areas such as player development, analytics, communications and player nutrition; yes, you read that right, player nutrition.

Communications was practically non-existent with families, and it really fell off since the start of last season.

It's 2022; how have the Canadiens not evolved with the times in the NHL? Communication seems to be an easy one to address. We communicate with people every day and we have devices on our person at all times to keep us connected. As for nutrition, there's no way these world-class athletes playing for a supposedly "world-class organization" should have had to take home bagged sandwiches and order DoorDash and UberEats on the road under marc Bergevin's watch. Nevertheless, that was the state of the team when Gorton took over, and that's why there were so many changes right away. It wasn't the winds of change blowing through the organization; it was the winds of modernization.

Gorton also noted that Montreal lacked fundamental areas outside of communications and nutrition.

Listen, I think there's a lot of good people here that are in their roles; I've noticed that people are working really hard. I just think that, in some areas, we're spread a little thin.

Mainly player development and scouting. For Gorton, that's where newly minted player agent turned GM Kent Hughes comes in to turn around the most neglected department; player development.

In player development, we have a couple people in place that are really good at what they do. Rob Ramage is great, Frankie Bouillon is great, but we need much more. They're getting in contact with the players and keeping in touch with them, and that's great. But the other piece is building out development plans. And we need the skills part, too. We need much more of that.

Again, it's 2022; how was this a willfully neglected area? The one good thing to come out of this is that the Montreal Canadiens finally seem to be on the right track and are doing right by their players.

Another point of contention for Gorton has been Montreal's analytical department, or rather lack thereof.

The timing of everything is always difficult right here in the middle of the season. Some of the best people work for other teams. Maybe they need a promotion, and they have to go to another team to get one. So, just not jumping in with just anybody here; we're trying to build the very best, top-of-the-line program.

But, as Engels notes, those things are out of Gorton and Hughes' control.

Look, here's what I know; it's clear that both Gorton and Hughes were brought into an archaic situation, and that is putting it mildly. But they seem to be turning the Canadiens organization around for the better and that is encouraging. The starting point? treating everyone in the organization as people and not assets.
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