Jeff Gorton, a wise choice, according to Jacques Martin

In his last stop in the NHL with the Rangers, Jacques Martin got to know Jeff Gorton, the man appointed by Geoff Molson to orchestrate the relaunch of the Canadiens.

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In New York, Martin worked as an assistant to David Quinn, while Gorton found himself in the CEO’s seat. They worked together for a single season, last year, in 2020-2021.

In a telephone interview with the Journal of Montreal, Martin described his former boss with the “Blue Shirts” in a very complimentary manner.

“Jeff is a very committed and quite emotional person. He has a great deal of experience. He has worked for several years in the NHL and he already knows the reality of two organizations with the Bruins and the Rangers. We are also talking about two important hockey markets in Boston and New York.

“Before becoming a GM in New York, he rose through the ranks in the NHL, he touched several responsibilities,” recalled Martin. With the Rangers, he worked with Glen Sather and John Davidson, two good hockey heads. “

Similar to New York

In Montreal, there will still be a two-headed marriage to lead the ship. Gorton inherited a new title, that of executive vice-president of hockey operations. The American from Massachusetts will work with Geoff Molson to hire CH’s next general manager. “Jeff will occupy a position probably similar to the one that John [Davidson] had with the Rangers, Martin said. The titles are not the same, but it looks the same. In Montreal, the president remains the owner with Mr. Molson. “

“Jeff has enough experience to navigate his new role with the Canadiens. It should also help him in his future relationship with the next CEO. “

A good concept

In his NHL debut in 1986-87 as head coach of the St. Louis Blues, Martin experienced a whole different time. A team could rest on the shoulders of three people. In St. Louis, it was “Prof” Caron, the recruiting director and head coach. Now, it practically takes a small army to move a professional team forward.

In Martin’s eyes, Molson opted for a good strategy by entrusting the succession of Marc Bergevin to two people rather than one.

“There are several organizations that are already betting on such a concept, with two strong people,” he replied. In Toronto there is Brendan Shanahan as president and he works with Kyle Dubas. In Pittsburgh, Brian Burke works with Ron Hextall. In Los Angeles, it’s Luc Robitaille with Rob Blake.

“Jeff (Gorton) will need to hire someone with whom he will have a great bond. He will be looking for a dynamic person with experience, but who will probably bring a different background. And a different vision. There is nothing wrong with relying on two people. John Davidson spent a lot of time in Gorton’s office last year. He often talked about hockey with him. Jeff was already working as a team.

“In the reality of the NHL today, there are several elements in the plate of a GM,” continued the former head coach of the Canadiens. There is the day-to-day management of the team, the long-term vision, recruitment, development and others … To take up what Geoff Molson said at a press conference, there is work for two people ! I think it can be very effective for the Canadian, the organization should benefit from it. ”

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