Jeff Gorton has made four changes, one of which is very interesting

Published February 21, 2023 at 3:37 PM

On November 28, 2021, over a year ago, Geoff Molson made a huge personnel change. He fired Marc Bergevin and Paul Wilson and put in place a new executive vice president of hockey operations: Jeff Gorton.

The first mission of the hockey man was, in addition to analyzing the personnel both on and off the ice, to find a GM. This was confirmed a few months later with the hiring of Kent Hughes.

If you think his work stopped there, you are mistaken. Gorton, while quiet in the media, much to the displeasure of Philippe Cantin, made many behind-the-scenes improvements that helped the players. That's what Eric Engels talks about in a great recent article for Sportsnet.

His first big move, besides Hughes, was to hire Director of Hockey Development Adam Nicholas. Nicholas has made a huge difference in the development of the club's players and prospects, including Joshua Roy. Roy is quick to point out how valuable Nicholas' input has been in his recent career.

"It's amazing to be able to work with him. When he shows you these things and gives you a clear plan to work with, how are you not going to listen? I know he wants the best for me, I know the Montreal Canadiens want the best for me, so I'm definitely going to work with that. I did, and I think I was able to show it at the world juniors and I can play a full professional game." - Joshua Roy

That was just the beginning of the organization's modernization under Gorton. He went on to improve every department, also hiring pioneer Chris Boucher to lead an analytics team that now includes data analyst Miranda McMillan and technology expert Philippe Desaulniers, Nick Bobrov as co-director of amateur scouting and scouts, Teddy Purcell, Neil Little, Gordie Clark, Albie O'Connell and Billy Ryan.

The Gorton/Hughes duo then focused on player wellness. They renovated the players' lounge and decided to employ private chefs to cook. The response from the players was swift.

"The food is really better, it's fantastic" - Samuel Montembeault

"I think the food is great. They brought in chefs and they have free rein to create new dishes every day. It's harder with a catering service [to find your niche]. Now everything is prepared here, which gives us options. All the little changes we've made make for a more positive atmosphere. Just with the food, you see guys staying at the arena longer." - David Savard

The guys have to say a big thank you to Geoff Molson who didn't hesitate to put out the money to make it all possible. The latter apparently did not deny his vice-president anything.

Two last changes, which may seem insignificant at first glance, are the hiring of Alex Case and Jean Francois Menard.

Case has been hired as Director of Team Services. Case, who knows Gorton from his time with the Rangers, is making a big improvement in the quality of life for the players. It seems that the standard of quality was not necessarily always there before his arrival at the club.

It is Case who takes care of the players when they arrive in town. He took care of Sean Monahan and Juraj Slafkovsky when they arrived in the Metropolis. A big plus for the reputation of the club throughout the league!

As for Menard, who is, among other things, president of Kambio Performance and author and speaker, he has been hired as a mental performance coach. He is a great addition according to the players.

"It's not just about what you do in the gym or on the ice. You have to be mentally correct, feel good and be in a good frame of mind every day you come to work." - Sean Monahan

With all of these changes Gorton has made since his arrival, all that remains is to see them pay off!
February 21   |   1230 answers
Jeff Gorton has made four changes, one of which is very interesting

What do you think was the best hire?

Jeff Gorton14912.1 %
Kent Hughes856.9 %
Martin St-Louis24319.8 %
All 375361.2 %
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