The Montreal Canadiens officially introduced Jeff Gorton as their new executive vice-president of hockey operations this morning.
The former New York Rangers general manager and assistant GM in Boston confirmed that he has signed a multi-year contract with the club. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Gorton takes over a team in free fall in the standings. The Habs 4-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche last night was their eighth in 10 games. Only three teams in the entire league have less wins than Montreal. Their record of 6-17-2 is their worst start to a season in franchise history.
Gorton provided some insight as to when he could fill out his staff. The new executive VP of hockey ops made it clear that he will work in tandem with the new general manager. Whoever that person is will be given authority to conduct hockey related decisions with Gorton mentoring, advising and lending his considerable hockey knowledge. He admitted that he has not put together a list of potential candidates at the moment and that a GM is only likely to be hired after Christmas.
Gorton was less clear on what his amateur scouting department will look like. He was not prepared to provide a timeline for when he will hire a director of amateur scouting. The Habs will host the draft in Montreal in July and will likely have a top-ten pick.
Gorton did provide an update on the future of head coach Dominique Ducharme. He said that Ducharme will remain the head coach of the team through the end of the regular season.
The team announced after practice that defenceman Jeff Petry will not be travelling with the team to Nashville for tomorrow night’s game against the Predators. He is dealing with an upper-body injury. Defenceman Corey Schueneman has been re-called from the AHL’s Laval Rocket.
More to come on Montreal Hockey Now.