A day after the Sunday firing of his general manager, Montreal Canadiens president Geoff Molson said that the team needed a "fresh start."
At a press conference on Monday, Molson said that the decision to fire Bergevin was "necessary" after an "unacceptable" start to the season.
"I strongly believe that this organization needs a fresh start," said Molson. "At this stage, a fresh start is not so much at the team level but on the management level."
"We want to establish new standards of excellence."
Shortly after the Sunday afternoon sacking of Bergevin, the team published a statement from the former boss, who gave a heartfelt "thanks" to Habs fans after nine years on the job.
"Saying farewell to an organization like the Montreal Canadiens is not an easy thing to do," wrote Bergevin. "I want to leave the organization the same way I came in: with a lot of pride."
With only a few months left on Bergevin's contract and after a disastrous start to the Canadiens season, Molson made the decision to fire the GM, along with two members of his staff: Trevor Timmins, assistant general manager, and Paul Wilson, senior VP of public affairs and communications.
"Thanks to the fans for their support, passion, and loyalty to the Montreal Canadiens," the former GM wrote.
Bergevin had a rough start to the season even before the first puck was dropped. He was under fire for the decision to draft Logan Mailloux, a prospect who was charged and fined by Swedish authorities after taking a sexually compromising photo of a woman without her consent.
After the summer drama, Bergevin was faced with Carey Price's decision to take a leave of absence from the team to enter the NHL's player assistance program after struggling with mental health and substance abuse issues. From there, nothing seemed to go right for the Habs, posting one of their worst starts to the season in recent history.
Bergevin nonetheless declared himself proud of his legacy, declaring that the current roster "is much better than the results show" and saying he believes his "successors will be able to rise to the challenge."
Some of those successors are already in place. With the playoffs already far out of sight, and only hours after sacking Bergevin, the Canadiens announced the hiring of former New York Rangers GM Jeff Gorton as vice president of hockey operations.
*This article has been updated.
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