Q: Alain Vigneault was fired last Saturday. Michael Rose has been promoted to vice president of hockey operations. How has that change on the management side and do you anticipate more changes moving forward?
“I think the transition is great. [It’s] an opportunity for our team to continue to build together. It’s one thing to fill the position of head coach, but another when you get a group of players together, you need someone that has the experience as a general manager to complement the players. He brings quite a bit of experience as a general manager to the team and we’re very fortunate to get that man on board. I think he’s helped this team in the past and he’s going to help us moving forward.”
Q: We know how badly people reacted to former manager Marc Bergevin firing your former head coach, Carey Price, in the 2016-17 season. How do you think it will go now with the hiring of Michael Rose?
“I think it’s never easy but the media tend to move fast and in general the Canadiens have never been very shy to make changes or make controversial decisions. So I think he’s going to try to stick to the protocol that we’re accustomed to here. I think it’s an opportunity for him to make those decisions and I think that you have to do what’s best for your organization. It’s unfortunate that it didn’t go the other way but I think he understands that and that he’ll follow whatever the decision is. I think that’s what Marc [Bergevin] felt, Marc hired him as an assistant general manager and he was there for the exact same time that Marc was there and Marc felt that this man was the right person to be in the role of general manager. Now, he’s a general manager.”
Q: You called for firing the general manager Marc Bergevin last season and this season has been a tough year. Do you think the moves you’re making to try to turnaround the team are going to be difficult for the team’s fan base?
“No, I think that’s where Michael is coming in to. I think that is the best way to look at it. This guy has been there since Marc made the tough decision and I think that it’s an opportunity for him to move forward and implement the changes that he wants to do. It’s a difficult situation because the business ends up changing so quickly with the ownership as well, so he’s going to make decisions that he thinks will benefit the organization and that’s all that we can do. I think that he’ll do what he’s going to do and we’ll go from there. It’s obviously an important decision that he has to make, whether he realizes it or not.”