Canada’s Brendan Gallagher Has Huge Praise For Mark Bergevin

The veteran forward says he isn’t sure if Hubs plans to rebuild under the new management team.

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After Canada’s 2-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks at Bell Center on Monday night, Brendan Gallagher was asked his thoughts about former general manager Mark Bergevin, who was fired on Sunday.

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Gallagher responded with a reply that lasted more than two minutes.

“First of all, I know he issued a statement thanking everyone,” Gallagher said. “But from my point of view he’s a guy that I can’t thank enough. I’ve been with him for almost a decade. I came my first year in the league, there probably aren’t a lot of general managers who are an undersized fifth-round pick. But he gave me a shot and since then he’s always been someone I could count on. Whether you’re struggling on the ice, off the ice, that someone He was someone you could have a real conversation with. He was someone that when he spoke or you talked to him he would listen and he really cared. His only goal, for a decade, was whatever he did. Step taken, it was to help us players find success on the ice and give us a chance to win and that’s something I can’t thank him enough for.

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“We’ve had some really good weather, we’ve had some really tough weather here,” Gallagher said, pausing hard for breath during his reply. “We always followed through with those tough seasons with solutions because he was able to sit there and gather our opinions and really trust us and really listen to us. He was just someone you could trust. And when you think about what they did here for nine and a half years — first of all, it’s a feat in itself in this market. Not a lot of general managers get to say that. But we have some really good, There were really good, competitive teams. Made a conference final, made a Stanley Cup final and, like I said, he’s just someone you can’t thank enough. The passion he showed – I know you guys got some of his Got to see speeches – we got a lot of that. It meant a lot to us as players. The loyalty they showed us, whatever they did to help us players succeed. From my point of view I know whenever I get a chance to meet him, I will make sure I say it. But I hope everyone in this city understands how much he cares for this organization, how much he cares for this team. Going forward, I hope he knows how much we appreciate it. ,

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No doubt Bergevin would appreciate Gallagher’s answer.

Pierre Gauthier was the team’s general manager when the Canadiens selected Gallagher in the fifth round (147th overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft. Bergevin took over as GM two years later and was in charge when Gallagher made his NHL debut in 2012.

Gallagher said of Bergevin, “He’s just someone I trust and I know he’s someone who clearly cares about us personally.” “He wanted us to have success, but he also wanted us to be happy with the snow. You guys didn’t hear a lot about it – a lot of stuff that was going on. There are some tough times as players. The one you pass by and he is always there whenever I need to chat and he was genuine, he was honest. It always seemed like the right thing to do or the right thing to listen to. He always helped me find my game or help me out on the ice. Whatever it was, he was the only person I could always count on. This is a relationship that we will continue to have “

It was Bergevin who last year signed Gallagher to a six-year, US$39 million contract extension that began this season. During his news conference to announce the signing, Bergevin almost twice burst into tears when talking about what Gallagher means to the Canadians.

“This guy is everything you want about a hockey player,” Bergwin said at the time. “That’s what I love about him. There aren’t many Brendan Gallaghers in the National Hockey League. He’s a special one. You love him on your team and you play against him. You don’t like him. special. … He is a hockey player through his bones and that’s what I love about him.”

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Gallagher still remembers that day.

“It meant a lot,” he said of Bergevin’s response. “At first, I know you guys know a little bit, but it was a very intense conversation. I wasn’t on those phone calls, but between my agent and the team. He’s one hell of a negotiator and everyone who Been through it says the same thing. It also had some ups and downs. One thing I really appreciated was the middle of it where it seemed maybe a little off the rails when Berg called me and We just had one talk and we discussed what was going on. Those are things that can sometimes get lost in translation when the agent is working with management. Berg just called me and we just talked about it Spoken. Those are things that I don’t think a lot of players get a chance for.

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“I just can’t thank him enough,” Gallagher said. “It meant a lot, but I was very aware of how much he cared about us and himself and it definitely got back to him. … I’m really grateful that I had him as his boss.” I got to play under him for almost a decade. You know he is going to go on to great things. He will get another shot here because he deserves it. We are grateful to him for the work he has done.”

Ready to rebuild?

Canadiens owner/president Geoff Molson said Monday that he is open to considering a rebuild if new executive vice president of hockey operations Jeff Gorton and whoever the next GM believes is the best thing to do going forward.

“I’m not afraid of that word and I think our fans won’t be afraid of that word either,” Molson said.

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But at the age of 29, it’s a word that might have terrified Gallagher.

“It’s my 10th season now,” Gallagher said when asked about the prospect of rebuilding and whether he wants to be around for it. “I’ve always come in with the expectations of winning. I felt like my teammates had the same goals, I felt like management had the same goals and sometimes organizations go through those things. I think they’re conversations.” Those will probably need to hit the road. But for me I play this game to win. It’s really the only way I can enjoy it.

“You don’t always have to win every game, but the important thing is that I need to feel like we’re trying to win,” Gallagher said. “I need to feel like it’s important. If that’s a decision they want to make, that’s probably a conversation you’ll have to pursue. But for now, it’s not really something I’ve talked about.” Have put a lot of thought into it. I still feel like this is an outfit that I love so much…maybe not going strong enough with it. I love this city, I love everything about it. … It will definitely be a difficult decision and, as I said, a conversation that you have to have. But I love being here and that is first and foremost.”

scowan@postmedia.com

twitter.com/StuCowan1

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