NHL

Dudley staying put as assistant GM with Canadiens

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TSN.ca Staff
11/27/2013 6:23:08 PM
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Rick Dudley will be staying on as assistant general manager of the Montreal Canadiens for the forseeable future after agreeing to a more lucrative deal to stay with the franchise.

The move comes after the Canadiens were approached by the Buffalo Sabres for permission to speak to Dudley - a former Sabres player and head coach.

"The Sabres called for permission and I appreciate that, I'm flattered,'' Dudley told TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com. "And Berg (Montreal GM Marc Bergevin) said he would never stand in my way which I appreciate, too. But he said, 'I've got something for you to think about.' He presented me with an option, and you know what, I came to Montreal because of Berg, and I'll stay in Montreal because of Berg. It's been a lot of fun. If you're doing something you enjoy, why would you change it?''

Dudley said Bergevin phoned the Sabres on Wednesday to inform them he would stay with the Canadiens. In return, he got a contract extension.

"It got extended by a lot,'' said Dudley, who turns 65 in January. "It probably means it'll be my last deal. This is a great organization. I'd like to help build one more (champion) like the Blackhawks and Lightning, I think it can happen with this organization, and if it does, it would be wonderful.''

Dudley was hired away from the Toronto Maple Leafs by Bergevin in 2012.

Prior to joining the Leafs, he worked with the Atlanta Thrashers from 2009 to 2011, beginning as associate general manager before being promoted to general manager, assuming that role until the franchise moved to Winnipeg.

From 2004 to 2009, Dudley worked with the Chicago Blackhawks serving as the team's assistant general manager after starting off as a hockey consultant. In Chicago, his work was conducive to the Hawks' first Stanley Cup win in 48 years.

Dudley previously had served as general manager of the Florida Panthers from 2002 to 2004. From 1999 to 2002, he was the Tampa Bay Lightning's general manager and played a significant role in building this team for the 2004 Stanley Cup win. Prior to joining the Lightning, he held the position of general manager of the Ottawa Senators in 1998-1999, taking the team to the top of their division for the first time in franchise history.

Dudley thanked Sabres executive Pat LaFontaine for reaching out to him.

"I think Patty LaFontaine will do the right things in Buffalo and I really appreciate them calling,'' Dudley told LeBrun. "But we started something here with Montreal and I want to be around for when it comes to fruition.''

Rick Dudley (Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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