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Dreger: Many intriguing names if Canadiens need new GM

Darren Dreger

1/19/2012 10:00:07 AM

With the Montreal Canadiens fading in the Eastern Conference playoff race, many have turned to speculating over who could replace Pierre Gauthier and become the club's next general manager.

In terms of candidates looking to take over as Montreal Canadiens general manager - should that opportunity arise - there is no shortage of interest from those who would be on the outside looking in.

Jacques Martin is the former coach of the Canadiens and still has time left on his deal. That move would come as a surprise to many.

But there are a few reasons to consider Martin for the job. He's a very smart hockey man and has the respect of many around the National Hockey League. He has previous NHL general managerial experience and he's owed as much as $3 million by the club.

Julien BriseBois - who is currently an assistant general manager with the Tampa Bay Lightning under Steve Yzerman - would also be on the list of possibilities.

BriseBois is a strong up-and-comer. He's got great pedigree working alongside Yzerman and spent nine seasons in the Montreal Canadiens organization. He truly was Bob Gainey's right-hand man before Gauthier came in.

Many believe BriseBois might be the underdog. He might work alongside the likes of Pierre Lacroix or perhaps even a longshot like Serge Savard.

Doug Risebrough is a consultant with the New York Rangers and won four Stanley Cups with the Canadiens as a player. He would also be on the list.

The team could look at Claude Loiselle, currently an assistant general manager with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He is a smart guy who's very CBA-savvy and specializes in negotiation and arbitration.

John Ferguson Jr. is now the director of pro scouting with the San Jose Sharks but comes with managerial experience. He's very conversant when it comes to the language. The move to the top of the Canadiens wouldn't be an issue for him.

Pierre McGuire, who is an NBC and former TSN analyst, has the support of Scotty Bowman. Pierre possesses an encyclopedic knowledge and knows the players well.

Finally there's Marc Bergevin, who is an assistant general manager under Stan Bowman with the Chicago Blackhawks. He has been with the team a long, long time and is learning the craft. He may not be quite ready for the job, but he is getting close.