Montreal Canadiens president, CEO and co-owner Geoff Molson confirmed Monday that newly hired executive vice president of hockey operations Jeff Gorton has signed a long-term deal with the franchise. 

Molson said Gorton will work in tandem with a yet-to-be-hired general manager to guide the organization after general manager Marc Bergevin was fired on Sunday. He noted it will be among the responsibilities of the duo to handle all decisions regarding the team's coaching staff.

"I strongly believe that this organization needs a fresh start," Molson said Monday on firing Bergevin Sunday, one day after assistant general manager Scott Mellanby resigned.

As for the timing of the change, Molson said he waited for Bergevin to recover from contracting COVID-19 earlier this month and added Bergevin understood the reasoning for why the move was made.

Molson said the next general of the Canadiens, who the team said Sunday must be able to communicate in both English and French, could potentially have no previous experience as a general manager in the NHL. He noted that Bergevin had not previously held the title of general manager when he was hired in 2012.

Gorton previously served as general manager of the New York Rangers from 2015 to 2021 before being replaced by Chris Drury in May. He served as Rangers’ assistant GM for four seasons prior to his promotion to GM.