The day the Canadiens announced the hiring of Marc Bergevin, the rumour started that Rick Dudley would be coming along behind him as assistant general manager. The rumours reheated with a one-liner in Steve Simmons’ Toronto Sun column Saturday followed by wordier Darren Dreger report on the TSN website today.
Bergevin and Dudley worked together in Chicago . Dudley as assistant GM to Dale Tallon in 2006 hired Bergevin as a scout.
There are also reports that Bergevin wants to bring pro scout Martin Lapointe over from the Blackhawks.
We’re now told, the Canadiens have asked permission from the Leafs to talk to Dudley but no contract is on the table although most think it’s inevitable.
It may not be against current rules but there is an ethical issue here. Dudley has participated in Toronto’s plans for the June 27th NHL entry draft. He has personally scouted all of the top draft picks including Nail Yakupov, Mikhail Grigorenko and Alexander Galchenyuk. If he is hired in advance of the draft he would be carrying that information to the Canadiens draft table. Montreal will be drafting two slots ahead of the Leafs in almost every round including the first where the Canadiens draft third and Toronto fifth overall.
The logical solution would be a communications ban between Dudley and the Canadiens until after the draft something the league would enforce if the Leafs and Canadiens can’t come to some kind of gentleman’s agreement.
As for Dudley himself, he would fill an experience gap in Bergevin;s resume, a lack of experience in the GM’s chair. Dudley would solve that problem. Since he retired as a player twenty years ago, he’s coached in four different leagues, and he’s served as the General Manager of Ottawa, Tampa Bay, Florida, and most recently the Atlanta Thrashers. He lost the Atlanta job four months after signing a four-year contract extension when the Thrashers were shifted to Winnipeg and the Jets replaced him with Kevin Cheveldayoff. The Jets will be paying his buyout over the next seven years. While with Atlanta he authored deals that brought Dustin Byfuglien, Andrew Ladd and Blake Wheeler to the franchise.
How the hiring of Dudley would current assistant GM Larry Carriere and player development guru Trevor Timmins remains an open question. Carriere will probably continue to look after issues surrounding the salary cap and the CBA while, since Dudley’s main talent is evaluating professional talent, Timmins seems safe in his position of director of player personnel.