Gorton: Canadiens will be transparent if they commit to rebuild

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Jeff Gorton met with media on Friday for the first time since being named Montreal Canadiens executive vice president of hockey operations.

The veteran executive discussed a wide range of topics, including a possible rebuild for the league's most storied franchise.

Gorton said he needs more time to acclimatize to his new surroundings, but the team would be transparent if it decides to rebuild, according to Sportsnet's Eric Engels.

The Canadiens currently sit 29th in the league with a 6-17-2 record, months after reaching the Stanley Cup Final.

Gorton has experience implementing foundational changes to his rosters. In 2018 as general manager of the New York Rangers, he and then-president Glen Sather penned a letter to fans warning of an impending rebuild. It seemed unorthodox at the time, but three years later, the Rangers have a brand new look and are contenders in the Metropolitan Division.

Gorton also provided some insight on what he envisions for the makeup of the Canadiens.

"The team had a tough start, I recognize that and (owner) Geoff (Molson) and I went through that," Gorton said, per The Athletic's Marc Antoine Godin. "Things need to happen. My teams are fast and skilled. We need to work on player development. We need to add analytics."

Gorton added, "We need to build that out better. We need to modernize it. I believe in it," according to TSN's John Lu.

As for the club's general manager search, Gorton said the club will cast a wide net but likely won't name Marc Bergevin's successor until after Christmas. Gorton also confirmed Dominique Ducharme's job as head coach is safe for the rest of the season, according to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman.

Gorton: Canadiens will be transparent if they commit to rebuild
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