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Jeff Gorton at odds with Chris Drury and the Rangers: not good for the Canadian
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot
Do you remember how it all ended for Jeff Gorton in New York?

When Tom Wilson made a dangerous gesture toward Artemi Panarin, ending his 2021 season, George Parros decided not to suspend the Capitals forward.

The New York Rangers chose to issue a statement saying that “George Parros did not deserve to be the NHL’s Disciplinary Prefect” in such circumstances.

A few hours later (the following day), GM Jeff Gorton and President John Davidson lost their jobs.

By then, Chris Drury, despite his lack of experience in both positions, had quickly inherited the powers in New York. There was no interview process.

The feeling was that the Rangers were looking for a reason to give Drury a big promotion (he was already working in New York) and that the club didn’t want to let him go.

He could have been a GM somewhere else, but everyone made sure it was the Rangers.

Those are the broad strokes. But in reality, it’s safe to say that Jeff Gorton sensed his departure from New York in favor of his runner-up. Perhaps Drury played hard in the corners at times?

Who knows?

The reason we’re bringing this subject to the fore is that we’ve recently come to understand that the chill between Jeff Gorton, who is now the Canadiens’ VP, and Chris Drury is greater than we thought.

In fact, the relationship between Gorton and Drury (and the Rangers) is often brought to the fore these days.

Elliotte Friedman mentioned it on Saturday night. He mentioned it again yesterday morning. Renaud Lavoie, on BPM Sports this morning, said that the Canadiens might have a better chance of moving with the Bruins than with the Rangers.

We can also quote Arthur Staples (The Athletic), who mentions that a source who often talks to the Habs knows that Kent Hughes doesn’t expect a phone call from the Rangers in the Sean Monahan file – or in any other file – due in part to the friction between Gorton and Drury.

Was the fact that Jim Ramsay and Nick Bobrov, two former Rangers, were hired by Jeff Gorton’s Canadiens a factor in adding fuel to the fire?

Perhaps. In any case, it was raised by Staples.

Aside from realizing how wrong those who were talking about a Juraj Slafkovsky/Alexis Lafrenière deal were for one more reason, it’s clear that the friction between the Habs and Rangers isn’t good for the Habs.

Is it normal for a manager to have more affinity with some of his counterparts? Of course it is.

That said, it’s not good for the Habs, who are currently cutting themselves off from a trade option. After all, if the Habs are hoping to get a first-round pick in return for Sean Monahan’s services, they need to up the ante.

That’s the bottom line.

And cutting itself off from the Rangers isn’t going to help Kent Hughes’ cause, since he’s not at the heart of the conflict and needs to maximize Sean Monahan’s market value.

Marc-Antoine Godin wonders if the Rangers and Canadiens could bury the hatchet and send Monahan to the Big Apple to finish the season.

But in addition to the Monahan file itself, it would be nice if Gorton could settle his differences with Chris Drury and the Rangers organization, for the good of the Habs.

That’s probably a long way off, but let’s hope things end better between the Habs and Gorton than this. It won’t happen right away, but while we’re on the subject…

In gossip

– Speaking of former Rangers.

– Time is running out for Patrick Roy. [JdeM]

– What will the Penguins do?

– Let’s keep an eye on Justin Turner and J.D. Martinez.

– Simon Kean to retire.

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