The Ottawa Senators have been looking for a new general manager since the departure of Pierre Dorion. Ryan Bowness, Peter Chiarelli, Jason Spezza and Shawn Horcoff were suggested to fill this position. There is also a possibility that current President of Hockey Operations Steve Staios could also take on GM responsibilities.
Personally, I remain convinced that Mathieu Darche remains the essential and logical choice. There are several reasons that lead me to believe this is the case.
There is initially a relationship of trust between Darche and the new owner Michael Andlauer. The two men have known each other for a dozen years.
Darche played for the Hamilton Bulldogs (2009) while Andlauer was the team’s owner. Darche also worked with Andlauer when he played for the Canadiens (2009-2012) and Andlauer was a minority owner of the Habs. The two men then stayed in touch over the years.
When the Canadiens began the recruiting process to find a replacement for Marc Bergevin (2021), Andlauer was part of the selection committee. Mathieu Darche was one of the candidates interviewed. And from what I understand, Andlauer was impressed by Darche’s candidacy.
The 46-year-old Darche is now in his fifth season (2019-2023) as Julien Brisebois’ right-hand man with the Tampa Bay Lightning. He is responsible for managing payroll, collective bargaining agreements, contracts and personnel. He won the Stanley Cup twice. He has experience and a victorious past.
His skills are also recognized across the National League. The proof of this is that Darche has been a finalist for the general manager position in Montreal, Chicago, Vancouver and Pittsburgh in the last 18 months. His name is circulating a lot and his credibility is growing.
In Ottawa, his hire would tick several boxes. First, his payroll expertise would greatly help the Senators get out of the precarious situation the team currently finds itself in.
Darche would then bring his knowledge, expertise and judgment acquired over the years with the Tampa Bay Lightning, an organization that has become a reference for several teams in the Bettman circuit. Finally, being bilingual would allow him to communicate with the people of Ottawa and Outaouais.
And Patrick Roy in all this?
I view Roy primarily as a career head coach. His past proves it. Additionally, if Darche became GM of the Senators, I believe that Roy would be one of his candidates for the team’s head coaching position.
Avid beer trailblazer. Friendly student. Tv geek. Coffee junkie. Total writer. Hipster-friendly internet practitioner. Pop culture fanatic.