The Montreal Canadiens surprised everyone by jumping from 15th place in the Eastern Conference in 2011-12 to second in the conference and winning their division in the lockout shortened 2012-13 season. The quick first round exit from the Stanley Cup playoffs by the Canadiens against the Ottawa Senators only confirmed to General Manager Marc Bergevin that his team is not built yet to be a yearly playoff contender in the Eastern Conference.
The Montreal Canadiens' prospects as a group have shown solid improvement to their overall games this season. Some players have struggled with injuries and finding their games again but most of the group are exceeding their play of last year. The organization's depth and skill in their talent pool is probably the best it's been in quite some time.
Last season, the Hamilton Bulldogs finished near the bottom of the AHL and failed to make the Calder Cup playoff, a fate similar to their parent club, the Montreal Canadiens. New General Manager, Marc Bergevin decided to bring in a completely new Bulldogs' coaching staff, adding a good mix of NHL and junior experience with head coach Sylvain Lefebvre, assistants Donald Dufresne, Ron Wilson, and goaltending coach Vincent Riendeau.
Using the 2012 NHL Draft, the Montreal Canadiens' greatly improved their organizational prospect pool over the past off-season. GM Marc Bergevin has changed the organizational philosophy by adding a bigger management staff, more scouting, and a development team to work with the prospects at all hockey levels and leagues.