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Kent Hughes may look to increase his flexibility in the face of the salary cap

There’s a lot of talk right now about the amazing playoffs that are currently underway, or the draft that’s fast approaching, or the various prospects that will be drafted in Nashville, and all with good reason.

However, through all this content and all this different news in the field hockey world, we forget that very soon, Kent Hughes and all the other NHL general managers will come out of their (partial) hibernation and start making deals again with a view to the 2023-2024 campaign.

Many teams have a lot of business on the table, and some haven’t even named a new GM to sit at the table yet.

On the Montreal Canadiens’ side, there are obviously several potential elements to manage, in addition to the prospect they’ll select at No. 5 and Pierre-Luc Dubois.

In fact, the CH will finally be able to count on some flexibility in terms of the salary cap.

This is a good position for the Tricolore, who will be looking to win without expectations next season.

However, this flexibility could potentially be much greater if we look internally.

Indeed, the CH has several contracts on its roster that could be released to allow greater salary flexibility this summer in preparation for next season.

In his article, Marco D’Amico of course mentions the three names that have come up again and again in trade rumors.

Joel Edmundson, Mike Hoffman and Christian Dvorak are three CH players who could very well leave via transaction this summer to give the Tricolore even more financial muscle.

All three will generate interest on the trade market, or at least more interest than at the trade deadline.

Teams are generally more open to such deals in the off-season.

On the other hand, don’t start thinking that Kent Hughes will get excellent returns for these three players.

Indeed, Edmundson ($3.5M for one more year), Hoffman ($4.5M for one more year) and Dvorak ($4.45M per season for two more years) would represent more of a salary dump than anything else.

The fact remains that teams will be interested in such players, given that there isn’t much time left on their contracts.

Getting rid of such contracts would really benefit the CH, both on the ice and financially.

It would leave more room for young players to carve out a roster spot in Montreal, as well as giving the CH more leeway to potentially make a Sean Monahan-style deal or simply sign free agents.

In short, the NHL will be back in action very soon, and Kent Hughes needs to be ready.

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