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Ryan Reaves and Tyler Bertuzzi: two players Kent Hughes could target

With the exception of Cole Caufield, Kent Hughes will have a relatively quiet summer when it comes to free-lance players. Obviously, his number-one priority is to extend his winger’s contract, but after that, players like Denis Gurianov, Sean Monahan and Jonathan Drouin are out of contract.

Michael Pezzetta got his contract this morning.

It’s at the draft that the show could get interesting in Montreal. First, Kent Hughes will be drafted fifth overall, and a Kirby Dach-style deal could be in the DG’s plans for a second year running. And a few days later, the free-agent market will open and Hughes could very well make a few signings.

Maxim Lapierre feels that the attack is lacking support, and he’s looking for two players in particular this summer. These players are Ryan Reaves and Tyler Bertuzzi, both unrestricted free agents.

Bertuzzi may be slightly more talented than Reaves, but their playing styles are very similar. Indeed, both forwards bring energy and aren’t afraid to go to the corners. As for Reaves, he’s not afraid to throw down the gloves either, which could take some pressure off Arber Xhekaj, in particular.

We don’t want Xhekaj to become a player who fights 82 times a year because everyone wants to have a go. Reaves is a good veteran in the dressing room; I’ve had him as a teammate. That’s very important for young players. A player like him brings a certain respect. – Maxim Lapierre

Reaves doesn’t have Bertuzzi’s offensive talent. In fact, his 129 points in 828 career games prove my point. Still, he has a place in an NHL line-up, on the fourth line. In Montreal, his presence wouldn’t be out of place, especially for the experience he can bring and the fact that he’s an excellent teammate. He’s like a Corey Perry, but less talented.

As for Bertuzzi, he was traded from the Wings to the Bruins at the trade deadline. In 21 regular-season games with Boston, he collected 16 points. At 28, he’s a lot younger, and I imagine he’s looking for a long-term contract. Will Kent Hughes be the one to give him such a deal?

In gusto

– Montreal: a GM graveyard?

– Interesting analysis.

– Ah well.

– Naomi Osaka is expecting a child.

– A new page turns.

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