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Panthers: their run to the final may have cost the CH PLD
This afternoon, Kent Hughes concluded an intriguing transaction.

The Habs GM wanted to make a Kirby Dach-style trade, mainly to get his hands on a talented young player who hasn’t yet reached his potential. That player is Alex Newhook.

In the end, the CH had to part with the Panthers’ pick, 31st overall, and also sent selection #37 and Gianni Fairbrother to Colorado.

In essence, it’s as if the Habs had traded Ben Chiarot, a second-round pick and Fairbrother to acquire the center forward.

Let’s not forget that the Panthers’ pick was part of the deal that sent Chiarot to Florida at the 2022 trade deadline.

Would things have been different if the Panthers hadn’t made it to the Stanley Cup Finals?

Certainly. And you have to wonder if the Panthers played a trick on the Canadiens in the Pierre-Luc Dubois case.

After all, we didn’t see the Floridian outfit making it this far in the playoffs. At one point, we even saw them finishing at the bottom of the NHL standings, and the Canadiens could have had two good selections in the top-10 or top-15.

The point is clear. In such a scenario, Hughes would have been in a position to negotiate more concretely with Kevin Cheveldayoff, and he could have put together a better deal to lure Dubois to Montreal.

Yes, the Jets want established players to avoid a rebuild. But, with the value of first-round picks this year…

I find it hard to believe they would have said no to an offer that would have involved the 5th overall pick and another top-15 pick.

Would Hughes, for his part, have been willing to part with two (excellent) first-round picks to go after the big center he covets?

It’s a question worth asking.

But in the end, the story remains the same. The Panthers’ playoff performance directly influenced the CH’s plans…

For better or for worse.

In gusto

– Great news.

– GO!

– The guys respect each other.

– The CH’s first game of the 2023-2024 season will take place on October 11 in Toronto.

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