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Sentiment of the moment: the Canadiens are really considering backing out of the draft
Credit: Jul 7, 2022; Montreal, Quebec, CANADA; Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes (left) talks with head coach Martin St. Louis before the first round of the 2022 NHL Draft at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Barry Trotz says: Kent Hughes holds the key to the draft.

After all, the top-4 teams are likely to draft a center, leaving Matvei Michkov to the Habs. And as we know, the CH isn’t necessarily a member of the Matvei Michkov fan club.

If this is the case, it would open up a world of possibilities for the future.

After all, not only could the CH pass on Michkov and pick another guy, it could also back out of the draft to maximize the value of its #5 pick.

It’s not my favorite scenario on paper, but if the return is good and the context is good…

After all, it’s all going to come down to the dance floor. Many teams are linked to several different players, and we’ll see what happens when the draft rolls around.

The feeling I get is that the Habs will wait and see if a guy like Will Smith can fall any lower than #4. The Ducks, the Blue Jackets and the Sharks could be game changers.

Because we know that Will Smith and the CH are a thing.

But in reality, the most likely scenario is that the Habs won’t have the chance to draft Smith at #5 and that the other centers will also have found takers.

That’s why the feeling around the NHL is that the CH is going backwards. According to Elliotte Friedman, that’s really what people are thinking right now about the Flanelle, who aren’t done moving after the Alex Newhook deal.

The club currently has just one pick in the top 68. Going after another could be a good idea… especially if the first four picks are Connor Bedard, Adam Fantilli, Leo Carlsson and Will Smith.

That’s something to keep an eye on… especially when you consider that the GM has said everything is on the table. But if the price is right and the draft goes smoothly, we’ll keep an eye on it.


Also in his podcast, Friedman mentioned that several players are available for free in the NHL, a very accountable league at the moment.

Free means nothing to give (and maybe even a sweet treat to receive), but an ugly contract to take on. Does the Habs care about that?

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