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Rem Pitlick asked Kent Hughes for a deal
This morning, the Canadiens acquired Erik Karlsson, Jeff Petry and others from the Pittsburgh Penguins.

In return, Kent Hughes sent Mike Hoffman and Rem Pitlick elsewhere. Getting rid of Hoffman’s contract is very good news. Hoffman, who was still under contract for next season, was stealing valuable playing time from a youngster. He wasn’t the most popular player among the partisan base, either…

Appearing on TVA Nouvelles, Renaud Lavoie had an important piece of information about the other forward traded, Pitlick. The forward, who signed a two-year contract last summer, had requested a trade from Kent Hughes.

Montreal thus got rid of two problems today.

Two days after getting engaged to his girlfriend, Pitlick’s dream came true. The man who was claimed in the January 2022 ballot will continue his career with Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang, Erik Karlsson and the Penguins. I imagine standards will be higher there next year…

His situation reminds me a lot of Ryan Poehling’s situation. The American was also traded to the Penguins after requesting a trade. And his departure was a bit of a butterfly because of a certain Jeff Petry. There are comparisons to be made. Will Pitlick go to Philly next year?

But the fact that he’s asked for a trade doesn’t necessarily surprise me. The Penguins have several good forwards, but they don’t necessarily have the depth of the CH.

Pitlick will get some playing time, then. We hope so for his sake, anyway…

As for the congestion in the Montreal attack, with the departures of Mike Hoffman and Pitlick, it’s not as glaring. In fact, it’s no longer there. This will give Rafaël Harvey-Pinard a real chance now.

Even with his phenomenal 2022-2023 season, the RHP position in the lineup is not assured. Of all the forwards, only he and Juraj Slafkosvky are eligible for balloting. The organization could easily have taken advantage of this eligibility and sent him to Laval. But with both forwards gone, his position is almost assured. Now it’s up to him to build on his late-season success.

And what about Jesse Ylonen and Michael Pezzetta? In the end, the team may not need to ballot them.

Here’s what the 23-player roster could look like at the start of the season.

Cole Caufield-Nick Suzuki-Josh Anderson

Alex Newhook-Kirby Dach-Sean Monahan

RHP-Christian Dvorak (if not on injured list)-Juraj Slafkovsky

Michael Pezzetta-Jake Evans-Joel Armia

Jesse Ylonen (extra)

Michael Matheson-Jeff Petry (if not traded)

Kaiden Guhle-David Savard

Jordan Harris-Justin Barron

One of the following three defensemen: Chris Wideman (ballot), Johnathan Kovacevic (ballot) and Arber Xhekaj (not eligible for ballot)

Jake Allen-Samuel Montembeault-Casey DeSmith

So, if Kent Hughes doesn’t make another deal between now and the start of next season, we can see that congestion on offense has turned into congestion on defense. With Jeff Petry in uniform, Montreal could keep only one extra defenseman (if the team carries three goalies at all times, which is a real possibility).

Hughes’ summer is not over, then.

In a gaggle

– Very funny.

– Yes.

– He’s sensational.

– A whole round!

– I’m not a big soccer fan, but count on me to be at Stade Saputo next year.

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