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Kent Hughes builds the Canadiens differently from other teams

First of all, I’d like to say thank you to Mathieu. I don’t know him, but I just came across an e-mail he sent us in the site’s inbox. In this massage, Mat (yes, I dare the familiarity) tells us that he has noticed that Kent Hughes seems to be building his team differently from other formations. According to him, the Habs are one of the teams with the fewest players on their roster obtained via the free agent market, with just three.

That’s all it took to intrigue me.

When I see stuff like that, it gets to me. I have a kind of mental illness about this kind of thing. I’ve got to validate it or it’s going to be stuck in my head for eternity.

So I did what I always do, opened an Excel spreadsheet and tried to validate the whole thing and extract relevant information.

(45 minutes later… it took a long time!)

And that’s it!

I just compiled 717 contracts currently in effect in the NHL for all teams except the Seattle Kraken.

Why the Kraken?

Simply because most of their players were obtained through the expansion draft. The Golden Knights are in my assessment because they have very few players still with them from this exercise. So that didn’t alter the results of my survey too much.

As a result, Kent Hughes is indeed building his team differently from Bettman’s standards.

As far as I can see, the Montreal Canadiens only have three players signed as free agents. We’re talking about Sean Monahan, David Savard and Arber Xhekaj. The only other team with such a low number is Winnipeg with 4. The other teams average around eight.

The team’s roster also includes 10 drafted players and 13 players acquired through transactions. In both cases, these numbers are above the league average of eight and seven respectively.

Only one other team has as many players acquired by transaction, and that’s the Chicago Blackhawks. In their case, we’re talking more about players who are there to fill jerseys than anything else.

When I saw Hughes’ approach, I wondered if it had anything to do with the state of the Canadian market. You know, all those players who seem to want to leave at the first opportunity, as was the case with Johnny Gaudreau.

Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), there’s really no visible correlation. The Canucks have twelve players signed, the Maple Leafs and Oilers have ten, while the Flames have nine. At this level, I’d say the difference lies more in the fact that these are teams aiming for short-term success.

The Jets, Senators and Canadiens have far fewer, and they’re clearly not at the same stage of their development.

The statistics I’ve been able to compile don’t allow me to say whether or not there’s a real exodus of players from teams in Canada to those in the United States. What I can say, however, is that Kent Hughes tends to win his trades. With that in mind, he may as well continue to use this approach to acquire talent.

In gusto

– Alex Stalock stays in Anaheim.

– André Tourigny on the verge of a deal with the Coyotes?

– Good luck Joël!

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