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Petry/DeSmith: Kent Hughes puts his reputation on the line

Since the Habs’ management arrived in Montreal, we’ve sensed that the customer experience for Habs players is important. Jeff Gorton, Kent Hughes and even Martin St-Louis want to please the players.

The coach, for example, has often defended his guys publicly. Whether it’s Jonathan Drouin, Mike Hoffman, Evgenii Dadonov or even Jeff Petry, the coach is often seen avoiding throwing his guys under the bus.

The same goes for Kent Hughes. The GM seems to be very attentive to the players’ needs and requests. Jeff Petry, Rem Pitlick and Ryan Poehling, for example, have all had their requests to leave the Habs granted.

And in all three cases, it was to the Penguins, a fine field hockey club.

You can clearly feel Kent Hughes’ touch as a former agent in all this. The CH GM knows that Montreal is not a perfect destination because of the “Canada factor”, which includes pressure, taxes, language, temperature and so on.

He wants the players to feel comfortable, and I have the feeling that over the past year and a half or so, this has become increasingly the case. The CH is creating an environment where the players are comfortable.

That said, right now, there are two Habs players who aren’t comfortable: Jeff Petry and Casey DeSmith.

The two men, who were acquired by the Habs eight days ago, are still in the shadows. They haven’t spoken to the media, and we don’t know what’s in store for them. This even creates anxiety in the goaltender, which I’m sure is not what the CH wants.

I don’t think this is what Kent Hughes was hoping for, since right now in the field hockey world there’s more and more speculation about what’s going on with the two players.

After all, it’s impossible for Jeff Petry to be happier than DeSmith right now.

Has any serious damage been done? No. After all, perhaps the second this text is published, it will become obsolete following a transaction announced by the Flanelle.

That’s the risk of writing about DeSmith and Petry over the past week, to be honest.

But you have to admit that right now, with the players unsure of where they stand and the Habs taking longer than expected to settle, you have to wonder what’s going on.

And if they’re in the club’s camp, the word is going to get out on the other side. There’s still time to keep it that way, but…

The DeSmith family is anxious because the goalie’s wife is due to give birth. She doesn’t know where her family will live in the next few weeks because of the state of the CH contract.

And I don’t think the Petry family is any happier about belonging to the Habs right now. But remember, if need be, Jeff Petry will head for Quebec again.

The two American players are living with uncertainty, and the more time passes, the more the field hockey world wonders why the Habs chose to go in such a direction for the future.

Which direction? To get two veterans (including a guy who had asked to leave Montreal a year earlier), keep them out of the media and keep everyone in the dark.

Did the CH misjudge the market for guys? I don’t know. But right now, we’re talking about two families on hold who aren’t saying anything – even on social networks.

They probably got an update from the GM, but as we can see with DeSmith, it still creates an uncomfortable situation for his family.

I get the feeling that Kent Hughes is staking his reputation right now, since every day that goes by without the situation becoming clearer affects the way the Habs are perceived elsewhere in the field hockey world.

I’m not saying that Kent Hughes should take the first offer he gets – on the contrary. That said, it’s still worth bearing in mind that the guys aren’t comfortable… which is (really) not the way things are done around here.

In gusto

– He’s not mad at the CH.

– He deserves to retire, too.

– Ouch.

– Two tennis matches (including the final) on the same day is a no-no. [JdeM]

– Ouch.

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