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Christian Dvorak: the Habs position themselves for a bad contract

This morning, Kent Hughes appeared before the media to talk a little about his team’s start to the season. With the 41-game mark recently reached, this was to be expected.

Every opportunity to speak to the GM is an interesting one, to learn a little more about the club’s philosophy and the state of play from the Canadiens’ management point of view.

Here are a few points to keep in mind.

1. When asked about the trade deadline, the Habs GM mentioned that the club has not yet decided whether to buy or sell on the sidelines of March 8.

But what won’t change is this: the club won’t deviate from the plan. And the plan is to improve the team for the future. So don’t expect to see a rental player come to town to make a playoff push.

But we suspected as much.

If the GM adds, it’s to acquire a young player who can help the club score a little more. If the GM can add a young player with offensive skills (a la Kirby Dach or Alex Newhook) for a pick or picks, he’s open to the idea.

2. Keep in mind that despite what the GM said, it makes more sense to think that guys could be traded. And that, obviously, refers to Sean Monahan in the first place.

Hughes refused to say that he had an agreement with Monahan to trade him, which is information that leaked to the media recently. He did say, however, that a player who signs for a year with a club like the Habs knows what he’s getting into. Fair enough.

If he has to sell a Monahan or a similar player (Tanner Pearson and David Savard are undoubtedly possibilities), he doesn’t know yet whether he’ll do it soon or in March. It will depend on the market.

Nothing is set in stone in his case… and neither is a contract extension. The GM said that “anything is possible” regarding a contract with forward #91.

3. We also know that the Habs have too many left-handed defensemen in the organization. One day, we’ll have to use our depth to find talented forwards. There’s no hurry, but management will evaluate the possibilities.

It’s a nice problem to have,” said Kent Hughes… naming Jayden Struble among them.

It’s worth noting that the Habs have defensemen who roll well down low (Logan Mailloux and Arber Xhekaj earned good words from Hughes) and that the Habs have defensemen all over the world.

One of them? David Reinbacher, who was drafted over a forward in the last draft. We all know that one day, the Habs will have to make a decision with all the guys on the blue line.

4. Of course, let’s not forget the goalies.

Keeping three goalies in town (due to the fear of Cayden Primeau being claimed in the waivers) was management’s decision. The plan wasn’t to keep all three for the rest of the season, but if the GM doesn’t get his price in the market, that’s what’s going to happen.

5. On this subject, Kent Hughes doesn’t want to identify the group’s #1. He also says he’s not asking his coach to play any one guy, but to use all three.

Hughes confirms, however, that Montembeault is gaining in confidence and positioning himself to continue getting starts.

6. The Habs don’t exactly have a lot of depth, and the GM knows it. He understands that this causes injuries to creep in and change the club’s evaluation. Injuries are a big disappointment for the GM.

But despite everything, the coaches (both in Montreal and Laval) and the development group are doing a good job in the eyes of the GM.


– The five-on-five progress is interesting for the GM, who now wants to see the special units show a little more consistency for the future.

– Although Cole Caufield isn’t scoring as much as expected, he continues to have a good attitude in the dressing room. His contribution to the dressing room is important for the Montreal club.

– The captain is progressing well. Hughes likes his 200-foot game.

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