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NHL executives have a handle on how Kent Hughes handles transactions
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot
Two years ago, for the 2021-2022 season, the Canadiens were in turmoil. Marc Bergevin was replaced by Jeff Gorton and Kent Hughes, while Dominique Ducharme lost his job to Martin St-Louis.

Tomorrow, the former Lightning glory will have been in the job for two years… but that hasn’t stopped him from being – already – one of the top-10 most experienced head coaches in their current organization.

But hey. All this to say that, ultimately, for the past two years, we’ve been discovering how Martin St-Louis and Kent Hughes work.

We knew how Jeff Gorton worked as a manager, this not being his first barbecue… but Hughes and MSL were respectively a retired agent and player before coming to town.

In two years, we’ve picked up on trends in both men. And if we’ve done it, you can assume that executives across the National League have too, of course.

As Elliotte Friedman reports in his most recent 32 Thoughts, a trend has been established about Hughes: during the Habs rebuild, he decides on a price to trade his players and waits for another team to offer him what he wants.

No more complicated than that.

Of course, this may seem “normal” for a DG, but not everyone has his patience. The result? If he doesn’t get his price, he won’t budge.

We’ve noticed that the current management of the Habs often seeks to maximize the value of its players and hates to lose guys to the waivers. In my opinion, this is part of the same mentality.

When the price is right, as with Sean Monahan, the GM can move quickly. But we’ve seen with Jeff Petry and Joel Edmundson that he can also wait a while to get what he wants. And we’re currently seeing this in a case like Jake Allen.

When he arrived in Montreal, Hughes had to define himself as a leader. He chose to do so as a guy who doesn’t want to be passed over quickly.

That said, right now, there’s no rush and he’s got the time. Will that still be the case when he’s a GM looking to buy at the deadline and time is against him?

The answer in a few years, I imagine.

In bursts

– We agree.

– Good question.

– Really?

– The NHL is doing it. Why not MLB?

– Enjoy your reading.

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