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Transactions: Kent Hughes is one of the NHL’s most active executives
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot

As you know, Kent Hughes is a GM who likes to move on the transaction market. He’s obviously in a position to do so because of the rebuild, but still: he does it.

For the past two years, Kent Hughes has been in action. He likes to go after talented players, and he’s clearly putting his stamp on the Flanelle rebuild.

It’s his job to do it, you may say, but still.

Obviously, for a GM, the deadline period is quite important. That’s when an aspiring club can add pieces to help itself, and that’s when bad teams can stock up on young assets.

Kent Hughes is in that boat. Everyone’s wondering what he’ll do.

The point is, as I mentioned earlier this week, the GM doesn’t have his hands full like in 2022, for example. But even so, the DG still has elements to move.

And historically, we understand that the Flanelle GM hasn’t finished his shopping. Why is that? Because of the fruits of The Athletic’s research into GM trends at the deadline.

The Athletic tracked the transactions of the various managers to see how active they were. And Kent Hughes, among the eligible GMs (we’re not counting the Blue Jackets’, for example… because nobody has the job officially), is the third most active.

Mike Grier and Kyle Davidson (Sharks and Hawks) are ahead of him.

The Habs GM is here because, since the beginning of his mandate, he has averaged 1.1 transactions per month. For the most part, this has been for the purpose of selling or helping the Laval Rocket.

But what’s more, in recent years, he’s also been one of the GMs to move the most on the bangs of the deadline. The deadline, for fiscal purposes, is from January 1 to the actual deadline.

(Credit: The Athletic)
Since 2022, Kent Hughes has moved 12 times. The Athletic calculates only two deadlines, because 2024 is not over. On Cap Friendly, there have been seven transactions in 2022, three in 2023 and two this season, so far.

So I’m not ready to conclude that the Habs GM moves six times a year like they do, because I don’t think you can use 2024 data and divide by only two transaction periods.

But the point here is this: Kent Hughes is used to moving around. Last year, he found a way to dance with two other teams to withhold salary to help Nick Bonino get traded.

Does the Habs face a similar scenario in 2024? Will Jake Allen leave? What will happen to David Savard? These are issues to keep an eye on.

In gusto

– Good question.

– Will you listen?

– Well done.

– Of note.

– All the better.

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