Skip to content
Kent Hughes has no idea when Joshua Roy will return to Laval
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot
Now that the trade deadline is behind us, Kent Hughes held his annual post-tradedeadline press briefing.

Here’s what to take away from the press briefing, where the Habs GM offered some pretty interesting tidbits:

1. Just before 3pm, the Habs sent Joshua Roy and Jayden Struble to the AHL. We’re talking about paper trades that were made to allow both guys to be eligible to play for the Rocket in the playoffs, and both guys won’t even be taking the orange line to Montmorency in the next few hours.

That said, Hughes did talk a bit about what’s in store for Roy over the next few weeks, because even if the kid is eligible to return to the AHL, he’s playing like a guy who deserves to stay in the NHL right now.

And Kent Hughes knows it.

The Habs GM admitted that he’s not sure when he’ll send Roy back to the Rocket. He wants to find the right time, but right now, the timetable is pretty fluid.

He wants to find the right balance, basically, but right now, Roy is making it hard to justify sending him back to Laval.

2. Of course, Hughes was asked about David Savard, a name that has been the talk of Montreal in recent days. We knew that the defenseman was the envy of several teams, but we also knew that the Habs weren’t interested in trading him.

The GM was waiting for his price… but since Savard is still a member of the Habs at this hour, it’s safe to assume that Hughes never got his price.

And for Hughes, none of this is a problem, far from it. The GM reiterated just how valuable Savard is to the Habs, and in fact, he wasn’t necessarily looking to trade him.

With Savard still under contract next year, there was no rush either.

3. In addition to the player who wasn’t traded today (Savard), Hughes talked a bit about the one who left, Jake Allen. The latter left for New Jersey (at 50% of his salary) in return for a conditional third-round pick.

Speaking of the condition, Hughes clarified: for it to become a second-round pick, Allen will have to play 40 games with the Devils next year AND the Devils will have to make the playoffs in 2024-25.

But getting back to Allen, Hughes acknowledged that it’s a good thing the three-man front line is a thing of the past. However, he was keen to thank the guys, who handled the situation like true professionals.

It clearly wasn’t easy for all three goalkeepers, and now that it’s all sorted out, all three should be back to more “normal” situations.

4. Still on the subject of transactions, Hughes confirmed that he had received calls for some of his players, but that he wasn’t necessarily keen to trade them.

So he listened to the offers (and, I imagine, set a price he wanted to get for the players in question), but he didn’t get his price.

And true to form, he didn’t sell at a discount.

5. Hughes also talked a bit about the Sean Monahan deal. We remember that when the deal was completed (a few weeks ago), we wondered if Hughes had sold a little too quickly.

A first-round pick was fine… but perhaps he could have created even more overbidding by being more patient.

That said, the GM says it’s hard to know if he could have gotten more if he’d been more patient before trading him.

And when you look at recent transactions (Tyler Toffoli, for example, only brought the Devils a second-round pick and a third-round pick), it was clear that this was a buyer’s market. Hughes may have sniffed out a bargain by trading Monahan quickly after the “madness” of the market following the Elias Lindholm deal.

Hughes is happy to see Monahan having success in Winnipeg, but says he’s pleased with the return they received.

And when you look at the transactions of the last few days, a first-round pick seems like a good return indeed.

6. Finally, Hughes also chatted a bit about being a seller at the deadline. He knows it’s not a pleasant situation, and he admitted it: he’s really looking forward to being a buyer.

Because even though it’s tough right now, Hughes’ plan remains to win the Stanley Cup one day. And eventually, the club will be a buyer to help his cause.

That said, Hughes (rightly) acknowledged that he hasn’t always been a seller since arriving in Montreal: during the draft, for example, we’ve seen the Habs be buyers, including Kirby Dach and Alex Newhook.

It’s a different kind of buyer, but it’s still a “purchase”… and we wonder whether it will be again at the next draft.


– Kent Hughes also recalled how he traded for good professionals in Sean Monahan and Jake Allen. He had good things to say about both guys, and clearly, you can tell he liked them as individuals and not just as hockey players.

– Hughes also talked about Allen’s impact on the team, really helping the team and taking on a big leadership role, all the while knowing he’d be out of town when the Habs returned to contender status. It’s no easy task, but Allen was still able to help the Tricolore in this way.

– The Habs GM has emphasized the fine individual progress of his players, and he’s starting to get a picture of what his club might look like when it’s ready to compete. He knows it’s not always linear, of course, but he likes what he sees, especially in the progress of Juraj Slafkovský and Arber Xhekaj.

More Content