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Kent Hughes is a genius

Auteur: sjones
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Kent Hughes is a genius
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot

By Montreal Canadiens’ Discreet Expert

I hated the Marc Bergevin era so much that I spent 10 years of my life angry and bitter. I could live with the biceps and the tattoos, but all of his bad decisions ruined at least 15 years of my favorite club.

30 months after his hiring, I find Kent Hughes prodigious. Everything he does impresses me; I’d even let him babysit my kids or marry my sister. If I forgive him for signing Jake Allen, I don’t think he’s made a single mistake since the beginning of his reign. Even his moments of inaction seem calculated and thoughtful.

The best signature on July 1st is the one you don’t make. – Confucius, 500 B.C.

Feat #1: Maintaining the salary hierarchy

All the experts believed that Cole Caufield would command a higher salary than Nick Suzuki ($7,875,500 per season), and our GM respected his captain and best player.

Because the ceiling keeps rising, we suspect that Suzuki won’t stay at the top of the board… well, Kent Hughes has managed the feat once again by signing Juraj Slafkovsky to an eight-year contract ($7,600,000 per season). One day, we’ll be able to sign Ivan Demidov for 8 years and keep all our players, thanks to our GM’s calculator.

I would add that, however frustrating or time-consuming it may seem, Kent Hughes is making the right decision not to add overpaid veterans to the moving party. The goal is simple, but we need to let the contracts of Josh Anderson, Brendan Gallagher and Joel Armia expire before we jump back into the July 1 excess.

You must never separate a player from his contract. – Simon “Le Serpent” Boisvert

Did you know? The Habs have finished paying Karl Alzner MONDAY…. I repeat: MONDAY. That’s why it’s best to tread lightly when it comes to free agents.

This is the new reality of the NHL: to hope to make the Final Four, not only must our players be better than those of other teams, but above all, our GM must be smarter than his counterparts.

Feat #2: Kent Hughes wins every transaction

The Canadiens’ GM is a genius at making deals. He has made a total of 29 since arriving in Montreal.

● He obtained a first-round pick in return for Ben Chiarot.
● Lane Hutson came here in exchange for Brett Kulak.
● Alexander Romanov (indirectly) for Kirby Dach… a daylight robbery.
● Mike Matheson in return for Jeff Petry.
● Not one, but two first-round picks in return for Sean Monahan.

If I were GM of the National League, I’d stop answering when the caller ID reads “K. Hughes” because the percentage of chance of getting buried is much too high.

Kent Hughes is a media darling

Kent Hughes doesn’t have the famous tongue-in-cheek attitude that comes with being general manager of the Canadiens hockey club. Even Chantal Machabée has to constantly make sure he doesn’t say too much.

In the sports business, where we sometimes forget that we’re not operating with an open heart, it’s good to see a GM who’s honest and transparent about his rebuilding plan. I appreciate the fact that he takes the time to answer the tough questions asked by Jean-Charles Lajoie and the people at L’Antichambre.

The famous rebuild might as well be done with a modern hockey genius.

Think about it: our GM is perfect. A bilingual guy who doesn’t deviate from his initial plan despite pressure from certain hockey influencers who try to convince him to take shortcuts (Perron, Marchessault, P-L Dubois) to boost their respective ratings. Our GM is doing a masterful job of creating a dynasty, even resisting the idea of wasting money on July 1 and signing players at the right price.

By the time it’s really his team, and the Armia, Gallagher, Dvorak and Anderson have moved on, I have a feeling we’ll be winning so many games and playoff series that we won’t even remember the 4-5 years of misery.

Long live Kent Hughes.

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