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The Habs would have the space for another Sean Monahan style deal
Credit: Getty Images
Since the draft, the Montreal Canadiens have been very quiet.

Many will say they’re disappointed not to see Kent Hughes move, either via the free agent market or the trade market, but in the end, I sincerely believe it’s the right thing to do.

You have to trust Kent Hughes, and therefore understand that doing nothing is also a good move.

Letting his fellow general managers run amok allows Hughes to stand back and observe every move to assess whether he could jump on a great opportunity.

By opportunity, of course, I’m referring to a potential deal in which Kent Hughes could pull off a Sean Monahan-style magic trick.

Indeed, the Habs general manager could very well once again benefit from a situation where a team is looking to get rid of a contract.

In short, Kent Hughes is certainly ready to intervene via text messages and phone calls, given that he has some $15 million available under the salary cap.

Yes, I know, the Habs would currently have about $20 million available under the cap if they placed Carey Price on the LTIR (long-term injured list), but let’s not forget that the Habs still have two players to sign.

In fact, the Habs currently have only two uncontracted players, two restricted free agents: defensemen Arber Xhekaj and Justin Barron.

Obviously, Xhekaj and Barron aren’t asking for the moon for their next contract, so taking out around $5M of the $20M available makes a lot of sense.

And with that $15M, Kent Hughes could clearly work his magic, as he has done in the past.

Clearly, it would be like him to accept a bad contract in exchange for compensation, such as draft picks or even prospects.

He did it with Sean Monahan (for whom he ultimately got two first-round picks), and he could very well do it again with a new team.

Clearly, many NHL teams would be delighted to get rid of one or two bad contracts to make room for improvement.

And with the Arizona Coyotes no longer the NHL’s bad contract basket, Kent Hughes could benefit.

In short, the Habs general manager remains one to watch very closely, even if he has been rather quiet in recent days since the draft.

He’s not keeping so much space under the salary cap for nothing.

He wants to be ready in case a team calls him to take on a bad one-year contract like Sean Monahan.

Who would say no to a Patrik Laine, for example (even if he has two years left on his $8.7 million-a-year contract)?


– Kirstopher Letang’s son Alex is at the Penguins development camp with his dad.

– Love this.

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