Here are the 7 defensemen who could interest Kent Hughes in free agency

Published July 13, 2022 at 9:35

We are now a few hours away from the opening of the NHL free agent market. With more and more rumors circulating that Kent Hughes is on the verge of trading Jeff Petry, some experts say that with his departure, coupled with Alexander Romanov's, the Canadiens will have to find a veteran defenseman on the free agent market to help the young defensive brigade.

The Canadiens are stuck with the salary cap and the idea of signing a big-money free agent would not be ideal. On the other hand, as reported by Cimon Asselin of Habsolumentfan.com, there are some defensemen at a, shall we say, more affordable price that could prove to be very attractive to Kent Hughes.

Already, rumors are circulating that Ben Chiarot and Brett Kulak would be open to a return to the Canadiens, but there are other interesting blue line candidates.

These include Ian Cole, Erik Gudbranson, Anton Stralman, Justin Schultz and Jan Rutta.

In the case of Rutta, we shouldn't be surprised if he signs a new deal with the Tampa Bay Lightning, but as for the others, they will probably all be available as of Wednesday at noon.

Personally, the two backs I could see joining the Habs would be Stralman and Schultz. With Petry's departure more than likely, they would be good candidates to fill the right side of the defense and also to be excellent mentors for the youngsters of the organization.

In the case of Anton Stralman, he still had 23 points, including 8 goals, last season with the poor Arizona Coyotes, but since he will be 36 years old before the start of next season, he shouldn't cost too much if Kent Hughes ever wanted to sign him.

As for Justin Schultz, he had the same amount of points as Stralman last year with the Washington Capitals, but he had 27 points in 46 games in 2020-2021.

Obviously we're not talking about a long-term contract for either defenseman. Nevertheless, you have to admit that for a short period of time, Stralman and Schultz could be very useful to the Habs, while Guhle, Barron, Harris and Mailloux are growing within the organization.

What do you think?

We'll have the answer soon.
July 13   |   78 answers
Here are the 7 defensemen who could interest Kent Hughes in free agency

Which of these two defensemen should Kent Hughes sign on the free agent market?

Anton Stralman3646.2 %
Justin Schultz4253.8 %
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