Hughes admits he lied to his coaches about Lehkonen and reveals details of his negotiations with Joe Sakic

Published June 15, 2022 at 4:00 PM

At the last trade deadline, Kent Hughes traded Artturi Lehkonen to the Colorado Avalanche for prospect Justin Barron and a second round pick in the 2024 auction.

According to Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic, Lehkonen really wasn't destined to leave the Habs organization. Kent Hughes recently spoke with the reporter and gave him the lowdown on the deal.

"I remember a conversation I had with him (Lehkonen) a night or two with the trade deadline. We were leaving the arena and I said to him, 'I can tell you I'm not trying to trade you. We like you. But I can't tell you that we're not going to trade you. But for that to happen, it's going to take something really good." Twenty-four hours later, I called him and told him we had traded him." - Kent Hughes

"Joe was really insistent and he would regularly ask me, "Would you take this?" and I would always say, "No." Joe did it the right way. He kept the negotiation alive and eventually it got done." - Kent Hughes

Sakic did it again, however, shortly before the deadline hit, and the offer was impossible for Kent Hughes to refuse.

"I went down and told the coaches we had traded Brett Kulak. They were disappointed so I told them, 'The good news is we didn't trade Lehky.' There were fifteen minutes left on the trade deadline. I went back to my office and Joe called me. I was like, "Oh my God, I think at this point I have to do it." So I went back down and told the coaches, "I lied!". - Kent Hughes - Kent Hughes

Looking at Lehkonen's success with Colorado since he arrived with the club, we can say that Joe Sakic has done well to be persistent. In 14 playoff games, the Finn has accumulated 6 goals and 5 assists for a total of 11 points. He is also very appreciated by his coach as he is used in all aspects of the game.

Thanks to our colleagues at GoHabsGo for the great find.
June 15   |   952 answers
Hughes admits he lied to his coaches about Lehkonen and reveals details of his negotiations with Joe Sakic

Looking back, who do you think won the trade involving Lehkonen and Barron?

Montreal12513.1 %
Colorado31833.4 %
Both of them50953.5 %
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