Hughes has a solid advantage over other clubs to make acquisitions until November 1

Published July 23, 2022 at 8:23

At the time of writing, the Habs have 22 contracts for next season out of a possible 23. Only Kirby Dach, in the main lineup, and Cayden Primeau, with the Rocket, are not yet under contract. With $1.154M in salary cap space, Hughes must surely wait for a trade that will free up some cap space before he can come to an agreement with his new arrival (Dach) and settle his roster for next season once and for all.

In a recent press conference, the new GM stated that he was looking for a right-handed defenseman. The loss of Petry, a veteran right wing, could hurt the club's defense.

"If we can find, and we think we will - either via trade or via waivers - a right-handed defenseman that will be available to us. [...] We'll continue to look to see if there's an opportunity to bring in someone who can relieve some of that pressure on the right side."-Kent Hughes

Subtly in his statement, Hughes mentioned that he's in no rush. He's even willing to wait until waivers, which is early next season, to add a right-handed defenseman. While this may come as a surprise to some, it makes perfect sense under the circumstances.

As Marco D'Amico of MTLHockeyNow reminds us, given that the CH finished last in the NHL last season, Kent Hughes will have first priority in the waivers draft. They will, until at least Nov. 1, have the 1st say in selecting waivers players.

This is a significant advantage when you know the following:

1 - The CH has a good success rate with waivers pick ups in recent years. Just think of Paul Byron (Marc Bergevin) and Rem Pitlick (Jeff Gorton) who have pleasantly surprised the fans.

2 - With the salary cap making things difficult for many teams, it would not be surprising to see some intriguing names placed on waivers during training camp and the first month of operations. Kent Hughes will be able to fill out his roster for free, courtesy of the NHL, which has not increased its cap.

Finally, in addition to making room for Kirby Dach's future contract, Kent Hughes is in no hurry. He can very well wait until the beginning of the season to make personnel moves.
July 23   |   486 answers
Hughes has a solid advantage over other clubs to make acquisitions until November 1

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