Joe Sakic kind of made Kent Hughes uncomfortable by negotiating for a specific trade

Jeff Drouin
June 21, 2022  (10:10)

It's safe to say that the trade made at the deadline between the Habs and the Colorado Avalanche is proving to be very beneficial for both organizations.

On one hand, Kent Hughes got a great young defenseman in Justin Barron and on the other hand, Artturi Lehkonen is having a great playoff run this year and even managed to send his team to the finals for the second year in a row with an overtime goal against the Edmonton Oliers in the Western finals.
But did you know that this deal almost never happened?
As reported by my colleague Keven Mawn of Fanadiens.com, an article by Pierre LeBrun on The Athletic tells the story behind the trade that occurred at the deadline and shows that Avalanche GM Joe Sakic was desperate to bring the Finnish forward to Colorado, despite Kent Hughes initially saying no.
"From the beginning, Lehkonen was a player we were looking at and I let Kent know that we were certainly interested. We stayed in touch throughout the process."

However, Sakic persevered. He was so persistent and insistent that he somehow made Kent Hughes uncomfortable.
"Joe was pretty consistent, checking in, asking me if I was interested in this project. And I always said no. Other teams had also called and asked about it. I told them we would need a lot to trade him. He's good, he's young."

"Joe was inquiring pretty regularly. I was almost embarrassed because I kept saying 'No' to all his offers. It almost made me uncomfortable (laughs)."

"Joe did it the right way. He kept it alive and eventually we got along."

In the end, the two men came to an agreement and it shows that sometimes it pays to be persistent and in the end, this deal turned out to be good for both organizations.
Lehkonen will be a restricted free agent this summer while Justin Barron will surely be one of the Habs' best young defensemen when training camp opens.
21 JUIN   |   340 ANSWERS
Joe Sakic kind of made Kent Hughes uncomfortable by negotiating for a specific trade

Will Artturi Lehkonen be able to agree on a new long-term contract with the Avalanche?

Yes he’ll stay in Colorado21864.1 %
No, he’ll sign somewhere else5014.7 %
No he comes back to MTL7221.2 %
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