Kent Hughes about to buy out major contracts with the Montreal Canadiens?

Published April 22, 2022 at 6:58 PM

As the NHL regular season draws to a close, many pundits have already begun to speculate about the massive job that awaits Kent Hughes and Jeff Gorton in their first summer at the helm of the Habs.

My colleague Christian Matte of reported that on the RDS podcast On jase, analyst and former CH player Benoit Brunet praised the work of Minnesota Wild general manager Bill Guerin, and would love to see the Habs' new staff take the route Guerin did in building his team.

Since he took over the team in 2019, the Wild have been on a steady upward trajectory and he didn't hesitate to buy out the big contracts Zach Parise and Ryan Suter signed with the Wild in the summer of 2012, and that's the kind of move Brunet thinks the Habs' management should consider.

"He's going to have to make some tough decisions, because contracts you don't want anymore, or players you don't want to bring in, they're not all going to be tradeable, it's impossible. But there may be contracts that will have to be bought out on the Montreal Canadiens' side. [...] For the culture of your organization, if you think you're there, the decisions, you have to make them immediately."

Guerin had bought out the contracts of Parise and Suter last summer, and the Wild are, at the time of writing, seventh overall in the NHL. You could say that Guerin succeeded in his bet by parting with these two players who are having a good season with their respective teams.

If we look closely at the players under long-term contract with the Habs, there are some interesting candidates for a contract buyout. We can think of forwards Brendan Gallagher, Joel Armia, Mike Hoffman and Christian Dvorak as well as Jeff Petry on defense.

Although players like Gallagher, Hoffman and Petry are considered big names, having once been dominant players in the league, Brunet seems to believe that Kent Hughes and Jeff Gorton should not hesitate to buy them out.

And they may well do so at the end of the season.

Of course, Gorton and Hughes probably won't make many buyouts this summer, but of all the players named, none of them signed their contracts during the Hughes-Gorton era.

That could make it easier for the team's new leadership to make some tough decisions.

What do you think?

April 22   |   452 answers
Kent Hughes about to buy out major contracts with the Montreal Canadiens?

More likely to get traded/bought out?

Joel Armia6514.4 %
Brendan Gallagher12227 %
Mike Hoffman21046.5 %
Christian Dvorak5512.2 %
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