Kent Hughes announces his colors and could get another good player for free

Jeff Drouin
August 24, 2022  (5:21 PM)

Once Kent Hughes reaches an agreement with Kirby Dach, he will have no less than 15 NHL-caliber forwards in his organization. That's not counting Juraj Slafkovsky or other prospects like Jesse Ylönen or Rafael Harvey-Pinard, who will be knocking on the door during the club's next training camp.

So the GM will want to let a forward go, and it wouldn't be surprising if one of Christian Dvorak, Joel Armia or Mike Hoffman leaves the organization soon. But as we mentioned on Monday, Hughes is in no hurry to part with salary, so Price's arrival on the long-term injured list completely changes the CH's contract situation.
However, it is certain that the new GM will always be looking to fill the holes in his current lineup. So it would not be surprising if he was looking to add an experienced defenseman to his lineup. This defenseman could join the club not by way of a transaction, but via waivers.
It should be noted that Hughes has a very underrated advantage until November 1st. He will be able to select, because of the CH's miserable last season, at the first rank when a player is placed on waivers.
In a recent press conference, he even noted that he would strongly analyze this option at the beginning of the season to see if the Canadiens could snatch a right-handed defenseman, for example, from one of their rivals for free.
"If we can find, and we think there will be one - either via a 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

That's a significant benefit when you consider the following:
1 - The CH has a good success rate with draft picks in recent years. Just think of Paul Byron (Marc Bergevin) and Rem Pitlick (Jeff Gorton) who have pleasantly surprised the club's fans.
2 - With the salary cap making things difficult for many teams, it would not be surprising to see some intriguing names being placed in the lineup 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.
As Marco D'Amico rightly mentioned in a recent article, it will be interesting to see if some of the younger and more talented players could find their way to Montreal, especially now that they have additional flexibility with Price's contract on the LTIR.
Every year, there are one or two surprising names that make it to waivers. If it happens again this year (it probably will), Kent Hughes could acquire another interesting player for free.
He will have 1) the first pick and 2) the necessary space under the salary cap. Something to watch closely.
24 AOUT   |   534 ANSWERS
Kent Hughes announces his colors and could get another good player for free

Rate Hughes work so far.

Good15729.4 %
Excellent29154.5 %
Okay6211.6 %
Awfull244.5 %
Latest 10 stories