Photo of Habs GM Kent Hughes
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Kent Hughes' only mistake as GM is clear and has been revealed

Published April 29, 2024 at 6:27 PM

When Kent Hughes completed his trade with the Colorado Avalanche for Justin Barron, he had no idea we would be where we are today.

While many experts currently believe that the CH must absolutely trade Barron quickly, and while Montreal has a major surplus in defense (and a need in offense), let's just say this transaction is not aging very well for Montreal.

JB trade for Lehkonen: Kent Hughes' only mistake?

Recall that on March 21, 2022, the Canadiens did indeed trade Artturi Lehkonen to the Colorado Avalanche for Justin Barron and a 2024 2nd round pick.

At the time, it seemed like an excellent transaction by Kent Hughes, but today, we realize that it's probably the worst trade Hughes has made so far.

He has won the vast majority of his bets so far, we must give him that, but this one is not going in the right direction for Hughes, and I am convinced he would do the transaction in reverse if he could. (but no chance the Avalanche would agree to do it obviously)

Justin Barron, 22 years old, has collected 11 points in 32 games with the Laval Rocket this season, as well as 13 points in 48 games with the Montreal Canadiens.

As for Lehkonen, he is incredible. He amassed 51 points in 64 games last year, and 34 points in 45 games this season.

In the playoffs, he is one of the best players for the Avalanche, having already accumulated 4 goals and 7 points in just 4 games. Solid!

Lehkonen has indeed scored a goal in every game in these 2024 playoffs!

« [Valeri] Nichushkin and Lehkonen have also become the third duo in history in the playoffs to have a streak of four consecutive games with a goal to start the first playoff round.

If Lehkonen or Nichushkin score in the next game, it would be the first time a player from the Avalanche/Nordiques franchise starts the playoffs with a goal in each of his first five games since Michel Goulet in 1985.»

- Michaël Petit

Things can always change, and Barron can still prove us wrong, but for the moment Hughes seems to have made a (rare) mistake with this transaction.

He did not want to trade Lehkonen, and Martin St-Louis did not want him to trade either, but the offer from the Avalanche was very interesting at that time!

April 29   |   496 answers
Kent Hughes' only mistake as GM is clear and has been revealed

Would you trade Justin Barron and a 2024 2nd round pick for Artturi Lehkonen?

Yes22044.4 %
No27655.6 %
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