Report of the DG of the Canadian | Seven files to attack in the summer

Like his players, Kent Hughes took stock on Saturday. The general manager didn’t fully open up his game about his plans for the team over the next few weeks, but he did offer a few pointers. The point in seven acts.

Posted at 5:53pm

Simon Olivier Lorange

Simon Olivier Lorange
The press

The retreat

Fans cheered as the Canadian, who finished last overall, secured one of the top three picks in next July’s draft. For many, the file is on the back burner until the Stanley Cup final, but the preparations for the CH employees are in full swing. This element has been named by Kent Hughes as his priority at the moment. He recalled having 14 caps, 7 of them in the first three rounds. Kent Hughes therefore multiplies the meetings with his scouts and has just returned from Germany where he took part in the U18 World Cup and he will soon fly to Finland where the World Seniors are held, a tournament that brings together the best young European players are often invited.

Lighten the budget


PHOTO BERNARD BRAULT, PRESS ARCHIVE

Warning to the reader: There will be a lot of talk about money in the next few segments. Because the Hab’s budget is tight as possible. According to website CapFriendly, a reference on the matter, just over $81.5 million has already been invested in salaries for the 2022-2023 season, leaving just under a million below the cap set by the league. The GM remains cautious: he won’t systematically ditch his highest-paid players just to give himself some wiggle room. For example, it does not preclude withholding part of a player’s salary as part of a transaction, provided the flexibility gained in the short term does not have long-term implications, ie when the team is willing to strive for greatness. The fact remains that over the next few years, reducing labor costs “will be very important,” he said. “In the current system you can call up the best players, but at some point the salary cap has to work. »

Shea Weber


PHOTO OLIVIER JEAN, LA PRESSE ARCHIVE

Shea Weber

In Montreal, “freeing the payroll” now rhymes with “untangling the Shea Weber file.” As is well known, CH wants to get rid of the heavy contract of its captain, who, incidentally, will no longer be captain next season. The Weber case, like the Canadian political system, as explained in The boys II, it’s complicated. He will obviously not play again but is careful not to announce his retirement as formalizing that decision would have other financial implications. While the situation is tickling the league and its insurer, the ex-defender is keeping a low profile and not speaking to the media. That doesn’t stop CH from allowing his weight on the payroll to remain an issue still hoping to find a taker team for that big contract. Is there still a market for this type of exchange? asked a reporter. “Yes,” Hughes replied curtly.

Carey Prize


PHOTO PHILIPPE BOIVIN, THE PRESS

Carey Prize

Since Carey Price’s story has been extensively covered in the media and, in particular, has been the subject of several articles in America’s largest French daily newspaper, there is no need to revisit his complex medical assessment. The fact remains, his name is often pronounced on the seventh floor of the Bell Center until the leaves change color. According to Kent Hughes, a clear assessment of the condition of his goalkeeper’s knee would make his job easier. The answer, if any, lies in the hands of the medical staff behind Price. At first glance, two scenarios stand out. If Price sinks his knee into the Styx and can play in the fall, his GM could consider a trade or do his rebuild around him. Otherwise, Price, a prisoner of uncertainty, would once again fail on the long-term injured list, in Montreal or elsewhere, when his contract is swapped. Degree of complexity: see Weber, Shea.

Martin Saint Louis


PHOTO MARTIN TREMBLAY, PRESS ARCHIVE

Martin St-Louis, interim head coach of the Canadiens

That’s not the most pressing dilemma at the moment, because both parties want to come to an agreement. Kent Hughes wants Martin St-Louis to continue the work he started behind the bench and would happily give him a “minimum three-year” contract. And the head coach has also expressed his desire to stay on as head coach of the Canadians. St-Louis’ interim mandate is still nearing its end and a formal pact must be struck or any team could enlist his services. Negotiations should begin shortly; one suspects that they will not be painful unless there is a surprise. St-Louis also announced Friday night that if he returns to Montreal at the end of the summer, his wife and their youngest son will still be staying in Connecticut, something Hughes didn’t question.

to sign contracts


PHOTO DOMINICK GRAVEL, THE PRESS

Alexander Romanov

They’re not the club’s biggest stars, but Kent Hughes still has a few other negotiations going on. Alexander Romanov, Samuel Montembeault, Cayden Primeau, Rem Pitlick, Michael Pezzetta, and Kale Clague are all slated to become restricted free agents, while some unrestricted free agents could be retained—Chris Wideman and Tyler Pitlick, for example. “Preliminary talks” with players and their agents have already taken place, but as far as we know, an announcement is not forthcoming. Alexander Romanov is beaming but has already indicated how much he “loves Montreal”, adding that he wants to “stay here as long as possible”. Fans will rejoice in this wave of excitement. His agent, maybe a little less.

rejuvenate training


PHOTO FRANÇOIS ROY, LA PRESSE ARCHIVE

Justin Baron

The ball isn’t just in Kent Hughes’ camp, but he did not hide the fact that his lineup would present a slightly rejuvenated face as the term started. He’s been excited for auditions won by Justin Barron and Jordan Harris this season, and he’s already looking forward to making the leap to pros for defenders Kaiden Guhle and Arber Xhekaj and forward Jan Mysak. We could add American League forwards Jesse Ylönen and Rafaël Harvey-Pinard to his list. “Youth is coming,” Hughes said, although decisions about which players are made based on their individual development rather than the Canadian’s unique needs. “We have to see how ready they are,” he said, adding without transition that the back-and-forth between the CH and the Laval Rocket could be numerous in 2023-2023. Three newcomers on defense are unlikely to play all 82 games, he noted. “We don’t take that risk. »

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