Almost a year ago today, Kent Hughes was asked, leaving the general managers meeting, if it was possible that his team would be buyers at the trade deadline. Things were going so well that he was even asked if his team was winning too much. It must be said that the race for the first pick in the draft was already underway and Connor Bedard was a dream.
Today, the situation is similar. The team started the season well, probably beyond the expectations of many observers, but it is still too early to know which direction the Canadian’s season will take. Will the team suffer a brutal decline like last year, or will the growing maturity in the game allow the Habs to stay in the race for a playoff spot?
“We have to wait,” said Kent Hughes, when asked about his intentions in the transaction market. Look at the Oilers, most experts say they are probably the team in Canada that had the best chance to win the Stanley Cup this season and they are not off to an easy start. So, there are still 35-40 games left until the trade deadline, we will see where we will be in the standings.
The fact remains that there is still one burning question that has not yet been resolved, and that is his guardians. The decision to keep Cayden Primeau in order not to lose him to waivers has caused a lot of debate, but at the same time, the trio seems to be working right now. “It is not urgent to solve this matter, even if we don’t want it to be like this for the whole season. There are things we have to continue to evaluate. But I look at the performance of our goalkeepers and they are among the best in the league so far, so it holds. And why fix something that isn’t broken?” underlines the general manager of the Canadiens.
The general manager of the Canadiens did not want to comment on Samuel Montembeault’s contract negotiations, but apparently the team wants to come to an agreement with him, which could subsequently force a transaction.
Another file that will develop during the season is that of Sean Monahan. Asked about his center fielder’s performance, Kent Hughes gave a big “WOW!” “It’s not just what he does on the ice, it’s his leadership,” he continued. He talks a lot on the bench to help his teammates, he is a very useful player. This year he is even better than last year and his defeat hurt us a lot a year ago. We quickly saw what happened to the team afterwards.
But will he be tempted to replace him before the end of the season? “It’s not a decision we need to make at this moment, but we are aware that he is a very important player for us.”
But one thing is clear, if the Canadian makes the playoffs, it is very likely that Sean Monahan will finish the season with the team. If not, he’ll likely be traded, with the hope of returning to the team next season, but that’s obviously still a risk.
What’s even more important is that Sean Monahan stays healthy for his own good and the good of Canadians. If so, it will be interesting to see what kind of contract he can sign, whether in Montreal or elsewhere.