Friday, May 20, 2022

New Canadian GM Kent Hughes ready for challenges ahead

Kent Hughes admitted he was more of a behind-the-scenes player agent, but that is all about to change as the Montreal Canadiens’ new general manager.

Hughes was officially appointed on Tuesday as the 18th GM in the team’s history, replacing Mark Bergevin, who was fired on 28 November. Former New York Rangers GM Jeff Gorton was brought in as executive vice president on the same day that Bergevin was sacked.

Addressing the media for the first time as GM on Wednesday, Hughes said he is most excited about the challenges that lie in his role rather than the hype that comes with it.

“I would describe myself as a hockey junkie. I always have been,” Hughes said during a bilingual press conference at Bell Center with Gorton and owner Geoff Molson. “I’ve worked in the sport. I have taken coaching in this sport. I coached without my kids as part of it and my wife will tell you that if I’m not coaching or working in hockey, I’m talking about hockey. To me, the public part of it is that, the excitement is the piece of hockey. ,

Montreal is just 8-25-5 and is last in the NHL standings, despite advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2021, but before taking any drastic steps, Hughes said he would first familiarize himself with the team’s players. Planning to take time off. within the organization.

“We have challenges ahead of us, no question. The team is not where we expected it to be, or what the Canadiens expected it to be at the moment,” Hughes said. “I’m of the opinion that some of it is circumstantial, but there’s no question that changes need to be made and I want to get to know Jeff. We’re going to spend a lot of time together here over the next five to seven days. To discuss more Let’s start with what steps need to be taken.”

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Hughes previously worked as a player agent and represented Patrice Bergeron, Christopher Letang, Darnell Nurse, Colin White, Drake Batherson and Anthony Beauviller, among others.

In fact, the relationship between Hughes and Gorton goes all the way back to when Bergeron signed his entry-level deal with the Boston Bruins, where Gorton was the assistant GM at the time.

Gorton reported that he and Hughes had spoken regularly on the phone for nearly 20 years. He said he would join the team sometime on Thursday and start “diving into hockey”.

“Our committee wanted someone who was a really good hockey person who could match my skill set as well as we did and I think that’s what we did. I am really sure of it. I know he was an agent but I think of Kent as a hockey person first.

“I’ve spent a lot of time here in the last two weeks talking hockey and team building and I love his out-of-the-box thinking. Ultimately it came down to a great experience with Kent and I like his overall philosophy That’s where this team has to go, what do we have to do.”

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The organization interviewed 11 different candidates for the vacant GM role. Although it is unusual for a player agent to be named GM, Hughes said he would not be here today if he hadn’t been the best person for the job.

“I believe the candidates had a fair chance in the process,” Hughes said.

Molson said it would be up to Gorton and Hughes to decide who else they add to the front office.

Hughes was also asked about GMs often wanting to bring in their own coaches, but did not say it would be part of their philosophy.

“I have some faith in what a modern-day coach should be,” Hughes said, adding that he would discuss with head coach Dominic Ducharme what kind of team the Canadians could become.

“In an ideal world we would be a club with an aggressive mind,” Hughes said. “I envision a team that plays fast, plays fast with the puck that is a hockey team, but I also understand that you have to build a team around the players you have and that process Be a part of it as we move forward.

“We’re going to create a modern organization that players want to be a part of.”

Nation World News Desk
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