It is this time of year and with the NHL Draft set to begin in four days, the action should start at any time now. It is believed that the Montreal Canadiens will be one of the busiest teams as they currently are set to speak 14 times, including the first overall and the 26th pick in the first round. Chatter is that they will cut down that number by trying to move up at the draft, even to the top-10.
In a recent article, Montreal Hockey Now Jimmy Murphy states that Canadiens’ GM Kent Hughes is extremely busy working the phones with his counterparts. Those who felt like Hughes was hired to be Jeff Gorton’s “puppet” better think again as he seems to be in total control.
“He’s easily I’d say the busiest GM right now,” an NHL executive told Montreal Hockey Now Saturday afternoon. “I know we’ve spoken to him multiple times and we’re not the only ones. Gotta give it to Kent, he’s creative and determined. What I think has helped him as and agent turning into a GM is the amount of kids coming up the ranks he’s been scouting. He’s very connected at the amateur level and that helps in trade talks.”
Murphy adds that in addition to the executive quoted above, two different NHL sources confirmed that multiple teams are likely in the mix for Jeff Petry. Josh Anderson’s name is apparently still out there but it’s more listening that shopping, and another source told him that he’s been hearing trade chatter on Christian Dvorak.
In his 32-Thoughts, Elliotte Friedman says that the Canadiens are doing an excellent job shielding their thoughts on who will go first overall. He says that he’s heard Shane Wright. He has heard Juraj Slafkovsky. Someone even said, “Few know Logan Cooley better than Montreal management.” There is an overriding feeling that they are trying to get a second high pick, possibly top-10. Friedman even goes on to say: “Probably a pipe dream, but could you imagine a Bell Centre with the Canadiens picking one and two?”
Always according to Friedman, the Canadiens continue to test the market on some of their veterans. He mentioned Christian Dvorak, Jeff Petry and possibly Josh Anderson. He was told by some teams that the Habs don’t want to move Jake Allen. An important note: he says that the Canadiens wish to be more competitive, so they’re not going to strip it bare.
Friedman finishes by saying that prior to the deadline, there were some conversations between the Senators and Canadiens on Colin White and that it’s not impossible to see White heading to Montreal. GM Kent Hughes was his agent.
Friedman’s fellow Insider Chris Johnston went with a very exciting, yet very much underwhelming news yesterday. He stated that the Canadiens are likely to trade Josh Anderson within 48 hours. That’s the exciting part, although most fans don’t want to see him gone and he wants to remain with the Canadiens. The not so exciting part is the return. He mentions a top-40 pick and a “B-level prospect”, IF they take back a contract or retain salary. This makes little sense for the Habs.
So as you can see, the action is picking up as the Draft approaches. We are expecting a lot of action in the coming days.