Montreal Candiens' Mike Matheson.
Photo credit: The Hockey News

Kent Hughes Officially Pulls Off a Robbery: His Best Trade Has Been Confirmed

Published February 25, 2024 at 1:35 PM

During his first summer period as General Manager of the Montreal Canadiens, Kent Hughes did not hesitate to make trades to revamp his lineup. Indeed, the CH's GM completed a big trade with the Penguins, sending Jeff Petry and Ryan Poehling to Pittsburgh in return for Mike Matheson and a fourth-round pick.

Let's remember that at the time, this transaction clearly did not have unanimous support among Montreal fans. After all, the former number 26 of the Tricolore was the quarterback of the power play, having notably reached the 40-point plateau four times in his last five seasons.

For his part, although Mike Matheson was recognized for his offensive skills, the Quebec defenseman had surpassed the 30-point mark only once in his career. Moreover, his personal best was only 31 points in 74 games, a tally obtained that same season with the Penguins.

A real stroke of genius by Kent Hughes

However, the General Manager of the Bleu-Blanc-Rouge had evaluated the situation very well. Jeff Petry was slowly starting to regress, wanting in particular to leave Montreal to join his wife in the United States. Moreover, despite his high potential at the time of his selection, Ryan Poehling had already reached his ceiling within the organization, that of a fourth-line player.

As for Mike Matheson, even if his statistics were not incredible, he was increasingly establishing himself as a top defenseman in the NHL. Relegated behind Kristopher Letang, he just needed a new opportunity to explode and demonstrate the full extent of his talent, which he has done since his arrival with the Canadiens.

Indeed, at the time of writing these lines, the number 8 of the CH has amassed an impressive total of 43 points in 58 games, thus heading towards a 61-point season. As for Jeff Petry, his best tally with the Canadiens was 46 points, and he claims a modest total of 17 points in 48 games this year.

"Jeff Petry's best season in Montreal was 46 points in 82 games in 2018-2019

Mike Matheson is on pace for 61 points this season

He scored at a 58-point pace last season but only played in 48 games

The Habs also got a 4th round pick which became Bogdan Konyushkov." - Costa Rontzocos

Wow! What a steal by Kent Hughes!

In addition to having obtained a younger defenseman with a much better offensive performance, the Canadiens were also able to select Bogdan Konyushkov with the fourth-round pick from the Penguins. The 21-year-old excels in the KHL currently, being one of the most used defensemen in the league. He notably recorded 6 goals and 22 assists (28 points) in 64 games with Torpedo this season.

Meanwhile, Jeff Petry is struggling in Detroit, sometimes even being scratched from the lineup. Let's just say that Kent Hughes made quite a move with this transaction, which will certainly help the organization in the long term.

Credit: Habs et LNH
February 25   |   448 answers
Kent Hughes Officially Pulls Off a Robbery: His Best Trade Has Been Confirmed

Do you believe this is the best trade made by Kent Hughes?

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