The Montreal Canadiens announced on Tuesday morning that they have officially hired player agent Kent Hughes to serve as the team’s newest general manager. The Canadiens front office has undergone a significant overhaul over the past few months following the firing of former general manager Marc Bergevin earlier this season.
Following Bergevin’s removal, the team brought in former New York Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton to serve as the vice president of hockey operations.
On Tuesday, they officially hired Hughes to take over as GM. He is the 18th general manager in Canadiens franchise history.
Hughes had previously been working in the NHL as a player agent, representing several top players across the league including Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron, Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang, New York Islanders forward Anthony Beauvillier, and Edmonton Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse.
“The process of finding our new general manager afforded us the opportunity to meet a number of extremely qualified candidates. Kent stood out, and we believe he is the right person to be the general manager of the Canadiens. We also believe that Kent’s experience as an agent will be a great asset to the organization,” said Gorton in a statement released by the team.
Now the task of rebuilding the Canadiens can begin. To say it has been a tumultuous season to this point would probably be an understatement. After making a stunning run to the Stanley Cup Final a year ago out of the modified North (Canadian) Division, the Canadiens roster was gutted during the offseason with the departures of Philip Danault, Tomas Tatar, and Jesperi Kotkaniemi, while also losing Shea Weber and Carey Price before the season began. Price has yet to play for the Canadiens this season after carrying them through the playoffs, while Weber’s playing career in the future is very much in doubt. Combine all of that with the fact that young stars Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield have not taken the expected step forward just yet and you have a team that now currently sits with the worst record in the entire NHL.