Kent Hughes is in a Great Position to Sign a Star Player Next Summer

Published July 12, 2023 at 6:18 PM
BY ELLIOT BEN JACOB
Yesterday morning, the Montreal Canadiens announced the signing of a very promising young forward. Indeed, Alex Newhook has signed a four-season deal with an annual value of 2.9 million dollars with the organization.

The general manager of the Tricolore has thus resolved most of the issues he needed to address this summer, as Jesse Ylonen, Nicolas Beaudin, and Lucas Condotta are the only three players still without contracts for the upcoming season.

The recent signings notably put the Habs over the salary cap by about 3.5 million dollars, but a simple solution could solve this situation, namely adding Carey Price to the long-term injury list.

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However, what becomes interesting is when we take a look at the salary cap space that will be available to the general manager next summer. Indeed, Kent Hughes will have a little over 15 million dollars at the opening of the free agent market in 2024, which could allow him to make a big splash by signing a top forward.

Moreover, the Canadiens are very likely to place goalie Carey Price on the LTIR once again, which would add an additional 10 million dollars to the team. So the general manager would have, in theory, 25 million dollars to offer a contract to a star forward. Samuel Montembeault, Justin Barron, and Arber Xhekaj will be the only three players looking to sign a new deal next summer, thus leaving a very large margin of maneuver for the organization.

It's worth noting that several star players should technically, unless they extend their contracts, become free agents at the end of next season. Forwards such as Auston Matthews, Steven Stamkos, Sebastian Aho, Elias Petersson, William Nylander, Mark Scheifele, Jake Guentzel, Tyler Bertuzzi, Teuvo Teravainen, and Sam Reinhart could all test the free agent market.

Wow! This salary cap space could really allow Kent Hughes to position himself in a great stance to sign a quality forward and thus accelerate the rebuilding process started by the management, and this, as early as next summer. One thing is certain, he will have all the tools to be highly competitive on the free agent market. The general manager could hit a real home run on July 1, 2024.

The future looks very promising in Montreal!

Credit: Habs et LNH
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