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Eeli Tolvanen
Photo credit: The Hockey News

Kent Hughes made a monumental mistake, and it could be very detrimental to the Montreal Canadiens

Published January 30, 2024 at 9:31 PM
BY DAVID ST-JEAN

It is often said that sometimes the best moves are the ones we don't make. This applies a lot to hockey, where some transactions or signings don't end well. Look at Brendan Gallagher's contract extension, for example.

However, there are times when not making a move can be costly, and that's exactly what happened 13 and a half months ago.

In December 2022, on the 12th precisely, the Nashville Predators placed the highly promising forward Eeli Tolvanen on waivers. He was 23 years old at the time. Kent Hughes had the opportunity to claim him for free, but he chose not to.

The Seattle Kraken didn't make the same mistake, and they are content today. Tolvanen has 30 points in 49 games this season and is coming into his own.


The Canadiens have a glaring need for good forwards, and this issue has persisted for a long time. It was certainly the case last year as well.

How could Hughes not have acted? Tolvanen would be playing in the top 6 right now and would be the team's third-highest scorer behind Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield.

"The Habs had the luxury of claiming Eeli Tolvanen off waivers on December 12, 2022.

A highly talented forward, a former first-round pick, who was 23 years old at the time. They passed on him.

The Kraken didn't. And Tolvanen has 54 points in 89 games since.

Too bad!" - Marc-Olivier Beaudoin

The reasons why the Canadiens let him go are not known, but we still wonder why. And I bet Kent Hughes is regretting it today, especially with all the injuries.

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January 30   |   369 answers
Kent Hughes made a monumental mistake, and it could be very detrimental to the Montreal Canadiens

Do you think Kent Hughes will be able to sign a big free-agent forward this summer?

Yes21859.1 %
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