A major secret concerning Ivan Demidov revealed by Kent Hughes

Carl Vaillancourt
June 29, 2024  (8:57 PM)

Ivan Demidov
Photo credit: Picture

During his press conference after the first round of the amateur draft in Las Vegas on Friday night, Montreal Canadiens' hockey operations chief Kent Hughes opened up to the media. He revealed a secret regarding the team's top pick.

After playing a professional poker game with feints for weeks, Kent Hughes finally spoke his mind about young Ivan Demidov. Like all fans glued to their screens yesterday, we were charmed to learn that there had never been any doubt in the minds of the Canadiens' leadership regarding the 18-year-old Russian.
From start to finish, Ivan Demidov was Kent Hughes' top choice.
"Elliotte Friedman: «The word is you coveted Ivan Demidov for a long time, is that true?»

Kent Hughes: «Very true.»

A straightforward answer from Hughes, via HabsOnReddit. The Montreal Canadiens have always loved Ivan Demidov.
Beyond the non-verbal cues and the stagecraft with Céline Dion to announce the Canadiens' pick, the smiling faces of Kent Hughes, Martin St-Louis, Martin Lapointe, and Nick Bobrov spoke volumes after the selection. They can thank the Anaheim Ducks, who played a wild card with Sennecke.
Beyond his on-ice talent, however, it was his in-person interview with Kent Hughes that was most revealing for the head of the Bleu-Blanc-Rouge. By his own admission, it was one of, if not the best interview he had ever been a part of in his career! Wow! Quite a statement from Kent Hughes considering his background as a player agent.
But that's not all...
The Canadiens' GM revealed a little secret about the real reason for his and Jeff Gorton's notable absence from Ivan Demidov's Combine in Florida. The two heads of the Canadiens were not present at the Combine. This absence caused quite a stir and dispelled any doubts about the Canadiens' interest in the Russian.
"Kent Hughes explained that the reason he and Jeff Gorton did not go to Florida to meet Demidov was that they did not want to show how much they liked him. The meeting in Vegas was good enough and Demidov only solidified his place among them thanks to this interview." - Arpon Basu

Wow! It's rare to see executives admit their strategy regarding a player. They wanted Demidov so badly, and they were so convinced, that they pretended not to be too interested in him. They boycotted the Combine in Florida.
They did everything to conceal their huge interest in Ivan Demidov.
One could say these two men were brilliant! How can you not like the work of the Gorton-Hughes duo!
It has been worth the game so far. Now we just have to see him in the CH jersey...
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A major secret concerning Ivan Demidov revealed by Kent Hughes

Before the draft, at which rank Demidov was on your homemade list?

2nd22554.9 %
top-39022 %
top-57518.3 %
out of top-5204.9 %
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