20:00
-
-
    
Arber Xhekaj
Photo credit: Picture

A potential trade for Arber Xhekaj?

Published May 12, 2024 at 6:57 PM
BY CARL VAILLANCOURT
SHARE THIS STORY

Due to his physicality, robustness, ability to enforce the law on the ice, and his potential, Arber Xhekaj was highly sought after at the beginning of the regular season, but the fact that he played with a shoulder injury would have significantly reduced his value.

Nonetheless, General Manager Kent Hughes reportedly received several calls from his NHL counterparts inquiring about the price to acquire him.

Among the most serious discussions the general manager had, it appears that talks with Daniel Brière of the Philadelphia Flyers were very close to yielding a deal earlier this year, but there's an element that allegedly changed the situation. We don't know more; it's all speculation...

The former Montreal Canadiens player allegedly offered "a young top-6 forward" in exchange for defenseman Arber Xhekaj. The duo of Jeff Gorton and Kent Hughes reportedly didn't hesitate; they categorically rejected this exchange.


Was it Morgan Frost? Bobby Brink? Tyson Foerster?

These seem to be the most realistic candidates following the 2023-2024 season of the Philadelphia Flyers. Foerster seems the least likely of the three. He was one of the NHL's best rookies in the second half of the season.

Kent Hughes is still receiving calls for a trade involving Arber Xhekaj, according to David Pagnotta.

This was reported by informant David Pagnotta in the last few hours.

"Not later than this week, teams continue to talk to the Montreal Canadiens about defenseman Arber Xhekaj in the trade market, but Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes continues to turn them down. Hughes is not interested in trading the solid defenseman, but he is willing to trade some of his other young defensemen." - David Pagnotta, TFP

This indicates that other NHL executives have a lot of interest in the Montreal Canadiens defenseman. The fact that Kent Hughes doesn't seem interested in trading him speaks volumes about the evaluation of the young man. His potential is significant!

Could a tempting offer sway Kent Hughes? It's not impossible! If Wayne Gretzky was traded, then all NHL players can be traded.

The counterpart needs to be tempting; otherwise, the team will keep the services of the solid 23-year-old.

"Apparently, teams in the league are calling about Arber Xhekaj, but Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes is not interested in trading him."

The man nicknamed the Sheriff in the Montreal Canadiens' circle has found his niche in the Bettman circuit. Defensemen who intimidate other NHL teams and command respect like Xhekaj are very rare. His profile is quite unique in the Bettman circuit. He can be compared to defensemen like Nikita Zadorov.

In 44 games with the CH this season, Xhekaj scored 3 goals and had 7 assists for a total of 10 points. Sent to Laval after a rough stretch, the defenseman accumulated 11 points in 17 games with the Rocket. His presence changed the attitude of several players, showing his impact was felt.

At his age, undergoing such a shoulder operation shouldn't be a long-term problem. If Andrei Markov's knee could be saved, there's surely a way to do a good job with Arber Xhekaj's shoulders.

The identity of the team that reportedly called Kent Hughes this week is unknown. Is it a renewed attempt by the Philadelphia Flyers? Is it a team in the CH's division? What is the value of the 23-year-old defenseman to date? A first-round pick? A young established player? No one knows Kent Hughes' intentions, but one thing is certain, the Sheriff could provide valuable assistance to the CH if they make the playoffs as early as next year.
POLL
May 12   |   430 answers
A potential trade for Arber Xhekaj?

Would you trade Arber Xhekaj for a top 6 forward?

Yes12829.8 %
No30270.2 %
LIST OF POLL
Latest 10 stories