Its up to Hughes to play

It’s up to Hughes to play!

Perhaps you attach some importance to this statistic offered to us at the end of 2022. Because, for example, in the last 12 months a team like the Canadians has presented a difference of 93 goals less than the opponent. Oops…

But when statistics are proposed for a calendar year, I attach very little importance to them. On the one hand, the Canadian has had two different teams since January 1, 2022. In doing so, he changed his management philosophy.

The team that Dominique Ducharme led is not the one that Martin St-Louis has agreed to lead through a new process. The two coaches have different visions, they have different plans and they communicate in different ways.

Let’s forget 2022 and move on to this season.

The 2022/23 season. The decision-makers had announced their color in the offseason and also before the end of the 2021/22 season. They revealed that the new business model would consist of a reorganization of all departments, and of course the most important one at the playing surface level.

Artturi Lehkonen traveled to Colorado as proof. Ben Chiarot headed for Florida. We had to give a sweep. Then Carey Price refrained from allowing Jeff Gorton and Kent Hughes to better maneuver with the salary cap.

Mike Matheson and Sean Monahan ended up at Bell Center. Jeff Petry eventually left the scene. Shea Weber’s contract was traded to the Golden Knights for Evgenii Dadonov.

The focus was on ensuring that supporters were made aware that the goals were now to change the organization’s culture. To promote the development of the organization’s young hopefuls. To ensure that the trainers do not deviate from the company plan.

The instruction is respected. Only the month of December invites you to think.

Various questions

The last two games, in short this trip that ends tonight in Nashville, so far without Kaiden Guhle, raise questions.

Why is the Canadian so unpredictable in his territory? Let’s not just blame young, inexperienced defenders. no Under the circumstances, they have lived up to expectations. The veterans, with the exception of Joel Edmundson, who is struggling to keep up with the opposition’s fast pace, have played their part, led by David Savard.

So how is it to be explained that the opponent in the Canadian’s territory moves with such ease? I suppose a lot of work goes into developing young players, but the collective game, what do we do? Do we have a defense system to face the opponent? We must not believe that in front of such ugly results. Talent is one thing, but the right system ensures that talent brings concrete results.

How do you explain that the coaches have not yet managed to come up with a plan to at least remedy the shortcomings of a defensive brigade that cannot adapt to the opponent’s repeated attacks?


The attack ? When Cole Caufield and Nick Suzuki are handcuffed, the Canadian is left with no way out of the swamp he’s mired in. The other skaters not only don’t produce, but many cheat. They lack conviction in their territory when they should be energetic and assist defenders.

changes ? Obviously, given the inertia of the attack, given the inability of the support staff to perfectly fulfill their role, the simplest solution would be to clean up. Why not use Rocket Player? Unfortunately, with the concept of the salary cap, the CEOs have to live with the legacy that was left to them.

Which team would Brendan Gallagher like to include in his roster? A few no doubt. But his contract puts everyone off.

Who wants Jonathan Drouin? We’ve been waiting for the big eruption for three years. He will be on loan for interested parties.

Who wants Joel Armia? Certainly some general managers would be tempted…but on the other hand, should we pay 3.4 million for a player who hasn’t scored this season?

Who wants Evgenii Dadonov? Person.

Christian Dvorak is an interesting case. Teams could particularly use his services in the race to qualify for the spring tournament. But the problem remains money.

As a loan player, Sean Monahan will be a head turner. It’s a big risk for any team with big ambitions. The price to be paid will be high.

But senior management will have to make a decision: Do we still believe Kirby Dach can fulfill the role of the organization’s second center? doubts exist. So the Canadian needs to find another middle player for next season.

Juraj Slafkowski? He is 18 years old and is making his first experiences in the professional world. Take your time, and the management also took this risk.

The two guards? Jake Allen is the Jake Allen we spied in St. Louis. An unpredictable goalkeeper who can do the best and the worst. Does he still have value on the transfer market? I would be surprised.

Montembault? Should we use it more often? But what are the Canadian’s plans for the goalkeeper?

The Canadian is playing the first game of 2023, but it’s actually a game of the 2022-23 regular schedule, meaning a transitional season and a draft eagerly awaited by amateur players.

A selection to look at…

When Ben Chiarot was traded to the Florida Panthers last March, the Canadian got the Florida team’s first-round pick.

At the same time, Kent Hughes added another draft pick to his already well-stocked bank. But we didn’t dream. This is a choice that can be suggested in the discussions.

Interesting transaction

But now, midseason, the Florida Panthers are seventh in the Atlantic Division. The playoff participation is in danger.

The Panthers are eight points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins as the team is last in the playoffs.

Suddenly, the value of the Panthers’ first-round pick could give Hughes even more leeway well before the March 3 deadline.

If the trend continues, the Panthers’ top pick will only become more attractive.

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