NHL trade chatter got even louder Monday and the general feel around the league as of early Monday evening was that the talks have shifted from just general banter to more substantial trade talks.
While the majority of the NHL has been in the feeling out process as far NHL trade talks go, Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes and executive vice president of hockey operations Jeff Gorton have been working the phones diligently.
“Kent’s probably been one of the busiest guys out there,” an NHL Executive source told Montreal Hockey Now late Monday afternoon. “Jeff and him to this point, from what I know, have been ahead of the game. They’ve clearly got a plan and they’re gonna do their best to execute it.”
When meeting with the media following the Shea Weber trade last week, Kent Hughes told reporters that the Canadiens will continue to explore the NHL trade market to alleviate the team’s salary cap woes.
“It was a trade that works for both clubs. It gives Vegas flexibility. For us, it gives flexibility in the future. I’m expecting us to have more of a need for flexibility in the future,” said Hughes on his priorities moving forward. ”We’re having a lot of conversations and exploring many ways where we can gain flexibility.”
Hughes also addressed the still active NHL trade request from defenceman Jeff Petry.
“I don’t think there’s an imminent trade for Jeff. But I won’t rule out that there could be a trade,” the Canadiens GM said. “Teams are evaluating their needs right now. We’ll see. I can tell you my phone is ringing more this week than last week.”
Based on what the source above said though, Hughes has been doing most of the ringing lately and that’s what another NHL executive source told MHN late last week.
“Look, Kent’s not necessarily shopping anyone at this point but he’s definitely let it be known that he’s open for business,” said the source. “I think he and a lot of GM’s become more proactive next week.”
Next week is here and if this puck scribe’s phone on Monday was any indication, the latter source was right.