The Montreal Canadiens have been confirmed to be consistently working the phones since the start of the season, and many of their rivals have been following them closely as of late.
General Manager Kent Hughes has been hard at work trying to maximize some of his pending free agents and other veteran players into viable assets for the future of the organization.
Montreal Hockey Now has had confirmation from a variety of NHL sources confirming that Hughes is indeed active with his peers in trying to find some trade avenues in the immediate and short term.
On more than one occasion this season, the Canadiens have been watched by some high-ranking officials, some at the very top of their organizational structures, who have also been vocal about wanting to move.
Here’s what’s been going on as of late.
Ducks Flying Together
Over the last month, the quantity of scouts has been notable, but also the number of executive members of NHL management.
For example, the Anaheim Ducks have had General Manager Pat Verbeek, Assistant General Manager Rob DiMaio and Director of Player Personnel Mike Stapleton take in games at the Bell Centre over the three weeks.
The Anaheim Ducks, who currently sit in last place have been active in trying to broker a deal to get things moving in Orange County, and have had a close eye on the Montreal Canadiens for some time now.
Down the 417
Ottawa Senators General Manager Pierre Dorion, who openly admitted to being in heavy trade talks, has shown interest in some Montreal Canadiens players as recently as this summer.
He’s been to two separate Canadiens games this month, despite the Canadiens not playing the Senators until Dec 14th. First in Winnipeg during the Canadiens’ most recent road trip, and then again when they returned home on November 9, this time with Assistant General Manager Ryan Bowness. Dorion claimed these were scheduled trips, but it lines up exactly with two general managers who have had considerable talks over the last few months.
You can also add the Vancouver Canucks to the mix, who had both Crawford brothers, Lou and Marc, recently take in games against the Montreal Canadiens.
The bigger sign was the presence of Assistant General Manager Émilie Castonguay well after the Vancouver Canucks had left town. Castonguay has quickly become one of the key decision-makers in the Canucks organization, and is heavily relied upon to keep the Canuck’s cap compliant; which has been a rather difficult task of late. Her presence there, amid Vancouver’s rough start to the season, is not to be overlooked.