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Canadiens reported to have interest in Kent Hughes as GM

Player agent is a bilingual Montreal native whose clients include the Boston Bruins' Patrice Bergeron.

“Maybe it could be an agent, it could be somebody who was just a player,” Jeff Gorton said about who could be the next GM of the Canadiens. “It could be somebody, but somebody different than me. I wasn’t a player, I wasn’t an agent.”

Jeff Gorton said something very interesting when he met with the Montreal media for the first time Friday as the Canadiens’ new executive vice-president of hockey operations.

When asked what he would be looking for in his new general manager to replace the fired Marc Bergevin, Gorton mentioned that person could be a player agent.

“Obviously, somebody that has a great knowledge of hockey, an understanding of how the business works,” Gorton said when asked what he would be looking for in a GM. “I think we’ll look at everything. I think what we want to do as a group is we want to look at all the candidates and pick the very best based on what they have. Maybe it’s a person that doesn’t have a ton of experience as a general manager, but what else do they have that they can bring to the table. How else could they help us look at a different scenario. So we’re going to look for somebody maybe a little outside the box that can help us move forward and maybe complement me.

“I think we want to focus on finding somebody that has just a different outlook on it,” Gorton added. “Listen, I’ve been in hockey my whole life. Maybe it could be an agent, it could be somebody who was just a player. It could be somebody, but somebody different than me. I wasn’t a player, I wasn’t an agent. It could be just a different background. So we’re going to look at those things. I’ve read some of the names (of possible candidates), I’ve heard some of the names, I’ve had some calls. But I want to reserve, we want to reserve judgment on that until we have a little more time to figure out who might be out there and then we will find the best person.”

On Hockey Night in Canada Saturday, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported that an agent could indeed become the next GM of the Canadiens.

“The person who I believe they’re interested in who is an agent is Kent Hughes, who’s born in Montreal, he is bilingual, (and is) now in the Boston area,” Friedman said. “So there’s a connection to Gorton for both of them being around there. Among (Hughes’s) client list include (the Boston Bruins’) Patrice Bergeron, (the Pittsburgh Penguins’) Kris Letang and formerly Vincent Lecavalier with Quartexx Management. I think he’s on Montreal’s radar as a candidate.

“From what I’ve been told there’s been no contact at this point in time,” Friedman added. “And Gorton said yesterday, they haven’t reached out to interview anybody. But I do think he’s one of the agents or the agent on Montreal’s radar.”

The 36-year-old Bergeron is in the final season of his eight-year, US$55-million contract.

Gorton said Friday that he doesn’t expect to name a new GM until after Christmas.

scowan@postmedia.com

twitter.com/StuCowan1

  1. The Montreal Canadiens' new vice-president of hockey operations, Jeff Gorton, speaks to the media in Brossard on Dec. 3, 2021.

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