In early November, Kent Hughes emerged from a general managers meeting in Toronto and was met by reporters with surprising questions about his team’s surprising start to the 2022-23 season.

Specifically, the Canadiens GM was asked if the plan could change and the Habs might suddenly look to be a buyer ahead of the March 3 trade deadline.

He was diplomatic in his answer at the time, saying he didn’t envision the gameplan changing for a roster that he was continuing to reshape. What he probably wanted to say, but couldn’t, was: “Are you serious????”

And yeah, reality eventually set in for the Canadiens, especially once they got ravaged by injuries. Come mid-March, they’re in prime position to draft in the top 10 again this June, plus they have Florida’s first-round pick.

Hughes joined me and Ryan Rishaug this week on our Got Yer’ Back podcast, and we got into some of those same topics from the preseason. Here are some highlights from our interview.


Rishaug: What’s your preference on how many times you’d like to get eyes on whoever you might be selecting with your first couple of draft picks, but in particular that first pick? Do you want to see them a lot or will you lean on your people a bit more?

We’ve got to lean on our people, that’s what they’re paid to do. I’d like to see them as much as possible, ask questions, challenge them to think through things if there’s anything that I notice or anybody else notices, but ultimately you’ve got to leave that in the hands of your scouts.


LeBrun: It was last week at the GM meetings in Florida that they announced the draft lottery would be May 8. I assume you put that on your calendar.

It’s in, yes (laughs).