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Montreal Canadiens hire player agent Kent Hughes as GM

By AP | Jan 19, 2022

Montreal Canadiens' Christian Dvorak (28), Ryan Poehling (25), Jonathan Drouin (92), Jeff Petry (26), and Rem Pitlick (32) celebrate Poehling's goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Arizona Coyotes, Monday, Jan. 17, 2022, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Darryl Webb)

MONTREAL (AP) — The Montreal Canadiens hired player agent Kent Hughes as their general manager Tuesday, hoping he can turn around a team with the worst record in the NHL.

The 51-year-old Montreal native replaces Marc Bergevin, who was fired Nov. 28 following the Canadiens’ poor start.

Hughes has been an agent and partner of Quebec-based firm Quartexx Management since 2016.

Before joining the Canadiens as their 18th GM, Hughes represented more than 20 players under NHL contracts. His past clients included Patrice Bergeron, Kristopher Letang, Anthony Beauvillier and Darnell Nurse.

Hughes was previously affiliated with MFive Sports, which merged with Quartexx in 2016.

“We are very excited to add Kent Hughes to our organization. Kent is highly respected in the hockey world, having built an excellent reputation as an NHL player agent for over 25 years now,” Canadiens owner Geoff Molson said in a statement.

Hughes joins executive vice president of hockey operations Jeff Gorton, who was hired shortly after Bergevin’s dismissal, in Montreal’s front office.

Molson previously said he envisions Gorton and Montreal’s new GM running hockey operations in complementary roles.

The Canadiens entered their game Tuesday night at Dallas in last place in the NHL overall standings with a 7-25-5 record.

NOTES: Montreal forwards Cole Caufield and Joel Armia have been placed in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol. The Canadiens have been beset by the virus this season, including an outbreak that forced 24 players and two assistant coaches into isolation at its height. Caufield, 21, who won the Hobey Baker Award as the top player in U.S. college hockey before joining Montreal ahead of its improbable run to the Stanley Cup final last spring, has just one goal and seven assists in a season that’s included a demotion to the minors. Armia also was placed in COVID-19 protocol back in June, which forced him to miss Game 1 of the title series against Tampa Bay. The 28-year-old has one goal and four assists in 32 games this season.