In his previous life as an agent, Kent Hughes was a passionate negotiator. Qualities that he certainly still possesses in his position as General Manager of Kennedy.
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However, contrary to what one might think, a good negotiator does not necessarily mean that he is a good liar. Over the past few days, rumors have been circulating that the Canadian will be looking at Pierre-Luc Dubois.
“I can’t talk about players from other teams,” the Canadian general manager said when asked about his interest in the Quebec striker, “I’ve already been reprimanded for that.”
When colleague Jean-François Chaumont challenged him about it, Hughes smiled widely. After biting his lip and possibly twisting his tongue seven times before speaking, he replied, “If we can afford to have a big, well-established position in the NHL, sure. We’d be interested.”
However, the Canadian was going to try to get his hands on Pierre-Luc Dubois last week. A source familiar with the matter even claimed that Hughes made a very attractive proposal to the Winnipeg Jets during the draft.
Hughes had a plan
In his first full season with the Gates, the 24-year-old netted one of his best seasons with 60 points, including 28 goals.
A restricted free agent since July 13, DuBois has earned an annual salary of $5 million in each of his last two campaigns. We can expect him to get roughly the same amount. Perhaps with a slight increase.
Accordingly, there is currently not enough space for housing complexes under the salary cap to make their own acquisitions. But if Hughes made a concrete offer to the Jets, it’s because he had a plan in mind and was confident he could meet the $82.5 million limit for next season.
Clearly, Jeff Petrie’s departure will make things easier.
Forget the hostile show
If Hughes was held back from the first question, it may have been because he interpreted it as a voice call about a hostile show. Although the Canadian GM could do this, it would not be in the team’s best interest to do so.
For an offer of between $4.2 million and $6.3 million, the Canadians must give the planes, as compensation, their first and third-round picks. For the next level ($6.3 million to $8.4 million), there should be an additional second-round pick.
Compensatory choices should be redone in the next draft. Since the Canadian would likely be eligible for the Conor Beddard lottery, it can be assumed that Hughes would not be interested in awarding it to Gates.
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