Sports Kramberger: Hiring of Habs GM Kent Hughes feels like a West Island power-play
Guy Lafleur paved road to the Canadiens for Chantal Machabée
Chantal Machabée has been on an emotional roller-coaster since the announcement was made Wednesday morning that she was leaving RDS after 32 years to become the Canadiens’ vice-president of communications. On Thursday morning, she received a congratulations text from Guy Lafleur that brought her to tears. Machabée developed her passion for hockey — and sports in general — as a young girl growing up up Laval watching Lafleur play for the Canadiens. During her long career at RDS, Machabée became more of a celebrity in Quebec than most of the players she covered on the Canadiens.
Though in differing leadership roles, public office vs. private venture, two high-profile figures in Quebec come from the West Island — and it seems they are at times the most polarizing among the general population and pundits.
On one hand is Premier. Ste-Anne’s mayor, Paola Hawa, ran in 2012 under his party’s banner in Jacques-Cartier, a Liberal stronghold held at the time by Geoff Kelley and now by his son, who grew up in Beaconsfield.
Game Day Notebook: First game since Jan. 1 as Habs visit Bruins
The Canadiens will play their first game since Jan. 1 when they face the Bruins Wednesday night in Boston (7 p.m., SN, RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM). The Canadiens had 16 players on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list when they lost 5-2 to the Panthers on New Year’s Day in Florida and were forced to play with only 18 players instead of the regular 20. The Canadiens will have a full lineup against the Bruins after the number of players they had on the COVID-19 protocol list reached 24 during their break in the schedule.
The Montreal Canadiens — mired in last place in the NHL season — just hired Kent Hughes, a Beaconsfield native who graduated from the local high school in 1987 and played hockey with thewhose alumni in the NHL includes Habs forward Jonathan Drouin. While Hughes has been an NHL player agent based in Boston for years, many of his clients were Quebecers, from retired NHLer Vincent Lecavalier, who is from Île-Bizard, to the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Mike Matheson, who grew up in Pointe-Claire.
Beaconsfield High School is extremely proud today after Kent Hughes, who graduated from BHS in 1987, was named the new General Manager of the Montreal Canadiens. Here is Kent's grad photo from the BHS yearbook!
Go Habs Go, Go Kent Go!!!
Liveblog: Habs enter Hughes era with battle vs. Stars
In case your phone was on airplane mode all day, the big news is the Montreal Canadiens named Kent Hughes as their new general manager . The first game of the Hughes era goes down Tuesday against the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center. Puck drop a little later than usual, at 8:30 p.m. (TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM) . Just as the injury list was gradually getting shorter, the Habs announced today Cole Caufield and Joel Armia were added to the COVID-19 protocol list . The struggling pair won’t play tonight. The team also announced forward Alex Belzile cleared waivers and will return to the AHL’s Laval Rocket.— lbpsb (@LBPSB)
Although considered bilingual, the hiring of Hughes might face backlash by some segments of la belle province who expected the Habs brass — led by their new executive vice-president of hockey operations, American Jeff Gorton, and owner Geoff Molson — to hire a francophone candidate as their new GM.
Ça s’applique aussi à Luc Robitaille, Martin Brodeur, Roberto Luongo ou Daniel Brière mais on les considèrent quand même comme des Québécois. Pourquoi ça serait différent avec Kent Hughues ? À cause de son nom de famille ?— Luc Gelinas (@LucGelinasRDS)
The issue of unilingual English-speaking executives has raised the ire of Quebec nationalists from time to time, recently with
The fact that Hughes is returning to Montreal after working in the United States for a long period doesn’t disqualify him as a Quebecer. Shortlisted francophone GM candidates, such as former NHL players) and , are employed in management roles by U.S.-based hockey clubs.
Stu Cowan: New Canadiens GM Kent Hughes a breath of fresh air
Jeff Gorton wanted to make it clear that Kent Hughes is not his best friend. “Nobody would want any of my best friends to be running the Montreal Canadiens, so I would never do that to you,” Gorton, the Canadiens’ executive vice-president of hockey operations, said during a news conference Wednesday afternoon at the Bell Centre to introduce Hughes as the team’s new general manager. “No offence, but Kent is not my best friend.” Gorton explained “Nobody would want any of my best friends to be running the Montreal Canadiens, so I would never do that to you,” Gorton, the Canadiens’ executive vice-president of hockey operations, said during a news conference Wednesday afternoon at the Bell Centre to introduce Hughes as the team’s new gene
Quebec’s most popular sports are hockey and nationalism, as Montreal Gazette sports reporter Pat Hickey pointed out last fall when, a project that seems to be an attempt to increase the number of Québécois in the NHL.
Legault, who served in the Parti Québécois cabinet before forming the Coalition Avenir Québec, will be seeking a second mandate for his CAQ government this fall. Based on past voting patterns, the CAQ has as much a chance of winning any West Island seats as the Habs have of making the playoffs this season.
Hopefully, Hughes can help transform the Canadiens into habitual Stanley Cup contenders during his five-year mandate. If the Habs manage to win, West Islanders can expect a Cup tour stop in Beaconsfield, as happened last year withdefeated Montreal in the finals.
While a fluently bilingual anglophone may never be elected premier of Quebec, it’s encouraging to know West Island natives can make inroads in high-profile institutions, such as the Habs in their home province.
Albert Kramberger is editor of the.
Canadiens name Kent Hughes as their new general manager .
Kent Hughes is the new general manager of the Canadiens. The team announced Tuesday morning that the 51-year-old Montreal native has become the 18th GM in franchise history, replacing Marc Bergevin, who was fired on Nov. 28. “We are very excited to add Kent Hughes to our organization,” Canadiens owner/president Geoff Molson said in a statement. “Kent is highly respected in the hockey world, having built an excellent reputation as an NHL player agent for over 25 years now.” Hughes will work with Jeff Gorton, who was named the Canadiens’ new executive vice-president of hockey operations after Bergevin was fired.