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Hughes Preaches Patience as Canadiens Shop Casey DeSmith

Montreal Canadiens GM Kent Hughes seeks to trade Casey DeSmith, exploring options amid the sluggish goalie market.

After successfully trading former alternate captain Jeff Petry to the Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens’ General Manager Kent Hughes is now focusing on moving goaltender Casey DeSmith, whom the Canadiens acquired as part of the trade between the Pittsburgh Penguins and San Jose Sharks. Hughes has made it clear to DeSmith that he’s actively exploring trade possibilities to find him a suitable spot.

Montreal Hockey Now’s Marc Dumont reports that Hughes acknowledges the challenges of trading DeSmith, given the relatively slow-paced goalie market. Despite the patience required, Hughes assured DeSmith that they’re committed to avoiding sending him to the AHL.

Traditionally, goalie trades yield modest returns, and the current offseason has seen a scarcity of movement in the netminder trade market. The fact that both Connor Hellebuyck and John Gibson are still with their respective teams speaks to how tricky it can be to move netminders in a tight salary-cap world. So too, the demand for goalies, particularly those with a $1.8 million cap hit like DeSmith, is limited, contributing to the sluggish trade environment.

Hughes shared insights into his conversation with DeSmith, stating that the goaltender transitioned from a crowded situation in Pittsburgh to a similar scenario in Montreal. Hughes emphasized patience in navigating the trade market, which tends to move at a leisurely pace. He noted, “I spoke with Casey (and Jeff) when the trade went down… I told Casey to be patient, the goal is not to bury you in the American Hockey League. We will continue to look at possible trades or to make some changes. But it’ll take patience with the goalie market, it’s always slow.”

Who Might Be Interested When the Market Picks Up?

Dumont points out that while potential destinations are speculative, teams like the Boston Bruins might be interested in a reliable backup goaltender if they trade one of their talented netminders to address their center depth. However, the Canadiens and Bruins have historically not engaged in trade discussions, making this a less likely scenario.

Casey DeSmith goaltender Canadiens trade
Casey DeSmith goaltender Canadiens trade

The St. Louis Blues and the Tampa Bay Lightning have established starting goaltenders but lack depth in the backup position. The San Jose Sharks could also benefit from goaltending improvement, as their current options, MacKenzie Blackwood and Kaapo Kahkonen, have struggled lately. While the Sharks may not be in a rush to compete next season, a goalie upgrade could bolster their performance.

Next: NHL Analyst Proposes Maple Leafs Trade William Nylander to Ducks



  1. kinkaf

    August 22, 2023 at 7:22 pm

    The headline says “Canadiens Trade Casey DeSmith” then we find out it’s BS as they are haven’t done ANYTHING – except maybe make a couple phone calls.

    And try to float some rumours maybe.

  2. NHL Trade Talk

    August 23, 2023 at 6:02 pm

    Fair enough. The term trade was more in reference to the process of a trade, not an actual trade, but I can see how that might have been unintentionally misleading.

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