Kent Hughes commits a major theft that pays off in gold for the Habs
BY MARCO MARCH 26, 2023 (5:46 PM)
Admittedly, many fans were happier to see Petry leave the Habs, than to see the former number 26 return in exchange for his services. Few evaluated the real impact of this transaction within the current Tricolore organization.
As a reminder, the deal involved sending Petry and forward Ryan Poehling to Pittsburgh in exchange for defenseman Micheal Matheson and a fourth round pick in 2023.
With a few games left in the first season since that trade, it must be said that the addition of the Quebec defenseman has become almost priceless to the Habs.
While he has played 39 games this season and has 28 points, including 8 goals, Matheson has definitely eclipsed Petry, who has 26 points in 52 games. However, beyond the stats, what Matheson can bring to Martin St-Louis' team is simply incredible.
In addition to playing an average of 25 minutes per game and providing important offense, he is a pillar defensively as well, playing many minutes shorthanded. He is very reliable in his zone, while maintaining a +7 positive differential with a bottom of the line team.
That's a pretty impressive feat.
In fact, with 12 points in his last seven games, Matheson currently ranks among the top 10 defensemen in the NHL in points scored. In fact, since February 1, he ranks 7th with 20 points in 22 games, just behind Erik Karlsson who leads the way with 24 points.
In all honesty, having managed to trade a 35-year-old defenseman who was simply no longer part of your culture, and who had requested a trade, for a back who is six years younger (29 years old), is signed long-term for less than $5M, and plays like a first-pair defenseman, it's a robbery of Kent Hughes.
In addition to all the items listed, the CH's #8 is a great leader and a perfect mentor for the organization's young defensemen.
Matheson has gone through all sorts of stages since the beginning of his professional career, which allows him to bring a very rewarding background for the Habs' young players.