Roughly a year ago today, Kent Hughes was being heralded as the next Clark ...Kent. No red cape, or ability to fly, but an astonishing power of mesmerizing his adversaries.
The Kirby Dach heist seems like it is on the verge of paying huge dividends. The Mike Matheson acquisition was Grand Theft Auto robbery at its finest, as was the Sean Monahan trade (we could end up with a high draft pick not to mention the leadership he brought to the team).
And then expectations, as they always are in this city, became sky high. High as the Burj Khalifa (google it). And so, it was no surprise that anything short of a coup d'état at the Draft this year (or the days preceding it) was going to be considered a dud.
Time will obviously tell what type of player Reinbacher will become (cannot say I enjoyed hearing he may have lingering issues with his knees- whether that probability is 5 or 10% it's still a concern and I hope the Habs' brass were aware of this prior to drafting him) but it's hard to fault them for picking the top-rated defenseman available (not to mention that he is that much-coveted RHD). Would it have been better to pick from a group of underwhelming wingers or a potential 3rd line center (Dvorsky)? Or a player like Michkov who few have seen play, and who we have no clue if or when he will decide to come over (see "the never-ending Russian political situation aka endless turmoil"), not to mention a player who is small in stature and who has been described as having good but not elite skating (scouts' comments).
Truth be told however, the Newhook trade left me slightly perplexed, but hey, we owe our resident superhero ̶C̶l̶a̶r̶k̶ Kent the benefit of the doubt here again (but my God, why another smallish forward on a team with so many undersized players, a team that has had sooo many injuries last season and the ones before, and whose prospect pool up front is already laden with diminutive forwards - Roy, Mesar, Beck, Ylonen, Kidney, etc).
What really concerns me though is the fact we still have not addressed the goaltending situation. I mean, if we are building a core of young players, that will presumably grow together, and, hopefully in a couple of years start making a real push, why not also acquire a goalie in his early or mid 20's (a la Dach, Newhook, etc) to go along with that? Are we seriously going to go with a duo of veterans again? Heck, what is Jake Allen still doing there? (have to assume they've thrown the towel on Cayden Primeau).
The thing is, those goalies ARE often available. Ashkarov was offered to the Habs at the draft. Teams like Buffalo, Calgary, Anaheim have a plethora of young talented goalies (they can't keep them all). Now I have no qualms with keeping Mon-Tom-Bo, who deserves an opportunity to show his worth at least for another season. But we still desperately need that young-about-to-break-into-the-league gem. We loaded up on young goalies at the draft, but is a 17 or 18 year old really the solution going forward given they are likely to need 5-6 years to fully mature? Going after an "age-specific" goalie, to use Kent's words, even if the price to acquire one of these goalies of the future would be steep, is an absolute must in the coming year or so. We do have a huge bank of prospects, and upcoming top picks, not to mention an excess of equally high-potential, young, emerging d-men that we could dangle do we not?
So come on, Kent, don't stop there. Use those incredible hoodwinking super abilities you possess to goad one of your peers into another necessary trade for an undervalued asset....but this time let it be someone who can protect our net.