MONTREAL — The Montreal Canadiens have named player agent Kent Hughes as the team’s 18th general manager.
The Canadiens said in a release Tuesday the club has agreed to a five-year deal with the 51-year-old Montreal native.
Hughes, who is bilingual, has been an agent and partner of Quebec-based firm Quartexx Management since 2016.
Before joining the Canadiens, he represented more than 20 players under NHL contracts. His past clients included Patrice Bergeron, Kristopher Letang, Anthony Beauvillier and Darnell Nurse.
Hughes was previously affiliated with MFive Sports, which merged with Quartexx in 2016.
He replaces former GM Marc Bergevin, who was fired Nov. 28 as part of a massive shakeup following Montreal’s disastrous start to the 2021-22 season after a decade in charge.
"We are very excited to add Kent Hughes to our organization," Canadiens owner 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 joins executive vice-president of hockey operations Jeff Gorton, who was hired shortly after Bergevin’s dismissal, in Montreal’s front office.
Molson previously said he envisions Gorton and Montreal’s new GM running hockey operations in complementary roles.
"The process of finding our new general manager afforded us the opportunity to meet a number of extremely qualified candidates," Gorton said in the team’s statement. "Kent stood out, and we believe he is the right person to be the general manager of the Canadiens.
"We also believe that Kent’s experience as an agent will be a great asset to the organization."
Hughes, Molson and Gorton are scheduled to met with the media Wednesday.
Montreal made a surprising run to last season’s Stanley Cup final, but the Original Six franchise entered Tuesday night’s game in Dallas against the Stars occupying last place in the NHL’s overall standings with a record of 7-25-5.