The hiring of Kent Hughes as general manager of the Montreal Canadiens last Tuesday left no one indifferent in the hockey world, and especially not his former client Kristopher Letang, who was long represented by the Quebecer as a agent.
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In fact, the Pittsburgh Penguins guard has teamed up with Hughes’ ex-employer, Quartexx Management, since he was 15, or nearly 20 years. Called to comment for the first time on the arrival of his ally in the bosom of the Habs, number 58 did not hide his joy during the most recent podcast “Lavoie-Letang”.
“My first reaction is that I am extremely proud, I am happy for Kent. […] I have a relationship of almost 20 years with him. He has become a very close person. As an agent, it’s not just about negotiating contracts and taking care of the hockey portion. When you develop such relationships, these people know everything about your life, you trust them with everything. It is an extension of your family, “he explained, adding that he had conveyed his congratulations to the principal concerned.
“He is an excellent GM, a hockey enthusiast, and to see him reach this level, […] it will open even more doors for him. He really knows hockey, on a level that people don’t understand.”
A listening mentor
In the company of host Renaud Lavoie, Letang spoke of several qualities of his former agent, emphasizing his human values that he appreciated over the years.
“He’s a man who will take the time to listen to you and gather all the information you have to give him. Everyone experiences different things and they will try to put themselves in your shoes by giving you the best possible advice. And if he is not able, he will always make the best decision for you or will try to see someone else in order to obtain the result that is necessary”, he underlined by evoking implicitly issues relating to his health that he discussed with Hughes in previous seasons.
Also, according to Letang, the Canadiens players will benefit from an attentive ear able to communicate with efficiency and empathy.
“The general manager should be an extension of your dressing room. You shouldn’t feel that your CEO is the scary boss or the person who wants to give you the lowest salary to stay under the cap. […] He should be approachable and when you need anything, his door should be open. We now see it more and more, he said. Kent is right, a lot of players find communication lacking. With his experience as an agent, he will be able to change that and bring a lot of positives.