Habs Trade Halak

The Montreal Canadiens have traded goalie Jaroslav Halak to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for centre Lars Eller and Canadian junior right-winger Ian Schultz.

The move certainly settles the goaltending question in Montreal, as it’s clear that Pierre Gauthier has elected to stand by Carey Price. But it also seems somewhat strange, especially considering the goaltending performance Halak offered in the post-season. He was the key reason to the success the Canadiens were able to enjoy in the playoffs.

It is essentially a deal that puts long-term potential in front of rewards, though, and from that perspective it makes perfect sense. Gauthier went with the younger Price and sent Halak off to a club on which he’d see a lot of ice time, solving the problem of splitting the position in Montreal.

“I think they did the best thing they could do — keep one goalie and give the other one a chance to play most of the season,” Halak said. “It’s best for everyone that I was dealt and can start on a new beginning.”

St. Louis locked down Halak after telling goalie Chris Mason that he wouldn’t be signed to a new deal. GM Doug Armstrong was happy with the trade and wanted to ensure Habs fans that he didn’t get Halak for a mere song.

“When you look at the young defencemen and forwards we have, we feel we dealt for a young goalie who can fit in and grow with this team,” he said. “I think he’s excited to go to a team that will use him as a clear-cut number one. I think we gave up great value to get Jaro. It’s difficult for fans in Montreal because they haven’t seen Lars, but I think they’ll like him.”

The trade doesn’t change the fact that Halak is up for free agency on July 1 and that he has the right to arbitration if the Blues can’t sign him to a deal that works. Having earned $800,000 in the 2009-2010 season, it’s fair to say that Halak will probably earn a bit of a pay raise. The whole controversial offer sheet scenario could also technically come into play, so Halak’s future with the Blues isn’t set in stone just yet.

As for Price, he’s set to become a restricted free agent in the summer but he won’t be eligible for salary arbitration yet. He’s the top dog in Montreal now, whether fans like it or not, and Gauthier made no bones about his faith in the goalie by trading Halak. The only thing to settle now is who’ll back up the youngster. Gauthier has hinted towards scouring the free agent market for that position.

Posted by Jordan Richardson.

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2 thoughts on “Habs Trade Halak

  1. The Habs
    I can say a lot on this one but it is really straight forward.
    What in the world were they thinking??????????????????????
    Halak took them to a place they have not been in quite some time.
    I know he got hot in the playoffs, I know his major weakness is upstairs but even still he beat the Capitals & the Penguins and than lost to Philly.
    Lets figure this one for a second Montreal was shut out 3 times in their last series. Are they going to blame Halak for that.
    This a stupid move, Price is Shakey at best & the team has no confidence in him if they did he would have played in the playoffs.
    This young movement that is a joke? I don’t think people in Montreal are buying it either.
    Well Montreal continues to makes some major mistakes been that way for some time. Remember they traded Eric Dejardans, Gilbert Dionne, John Leclair to Philadelphia for Mark Recchi, Than they trade Recchi back for Danius Zubrus and most important their biggest mistake letting Patrick Roy go trading him for Andrei Kovalenko, Martin Rucinsky & Jocyn Thiebuealt.
    Nothing has changed And that mess all started in 1994. Since then Lecair and Dejardans had great careers, went to the cup Mark Recchi an incredible player he Ha won a cup since then, and of course Patrick Roy won two himself.
    Montreal has done nothing but frustrate their fans.

    I hope Halak does well, He should have been the number one guy in Montreal.
    Now the habs who have cap issues already will be in big trouble.
    Halak would have been cheaper to keep and they could traded Price and got more in return.
    They pay off Laraque and then then don’t even attempt to keep Halak.
    Thank god I don’t cheer for the Blue & Red
    They are a storied franchise and deserve better than this.
    Make it another year without a cup.

    Like

  2. Jordan Richardson June 18, 2010 — 10:24 pm

    “Halak would have been cheaper to keep and they could traded Price and got more in return.”

    According to CapGeek.com, Price put the Habs on the hook for a cap hit of over $6 million for the three years of his contract. This is pretty big stuff, considering that the most he played in one season was 52 games (2008-2009). Considering that he’d almost been splitting duties with the lower-paid Halak for 2009-2010, you have to wonder what they were doing paying him that much.

    The answer is, of course, that Price is their investment and Halak isn’t. Or at least that’s how Gauthier approaches it. With Halak settling for well under a million for two years, even when he suited up for 45 games in 2009-2010, it’s clear how poorly the Habs management has been treating him.

    I’m sure he’s happy to be out of that situation and on to a team that has significant cap space to make him a pretty solid offer. With Chris Mason moving on, it’s possible that the Blues will angle to pay Halak somewhere around Mason’s $3 million – give or take. Maybe he’ll be up for some bonus incentives in St. Louis, too, which is more than Montreal ever offered him.

    Like

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