Thursday, June 17, 2010

No More Halak Attacks...

So it is done: Jaroslav Halak is out of Montreal, after a solid Olympics, dragging the team into the playoffs, and carrying them to the Conference Finals.

I was expecting a goalie to leave Montreal, but I expected something 'interesting' in return. First, I thought Price would be the one to go. (See my last post.) Price looked tired and frustrated in Montreal, and I figured he was gonna ask for a trade. I suppose this could still happen.

But it was Halak. The Hero Halak. Traded. Ok -- not the end of the franchise, but after hearing rumours that Philly was offering Jeff Carter for one of our goalies... that San Jose was in the mix... Tampa Bay (Lecavellier? hahahaha) was in the mix... We ended up with a couple prospects -- a replacement for  Ryan McDonagh in Lars Eller, and a big forward in Ian Schultz. Prospects can be good trade acquisitions - but I have trouble trusting prospects taken by a team who just fired all its scouts!

Had we lost Halak to free agency, we would have gotten 3 draft picks in return. But Halak was probably due for a big salary upgrade, even if he went to arbitration; so no guarantee another team would have paid the draft-picks. Gauthier had to dump Halak for money reasons I suppose.

The problem is not losing Halak - I'm sad to see him go, but not shocked - the problem is what we got back in return. Having both Price and Halak was like having money to burn - wrap one of them up with even something else (like a Kostitsyn maybe) and there should have been an opportunity to really make this team better. Instead, we've just lost a good goalie who showed he can really steal games.

This trade feels like the kind of trades that were made in the late 90s ... talent for saving money ... not a good hockey decision. It seems like we just flushed a good player. No offence to our new prospects, but lets face it: they have a long way to go before they make it to The Show.

I like Carey Price; I hope he bounces back after last year. I also hope he wins his team's confidence back, and they'll play for him. Because if there is no chemistry between the guys on the ice and the guy in the net, then Gauthier is gonna have to dump some more players... and that will just be bad.

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