Surprised?

Not really.

The organization has always believed in Carey Price’s upside.

Jaro Halak is the redheaded step-child who became a playoff hero.

Pardon the pun, but with a hefty arbitration award looming, Halak priced himself out of the Canadiens’ plans.

But his postseason heroics didn’t vault Jaro’s trade value into the stratosphere, but it’s a buyer’s market for goaltenders: Evegeni Nabokov, Anterro Niitymaki, Marty Turco, José Theodore, Chris Mason, Ray Emery … not to mention recent Vezina laureate Tim Thomas.

At least they dealt him to the Western Conference, where John Davidson gets to negotiate with Allan Walsh.

Carey Price lost many tough-luck games this season. Flukes, deflections, weird plays.

Adversity didn’t break him. The erstwhile Franchise was more mature. He worked harder and was an unfailingly supportive teammate while watching Halak become a playoff legend.

Now it’s his team, and the pressure on Price will be enormous.

One or two soft goals, a bad outing and the whole city will be talking about Jaro’s 53 saves in Game 6 against Washington.

The Canadiens have given Price an enormous vote of confidence.

What Pierre Gauthier has to do now is improve the team in front of his goaltender – including a D that will begin the season without Andrei Markov.

Lars Eller and Ian Schultz do not guarantee a return to the Conference finals.

On the other hand, cap-wise this may free up enough to re-sign Tomas Plekanec.

Could Price have brought greater value? Maybe a front-line player, like Jeff Carter from the Flyers.

Maybe.

But Pierre Gauthier weighed salary cap considerations, organizational depth and his faith that Price can become a star.

•  •  •

Funny Tweet from Dan Tolensky:

Habs did pretty well getting Rucinsky & Kovalenko
in the deal. I mean Eller & Schultz. Also, Thibault is the future in
goal. I mean Price.

 

 

256 Comments

  1. Chorske says:

    Whatever. Must be lonely in Thunder Bay.

    pff

  2. RetroMikey says:

    Geez I thought John Bonham was alive as well. 

    The song remains the same always with this club.

    DOUBLE LMFAO!!!

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  3. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Oh KMA, I’ll presume to say whatever I want, tough guy on the internet.

  4. Y says:

    Wow…the Predators!

     

    A perennial powerhouse.

     

     

  5. Y says:

    More like square zero.

     

    Pleks is as good as gone. Maybe that vegetarian moron will get a new zamboni for him.

  6. Clay4bc says:

    Scouting? Did you forget that we just fired our scouts?

    __________________________

    “Peoples will only be truly free when the last king is strangled by the bowels of the last priest” Francois Laignelot –

    FREE MARC EMERY, POLITICAL PRISONER!

  7. nick says:

    Back to square one? Because Halak is gone? Please…

  8. nick says:

    Sorry. Double.

  9. nick says:

    Sorry. Triple. Rough day 😉

  10. andrewberkshire says:

    Eller potted 57 points despite playing on a terrible team and fighting a bad case of mono to start the year, which usually ruins about half a season for young players. Eller is barely rated behind Pietrangelo, so he’s a lot better than he’s getting credit for today.

  11. andrewberkshire says:

    It’s what we all do best, but I’m still going to give you a hard time!

  12. ZepFan2 says:

    “Behind closed doors we really don’t know who calls the shots”

    Yeah, and Elvis is still alive.

    lmao

    ———————————————————–

    Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.”
    – Sam Pollock

  13. habsnyc says:

    better than blaming the fans like gainey did when montreal lost.  the team doesn’t even have the salary cap room to get a roster player in return for halak, thanks to gainey’s cap mismanagement.  the team was set back for years due to his irresponsible 2009 offseaon.  he tied up payroll for years, left his young talent unsigned and walked away in the middle of the season. 

  14. Puck Bard says:

    “Halak was set to become a restricted free agent this summer and was due a hefty raise”: point is: he was worth less after July 1st. 

  15. dallyd31 says:

    Come on…really.  Do you think Gauthier would risk taking the heat for someone else’s moves.  You don’t like BG, we get it.  Move on and stop blaming people who have nothing to do with decisions you don’t agree with.

  16. dallyd31 says:

    What a useless post……….

  17. Chuck says:

    Oh, Halak was worth holding on to. Problem is, he was worth too much.

    _____________________________________

    Cheer for the crest on the front of the jersey, not the name on the back.

  18. habsnyc says:

    as an RFA Halak would have refused any one year deal and demanded arbitration where he would have been awarded a number that would put montreal over the salary cap, making halak a free agent.

    halak is getting a deal like huet got four years 20 million. not something montreal can afford. 

  19. Duracell3 says:

    Pretty sure Lars Eller is never going to score near 30 goals like Ruchinsky did for us. Hopefully he’ll at least help out Hamilton, and even more hopefully usurp at least one of the Belorussians.

  20. habsnyc says:

    i blame gainey for almost everything, and will continue to do so until every player he signed is banished from habdom. 

  21. RetroMikey says:

    Behind closed doors we really don’t know who calls the shots, but Gauthier definitely is not the lone individual who makes the decisions on this team.

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  22. Duracell3 says:

    Not how that works, Halak was an RFA, not a UFA.

     

    Post is invalid~

  23. SeriousFan09 says:

    Habs learned this post-season they had to learn to win without Andrei Markov. It wouldn’t hurt them to consider they have to play hard to win with whatever goalie is in nets, CHI and PHI proved it’s possible certainly.

    Bigger goalies are more favoured for covering more of the net and having more size, leverage against all the monster players crashing the net nowadays, bigger goalie is harder to shove around and intimidate, and it’s easier for him to see over players.

     

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  24. Led says:

    Yep, a dependable veteran is a must (not high on Turco though). Someone to play a lot of games if needed and take some of the burden off of Carey’s shoulders. Halak must of priced himself off of the team. Sure glad I didn’t buy a Halak jersey or tee.

  25. Chorske says:

    yup. exactly.

  26. danp says:

    The Habs played better in front of Halak than they did in front of Price. Hot playoff run or not – Halak got the Habs into the playoffs twice.

    Big – as in tall – goalies are better? Leighton has a five hole that is more like a 5×5 hole. Why? He can’t close as fast as a shorter goalie.

  27. Chorske says:

    Otherwise, go become St. Louis fans and don’t let the screen door hit you on your way out.

    EXCUSE ME? I says pardon? You’re presuming to tell me how I express my fandom? Why don’t you go fly a kite? I am not some blind sheep, filling the Bell Centre and filing happily into the souvenir shop to buy the schwag regardless of how the team is doing or who the players are. I don’t blindly cheer just because Gauthier slaps a bleu blanc rouge jersey onto just anyone. Just so happens that I form attachments to certain players based on their style and what they contribute- and yeah, I have the right as a fan to bitch about decisions that I percieve to be plain ol STOOPID. Like this one. Just so happens I really liked last year’s edition of the Habs, and Halak was a big part of that.

    Also. Don’t ever, EVER presume to tell me how to express my fandom. I am a thinking sentient adult capable of deciding whether or not the Habs are on the right track. Yesterday, I thought they were. Today, I am not so sure anymore. That is my right, and if you think that makes me less of a fan, you can go hang.

  28. avatar_58 says:

    Last time I checked Pierre calls the shots. He cannot blame Gainey for this.

  29. Rob D says:

    I think it was the right move. I’ll take the good big man over the good little man everytime. Of course, Halak was spectacular in the playoffs but I didn’t see it continuing into the Philly series or next year.

    If we had a 22 year old center with Price’s success at the Jr., World Juniors and AHL level we would NEVER consider dumping or trading him at a similiar age. He’s a pup. But he has all the measurables you could ask for and he’s a prototype size for his position. I like Halak too but I would not gamble on him repeating his playoff run success next year. He’s a very good to great goalie.But I know that Habs fans are into short term thinking. Greatest fans in the world but I don’t want them (including myself) making decisions based on emotion and what could be one time STeve Penney experience.

    I respect all the Halak fans on the site but a decision has been made. We got back a terrific prospect (a big kid who plays physical! Cool..and a hard headed d-man who is highly regarded and has leadership skills..cool again) You are not getting a big name forward for a goalie who has had one hot playoff run.

    I like this trade a lot. Now Price has to prove himself all over again to mngmt. and fans and his teammates. He did a tremendous job of supporting Halak in the playoffs. A lot of maturity displayed there.

     

     

  30. cautiousoptimist says:

    As much as I much would have kept him, I understand why he was moved, and I don’t think Gauthier was crazy to move him.  What I don’t get is the decision to exchange a young NHL-proven player with a ton of potential for two young non-proven players whose minor-league numbers are not all that mindblowing and who may never make it in the NHL in spite of their potential.

    Dealing or packaging Halak for Pietrangelo, Alzner, Braydon Schenn, someone like that, I would have understood.  But this return just seems really low to me: a mid-sized guy who managed a respectable 57 points in the AHL last year (on par with Maxwell’s 58), and tough guy who potted an above-average 55 points in the WHL.  Nothing remarkable there.

    I hope I’m wrong (and I often am), and I’m sure they’ve done their scouting, but I gotta say, I’m not liking this a whole lot right now…

    1. http://www.flickeringpictures.com – not a hockey site, but still kinda neat
    2. Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”
  31. Chorske says:

    whatever

  32. RetroMikey says:

    I swear I saw Bobby’s little head  behind Pierre’s shoulder when he spoke at the press conference.

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  33. RetroMikey says:

    By the same time next year on this site, we will all be bitching why
    we didn’t make the playoffs, Carey Price being an average goalie at
    best  for us, still not being big enough up front and having a very
    weak defense and seeing players like Halak shine in St. Louis, the
    Leafs improving with their players and development, and the Black Hawks
    repeating as Cup Champions.

    It makes you wonder……..are we back to square 1 with this once proud franchise we had?

    Gulp.  Scary folks.

     

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  34. hablifting says:

    I want to win Andrew.  Halak was helping us do that.  Now he’s gone.  It’s a little annoying. 

    Perhaps Schultz will be good, that would please me to no end.  We do need guys like that.

    Bitching is what I do best when it comes to this team.  Since I can’t trade players, or get on the ice, all I’m left with is commentary.

  35. andrewberkshire says:

    Here I thought you would be happy for once with the acquisition of Schultz but you’re STILL bitching.

  36. avatar_58 says:

    Here’s a question – anyone still blaming Gainey for backing Price? Clearly it wasn’t all him, as Gauthier seems to agree.

  37. CharlieHodgeFan says:

    It’s not either or, or a question of ‘fanboys’ as the teenaged contingent would put it. It’s a question of realistic goaltending, and who the Habs will pick up to be an anchor at that position. I’m not a ‘namethatgoalie” fanboy, but when it comes to deflating things, last year’s Price was like a pothole in Spring. He’s two or three years away from potential respectability as a goalie, and we are going to have to watch it.

    And watch it we will. That’s not an appeal to habs patriotism (wrap the car flag around me and are you a true fan), it’s a fact. We watched some pretty bad teams over the years, and if this one just got much worse in the short term, so be it. It may pan out in the long term.  We were two forwards and two defencemen away from being a power. We are now two forwards, two defencemen and a goalie away from being a power. Put in those terms, this doesn’t look too bad.

    We can paint over the halak stop signs and get ready to write on the ‘yield’ ones.

  38. since1988 says:

    perfectly put it’s a business and the team had to cut costs to stay under salary somewhere going with Price gives us inexpensive goaltending hopefully we can use the savings to sign a big winger

  39. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Maybe a little surprised that it was St. Louis. Other than that, not at all. Halak was going to be moved. It was a classic no-brainer. Anyone intent on crying over it is welcome to, I guess. I would hope that real fans will dry their tears and continue to support their team and players. This trade, like all others, needs to be given the chance to play out. Otherwise, go become St. Louis fans and don’t let the screen door hit you on your way out.         

  40. Puck Bard says:

    So the right thing would have been to wait until July 1st and get nothing?

  41. avatar_58 says:

    What is “way too expensive”? Arbitration? It went there did it? For some reason I remember Halak’s agent saying they would hold off for a bit before negotiating. Didn’t sound like a price was even on the table (pardon the pun).

     

    Goaltending, in my eyes, was our biggest strength. It is far more important than Plekanec or resigning our 3rd and 4th liners.

  42. ddawwidd says:

    Whatever. They don’t learn. Welcome to yet another year of work-in-progress. And in two-three years maybe they’ll draft another hot goalie.

     

    Bring back Zone de Match! 🙁

  43. avatar_58 says:

    You and I both know Price is doomed no matter what he does. The only way he can shut critics up would be to single handedly deliver a cup.

     

    However Price aside we all saw what Halak was capable of. Please explain to me why management decided this wasn’t worth holding on to.

     

    BLAH BLAH Plekanec contract. BLAH BLAH better upside – We SAW what Halak CAN do. Nevermind what anyone else *might* do. Such a damned waste.

  44. mrhabby says:

    see boones comments about halak getting way to expensive re:arbitration..money rules.

  45. hablifting says:

    The difference is that Thibault, Kovalenko and Rucinsky were all NHL ready players.  The two we just received may never play a full season.

  46. Puck Bard says:

    All things considered, I’m fine with the trade. Can’t wait to see how it plays out. 

  47. avatar_58 says:

    As if that makes it acceptable.

  48. hablifting says:

    Good idea.  Lets talk about some meaningless regular season game instead.  Are you being serious?  Price was t-e-r-r-i-b-l-e last year.  I hope he turns it around, however he has yet to show he can become a solid force out there.

  49. Rugger says:

    I like this more than what we got for Roy.

  50. makka83 says:

    All Halak fanboys…. please:

    1) Suck it up!

    2) You are not St. Louis fans. Please leave the boards.

    LOL!

  51. Jru says:

    I feel sick.

    This is garbage.

    That’s all.

  52. avatar_58 says:

    I love me some Price, but this is a ridiculous move. I’m sorry. I really don’t care how the pundits rate Ellis – it’s just a bad move. They had better bring in a veteran goaltender because if they expect Price to just play every damn game and shoulder the team like they did with Huet I’m going to lose my mind. Sign Turco to a 1 year deal or something.

     

    *sigh*

     

    I was really feeling Halak was the man for 2011. I just don’t get it. Price is going to face the wolves opening game…..he had better channel Patrick Roy if he wants the fans to be on his side.

    PS – anyone slamming Price right now isn’t a habs fan. Pull your heads from your anuses. This trade has nothing to do with Carey – it was all PG. Blame him. Price will do what he does – play goal. He needs to be cheered and I for one am not going to let one bad year make me change my tone. CAREY CAREY CAREY!

  53. Propwash says:

    Everyone whining about this trade, put this into consideration. We need size up front, we got it, granted they’re not superstars, but it fills a need we were lacking for awhile now. You have to give up something. I wish Halak lots of luck in St. Louis, but I wonder if he will keep up his streak come next season.

     

    Goalies in Montreal have two roles, netminder and scapegoat. 

  54. Chuck says:

    “…a bad outing and the whole city will be talking about Jaro’s 53 saves in Game 6 against Washington.”

    Too bad fans wouldn’t instead talk about Price’s 53 saves performance against the Predators.

    _____________________________________

    Cheer for the crest on the front of the jersey, not the name on the back.

  55. habsnyc says:

    it was a disfunction management that retarded Price’s development, then put themselves in a situation where two young goalies would need hefty new contracts in the same year.  Gainey’s incompetence will haunt this team for years. 

    however, it’s a great trade for montreal who doesn’t have an offensive prospect in their system (courtesy gainey).  the organization over committed to price far too early in his career (read gainey messed up) and this was the only way to save face. 

    do not worry about Halak becoming the next Hasek.  it never was going to happen in montreal.  he was tagged as a backup the moment he was drafted. 

    the screw up was in not signing price simultaneous with trading halak. they should have told price – here is your contract take it or you go to the blues and halak stays.  now price has leverage.  management remains stupid because they were trained by gainey. 

     

  56. Norcal Habsfan says:

    At face value it stinks, but I think as the summer progresses we’ll see a larger plan that will make more sense. Maybe now it means more money for a significant free agency play. Montreal is a little more appealing to free agents than it was last year and we were one or two pieces away from making the cup finals.

    Just like the Gomez deal, you have to look at it in a context. On the surface it sucked but without the Gomez signing, maybe we don’t attract Cammi, maybe we don’t sign Gio or Gill.

    I hoping and praying by September I can look back on this and make sense out of it. Maybe too optmistic.

  57. Bob Barker says:

    Lars Eller looks to be a solid player. Supposed to be a great teammate, hardworking, very good vision and defensively responsible. He was the Blues second ranked prospect on Hockey’s Future behind Pietrangelo.  I’m excited to see him play.

     

  58. longtimehabsfan says:

    Not shocked, because of the need for Cap space, but surprised that we didn’t get at least one present NHLer in return.  Imagine what the other interested clubs were offering?

  59. Fansincebirth says:

    Funny thing….after the Washington series, I turned to my kid and said, “Halak has priced himself out of Montreal.”

    “Without the strength of the past, the team may face a choice – to win, or to be French-Canadian?” — Ken Dryden

  60. RJ says:

    Happy now, Mr. Boone that your boy is anointed yet again?

    “My face is my mask,” Gump Worsley

  61. megagoten says:

    also, boone, you could dispell the myth that seems to be around them haters : the salary cap is not doubling for next year

  62. hablifting says:

    Only time will tell I guess.  My immediate reaction is…wow…will we ever get competent people in the head office?  Hope im wrong.

  63. jbroderi says:

    doop doop doop

     

     


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