Trade Huet? Not so fast.

François Gagnon was on the Team 990 morning show talking about what is a buyer’s market for goaltenders.

Exhibit A: Ilya Bryzgalov. Phoenix got him on waivers from Anaheim, and that makes you wonder what the Canadiens could command for Huet.

I still believe Canadiens should be careful with Carey Price. There is no doubt he will be the team’s numb er one goalie, and a helluva good one.

But Price is 20 years old. And he’s played nine games in the National Hockey League.

The kid passes every test – the latest being that shootout in Toronto – with fltying colours. But before anointing him, I’d like see how Price fares starting five or six games in a row. And I’d like to see him smoked for five or six goals and pulled from a game, just so we can assess how well he bounces back from that kind of adversity.

Huet is also uniquely qualified, by virtue of his temperament and intelligence, to be a mentor for Price. Nor is he the kind of Ed Belfour-type dickwad who will become a dressing room cancer as his number-one status gradually slips away.

Bottom line: Don’t deal Huet until the trading deadline, if then. Might even be a good idea to re-sign him, if he’ll go for an affordable, one-year contract.

Worth a read: Marc Antoine Godin’s La Presse analysis of how the Canadiens’ top line compares to others in the league.

Statistically, the 45 goals scored by Saku Kolivu, Christopher Higgins and Michael Ryder place them 22nd. Tampa bay’s Vincent Lecavalier, Marrtin St. Louis and Vaclav Prospal are tops with 93 – a full 50 per cent of goals the Lightning have scored this season.

Todd White, Marian Hossa and Ilya Kovalchuk’s 66 are 54 per cent of Atlanta’s total, a league high in percentage. The Koivu trio’s goals are 23 per  cent of Canadiens’ scoring.

•  •  •

The Canadiens have not defeated the Devils in New Jersey since Feb. 5, 2002. José Theodore posted a 1-0 shutout and also was the goaltender in a 3-2 win on March 20, 2004 – the  last time Canadiens beat New Jersey in Montreal.

Maybe if they played in a neutral rink … 

Martin F. Brodeur is 33-12-5 against his hometown team. His GAA in 50 starts is 1.74.




  1. saku11 says:

    Huet should be dealt at the deadline, no sooner. I think some people have unrealistic expectations of what Huet will bring in return. I think at most we could get is some prospects and draft picks. No one is going to trade a number 1 center for a pending UFA goalie even in a package deal. Not signing Huet will allow Gainey to send a $10 million offer sheet to Ovechkin next summer. That would be sick.

  2. B says:

    There is no reason to canonize Price so young and throw all the eggs into one basket. Huet is 4th in save% and 10th in GAA so why would anyone want to toss him aside so easily? There is nothing wrong with having them both, especially if one gets injured. It is the team’s biggest strength right now so why deminish it?

    I was amused to read an article today calling Price the next Brodeur already. If he wins tonight (and of course I hope he does) it will unfortunately feul even more such premature adulation. Price’s future looks great but I don’t see why folks are in such a hurry to send the paper work off to the Vatican. Saint hood can wait a little longer than 9 games. Patience.

  3. B says:

    Unfortunately, they now call a penalty every time on the “can-opener”, just ask McCabe. Another top-4 Dman would certainly help though.

  4. B says:

    Well said, same for Habsfreak’s post. You two seem to be making the most sense to me in this thread.

  5. B says:

    Price has two seasons after this one on his entry contract. Montreal could very likely afford both Price and Huet for up to two more seasons after this one. Goaltending is Montreal’s biggest strength right now.

  6. B says:

    Stick a fork in Recchi, he is done. As someone said earlier, if he can’t score with Crosby…

  7. B says:

    They could have had Kopitar in the draft, but picked some goalie named Price instead. At the time I thought Kopitar was the better pick, but Price has sure come on since. Montreal could sure use an offensively gifted 6’4″ 220 lb center, but how often do franchise goalie prospects come along?

  8. Stuck_in_To. says:

    What a perfect description. Belfour really is a dickwad. You made my day with that one. Thanks.

  9. lcpservices says:

    Hey Boone,

    Huet has to stay – for now

    Like I mention earlier let Price earn his status as #1 rather than give it to him.

    Books, Softwares, Downloads, Information

  10. Naila Jinnah says:

    It is definitely too early to trade Huet. He’s truly a mentor for Price and helping him settle… Without Huet, Price would be more insecure. And Huet wouldn’t perform so well without Price pushing him, and I think the other teams know that…

  11. Moey says:

    You’re right guys, I’m wrong, actually that point came out of a Sens’ fan’s mouth, I “assumed” he knew what he was talking about. Should have done my homework, good thing I’m not paid to write…!! But I’ll stand by the rest of my comments.

  12. howtathor says:

    Does anyone have a list of who the “Big Fish” will be this summer? Maybe can make a preemptive trade and sign the “big fish” to a long term deal. There must be “big fish” out there who would like to swim upstream to Montreal. I think that Montreal gets a bad rap around the league as a town but once a player gets here and sees the adulation of the fans and what a great hockey city we are. Hamrlik is really happy he signed here and it shows in his play. I would settle for a medium fish like Teemu Selanne or Mark Recchi to play along side Koivu.

  13. 24 Cups says:

    I think we might be three players away. A #1 center (with size), a game breaking forward, and a can-opener defenseman to clear the front of the net and put some fear into incoming forwards.

  14. 24 Cups says:

    I think it’s impossible for Huet to come back next year. Price will play 70 games a year and Halak/Danis/older UFA will play 10 games and collect $750000 for their troubles. Two years from now Price will be a RFA and the Habs will have to give him huge coin if they want to sign him long term. Huet won’t sign for one year with the Habs and we can’t offer him any more than that. He should go at the trade deadline no matter what. Give Price the experience in the playoffs (assuming we make them)

  15. coutNY says:

    You would think Sundin would find a sunny non-hockey market organization to play out his remaining years… I see Alt or Fl after this season. I hear they have good partial hip replacement benefits.

    Great player but he’d cost a lot for a 1/2 season rental..but probably a safer choice than a Forsberg.

  16. Ali says:

    sorry bro, but you missed the boat with the Ottawa example. Heatley beat out a chap named Kovalchuk for rookie of the year, and Alfie has been a heck of a player for the Sens, and Spezza was drafted only after Kovalchuk.

  17. notbigbird says:

    Fearless Predictions

    I think Price will be #1 before the year is out.

    I also think we’ll keep Huet (like Souray last year) because we need a strong 1A goalie. There’s also not much of a trading mentality now, so unless unforseen needs (ie injuries) develop somewhere, I think it’s by far better to keep Huet here.

    Then I think we’ll lose Huet in the summer, but sometimes you add through subtraction. Price will have a year under his belt by then, and Halak should be a very good #2, and we’ll save cap room.

    … be gentle now … 🙂

  18. Moey says:

    Ottawa wasn’t a terrible example, but that’s your opinion. I’m not denying that we need a high scoring center, but not at the cost of trading Huet.

  19. longbow says:

    It wouldn’t surprise me if,in private,Price is thinking “Trade him already.Give me the damn job.”

    He’s ready.Play him.He’s the best damned 20 year old goalie that ever played the game.Lets go get a sniper.

  20. KerryPrice says:

    Leave Recchi where he`s at. He would look good in T.O.

  21. likehoy says:

    ottawa’s top line weren’t all superstars with previous teams?????

    alfie has only played for ottawa, and same with spezza…

    alfie has been a superstar since the 90’s, and spezza just started in the NHL when Heatley came around and if i’m not mistaken, Heatley was a superstar over in atlanta (40 goal season and points per game average). Spezza still dominated the AHL and was a 2nd overall pick so he had superstar calibre…

    using ottawa as an example was terrible…

    a better example may be how vaclav prospal sucked with anaheim, but is good in tampa bay with vinny by his side.

    and a player like vinny wouldn’t result in an instant stanley cup, but that’s an instant game-breaker. He has so much talent and enough work ethic (not to mention fast enough for our team) that even if he doesn’t fit in completely, he will still be an important factor in our team. Vinny is talented enough to make an impact wherever he plays. A player like vinny makes our team better regardless of chemistry.

    But you can’t deny that this team is a game-breaker away from being a top tier team. Our rank at the moment is flattering considering that we have no consistent game breakers on the forward line (kovalev has the talent to be and has proved to be one this year thus far, but he has to maintain his consistency). but if you look at the teams around us or ahead of us…

    Ottawa: Alfie, spezza, heatley
    Rangers: Jagr, Gomez, Drury
    Flyers: Briere, Gagne (richards is on his way to having a terrific season)
    Carolina: brind’amour, cole, staal, justin williams.

    our big names don’t quite match up to them…yes kovalev, and koivu arguably, and higgins is on his way, but while their counterparts are putting up points per game plus averages…our trio will not at this stage of their career, but adding a 4th player in that talent calibre will boost our team into a much more threatening composition.

    If you look into our farm system, we have no blue chippers in that category. Sergei and Andrei Kostitsyn are our best bets, but time will tell in their cases, so if the time is now…BG will make an impact trade, just as he did with acquiring alex kovalev. Like you said, BG knows home grown talent is superior than store bought, but you can’t deny BG’s track record that he tried to recruit and impact player through the UFA.

  22. showey47 says:

    i honestly think we are only one player away, the game breaking forward. A dominant winger who can capitalize on saku’s passes and higgy’s hard work would turn that line into a legit #1 line. Hence less pressure on the defence to protect one goal leads.

  23. Les-Habitants says:

    Agreed! Although, I’m hoping that it’ll happen sooner then that….like, for next season lol.

  24. Les-Habitants says:

    Whoa!!! Trade Huet??? Geez people, how are we even considering this?? First, having Huet, as you mentioned Mike, is great for mentoring Price who is still developing as a player…guys, he’s only 20!! Isn’t the traditional knowledge that both goalies and d-men take longer to mature? With an established goaltender like Huet working with Price, it lessens the pressure considerably. Secondly, neither Halak or Denis are playng that well with Hamilton…not to say they are playing poorly, but the team is having trouble keeping the puck out of the net on a consistent basis. Plus, Halak is hardly going to be Price’s mentor.

    As for top line scoring, I don’t think that this is coming as much of a surprise to anyone who follows this team. This team is still missing two things: a real 1st-line forward, and an additional legit top 4-dman who can play on the PP. Hossa, Kovalechuck, Vinny, St.Louis, and Prospal (every other season anyway) all can put all 80-90 pts…players that would be wanted on any team.
    That said, where are both Atlanta and Tampa Bay in the standings?? Focusing too much on having that first line has come at the cost of the rest of team. Ideally, I would love to see Hossa or a healthy Demitra (Selanne too) playing next to Koivu but such game-breaking players are hard to come by (cough Briere Smyth cough). Putting that much emphasis on the first-line can be dangerous…then again, I am of the mind that this team is really only 2 players away from being a contender.

  25. showey47 says:

    The only problem is now with bryzgalov out of the picture huet is probably gonna be the most coveted goaltender as a ufa this summer. If he stays healthy and puts up all-star type numbers again this year he could easily command 4.5 to 5 million per season over at least 3 seasons. Unless he is willing to give us the hometown discount, that is a steep price to pay in a salary cap league. Especially when bob will be trying to land the “big fish” again this summer.

  26. Keg says:

    He won’t re-sign with Montreal. He’s an unrestricted free-agent and if Montreal doesn’t trade him before the deadline they won’t get anything for him.

  27. Keg says:

    Love the Vees puck. I’ve got a few of those myself.

  28. MatttheHabsFan says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more Mike…Huet has done an excellent job for the Canadiens and having him in the fold for a few more years as Price matures would be an excellent move. Although Danis or Halak would make adequate back-ups at the NHL level, I’m not so sure they could handle a platoon situation, or worse yet, carry the torch if Price were ever to be injured. Besides, having Huet takes quite a bit of pressure off Price, allowing him to concentrate on developing his game. As good a goalie as he is at 20, he still has much to learn to become the “elite” goalie we all think he is destined to be. Signing him to a 2-year contract with bonuses based on team success would be perfect. This strategy worked out pretty well for a number of years with Hayward and Roy did it not????

  29. Moey says:

    A few of my thoughts on trading Huet, last year we had lousy goal tending after Christmas, not Huets’ fault, he was injured. Our defense was suspect at best. We still had big problems scoring 5 on 5. This year our goal tending is solid, defense is far better, we still have the offense problem. BG took over in 2003, with patience and good scouting he got us to where we are now. Just one piece of the puzzle missing. Why does everyone think getting Lecavalier or a similar player = instant Stanley Cup.

    Ottawa’s top line weren’t all superstars on their previous teams. Chemistry is a huge factor, obviously talent is important, but chemistry is the difference between a good team and a great team. Vinnie might not gel with the others….then what?? BG knows that home grown is always superior over store bought. Be patient people, it’s coming soon.

    Huet & Price appear to have a good relationship on and off the ice. I think Cristobel is a mentor and big brother to our iceman. Why throw a spanner into it? Let’s count the blessings that we have over last year, our patience will be rewarded.

  30. likehoy says:

    i’d take recchi…if someone like malone was packaged into the deal…

    He’s a solid 20 goal scorer, but most importantly, he’s a power-forward (but not a very good one)

  31. showey47 says:

    i think if their is any truth to halak going to pittsburg, its gonna be a bigger deal than halak for recchi. Cause there is no way bob is that stupid. I suspect any habs deal could involve halak, bouillon, grabovski and if the deal is right possibly ryder. Players possibly coming the other way could include colby armstrong or malone and possibly recchi who is a good buddy of saku’s.

  32. tleblanc says:

    I’m not sure how to react to it. He has slowed for sure but he is gritty and we can always use a little more sand paper. It would be a strange one for sure but on Spector they said the Pens are looking to rid themselves of Sydor, Roberts and Recchi but Recchi seems to be further along into the process.

  33. JDS says:

    He seems to have the skill set we are always talking about.

  34. Chorske says:

    Gawd, why would this be a good deal for the Habs? We’re talking about a blast from the past who can’t even score with Crosby as a linemate.

  35. tleblanc says:

    Even blind rabbits find carrots once in a while

    On Spector this morning they suggested that Recchi has been told to find a deal.

  36. Chorske says:


    He loves Toronto. I wouldn’t bet against him getting rented to a western team for the playoffs, only to return to Toronto next year. If he is traded, the cost will be heavy in terms of prospects and draft spots. And you may have noticed that the Habs hoard those.

    One guy doesn’t make a championship. That kind of thinking is what got Toronto into the horrible spot they’re in.

  37. Blitzen says:

    They suggest a lot of stuff on hockeybuzz but most of it is crap.

  38. Chorske says:

    AMEN, music to my ears. Huet is a huge asset and the market is currently piss poor. Let’s keep him.

    Can’t really agree about ‘wanting’ the Habs to get smoked for five or six goals, though. That’s the kind of learning experience I can live without. 😉

  39. tleblanc says:

    They are suggesting on Hockey buzz that Halak is rumored to be traded to the Penguins for Recchi.

  40. Jen says:

    Well that’s interesting. RDS just asked him if he’d come back next season just to basically be a mentor for Price but play less games and Lavoie said Huets response was no. He wants to play a good amount of games and there’s a possibility he’d sign for another season if that was an option.

  41. JDS says:

    Sure, but a fella can dream………..

    Wouldn’t the addition of Sundin make us a Cup contender…..

  42. tleblanc says:

    I wouldn’t trade Huet this year or any year. He is the consummate professional and would be very helpful to this team in either the no.1 or no.2 position. The least of this teams concerns is goaltending and why someone would want to play with that is beyond me.

  43. Mike Boone says:

    I would think Sundin has a no-trade clause and could insist he be dealt to a Cup contender.

  44. likehoy says:

    TRADE HUET!!!! if the return is beneficial…
    like if we got a star-quality player. For example, if it’s to Tampa Bay, none of this vaclav prospal or brad richards crap…Lecavalier or St-Louis or Boyle (although Boyle still overrated).

    or Huet to LA…Frolov or Camalleri or Anze Kopitar…like a good block buster :P. Huet is our centre-piece (according to everyone who thinks goaltending is our strong suit), therefore we should be star-player hunting.

    Anyways if huet does go why are we talking about ruining Price’s career? the kid has no emotions, he won’t care…and if we’re that scared, we can ruin Halak’s career for a while till Price is ready :P:P

  45. Mike says:

    haha, i spoke about this last season, although sundin is a leaf. I would enjoy seeing him in a habs jersay (not for 7 million). he is a big center that uses his weight, has fast hand, buries his shots and is great on the faceoffs

  46. Oprah says:

    I’d like to see Huet stick around for at least a couple more years. He’s a great partner for Price, and a team stacked up with young guys can use someone like him in the locker room. Huet’s not a franchise goaltender, but he is a solid #1, and he’s hung in there a lot of nights when the rest of the team has abandoned him.

  47. JDS says:

    You all know what I think about Huet….

    Should The Habs grab Sundin if we could get him when he becomes available?

  48. Wamsley01 says:

    Keeping Huet is the safe play. Gainey is a safe guy. So it is a likely scenario.

    But if Huet plays like a number 1 goalie for the remainder of the season it is not out of the realm of possibility that he commands +4M. Look at the contract Manny Fernandez signed. That is 5M on your goaltending tandem which at first glance looks to make sense.

    But to excel in the new NHL you need players who are outperforming their contract. Carey Price will be a massive bargain asset that they could take HUGE advantage of.

    At what point do you have faith in Timmons? At what point do you stop fearing that this kid can’t handle the workload? What else must he prove before people believe in this kid? The MVPs, the strong start to the NHL?
    How long can you keep Halak in the minors before you lose out on that trade opportunity? Does Halak retain the same value if he gets buried in Hamilton? I don’t imagine teams will be giving up a ton in a deal for a prospect who has played 16 career NHL games.

    Trust in your scouting staff. In the cap system you will not reach the Stanley Cup level without taking some risks.

    I think you keep Huet for this season, if somebody blows you away with a deal you trade him in February, if not you keep both goalies for the remainder of the season and either A. try to resign him for a reasonable price, or B. You let him walk.

  49. Jen says:

    I agree with you 100%. I would be very upset to see Huet traded at the trade deadline. I’m hoping we can keep him for another year but it all depends on whether or not he’s okay playing less games next season. I don’t think Price will be ready to be our #1 by the deadline and at this point I don’t think he’s ready to carry the team on his shoulders or steal games as Huet has done. Huet’s a great teacher for the 20 year old and I’d love to see those two together for awhile.

  50. krob1000 says:

    I agree Mr. Boone …the only way I think you consider trading Huet is if you get an all star forward in return. If that scenario presented itself than I am afraid I would be on board. Anything less than that and you are absolutely corerect that we would have an incredible duo for the price of one stalwart. Huet is the original Mr. Cool of the last few years and as you pointed out he is a perfect role model.

  51. likehoy says:

    please, enlighten me on how, and I quote

    “Ottawa’s top line weren’t all superstars on their previous teams.”

    I am willing to change my opinion if you would please.

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