Backup goalie possibilities for Habs

Goalies Carey Price (left) and Jaroslav Halak in April in Philadelphia. Club-first teammates, now both get a chance to carry their own teams.
Len Redkoles, NHLI via Getty Images

Have a look here for an interesting look at possible backup goaltenders for the Canadiens, now that Jaroslav Halak is a St. Louis Blue. Nice job by

Pat Hickey’s take on the deal. PuckDaddy weighs in.

And make sure you read J.T.’s “obituary” of Halak.

Stubbs column appears below on how Price sees the deal, through the eyes of Gerry Johansson, his Edmonton-based agent:

Price pleased to still be a Canadien: agent

The Gazette

“Think this would be a bad time,” Gerry Johansson was saying,“to tell the Canadiens that Carey has just signed in Russia?”

Goaltender Carey Price’s agent laughed heartily at that one, stopped at a Tim Hortons drive-through in Edmonton for coffee when he answered a call from Montreal.

And of course Johansson was kidding.

The agent called Thursday’s trade of Jaroslav Halak to the St. Louis Blues “a bold move,” one that surprised Price when Johansson reached his client in the afternoon with the news.

“Carey’s happy he’s still in Montreal,” Johansson said. “Like everybody else, he knew something was going to happen one way or another. He said it was 50-50 that he was staying or leaving. He’s pleased that he’s still with the Canadiens.”

The agent was lucky to reach his client at all. Price recently lost his cell phone, and he was on the way out the door in Williams Lake, B.C., to go horseback riding when the family phone rang.

The Halak trade smacked the Montreal goaltending hornet’s nest with a goalie stick. After carrying the Canadiens three rounds deep into this spring’s playoffs, after having hauled them into the postseason with often brilliant play, Halak had won the adoration of this city’s fans whom he generously thanked yesterday in a conference call organized by his new employer.

The deal seems to once more hand to Price the keys to the Canadiens goaltending bus, having been given them with the 2008 trade-deadline swap of veteran Cristobal Huet to Washington.

General manager Pierre Gauthier suggests he might go the free-agent route in a couple of weeks to secure his second goaltender. Curiously, Gauthier never came right out and said on his late-afternoon conference call that Price now is his undisputed No. 1, though that seems apparent.

“I couldn’t imagine a scenario where the Canadiens wouldn’t want Carey as their No. 1 guy now,” Johansson said. “Carey likes Montreal. He’s always liked Montreal. I think everybody’s surprised (at the trade), but no matter what would have happened would have been a bit of a surprise.”

There has been shock expressed that the Canadiens never once talked contract to the Halak camp since the end of the playoffs, or even discussed their plans for the 25-year-old.

But neither has Price’s team been in the loop, short of a brief chat Johansson had at the recent NHL combine with Trevor Timmins, the team’s director of player recruitment and development.

“They’ve always expressed that they really like Carey,” Johansson said of the team’s first draft choice (fifth overall) in 2005. “But we haven’t had any discussion of any sort the last few weeks.

“Frankly, that isn’t unusual. I assumed they were working on something, and that from the end of the season to the draft (next weekend), something was going to shake down.

“I assumed they’d kind of let us know at the appropriate time,” he added, laughing, “so I guess this is letting us know.”

Johansson said he empathizes with the Canadiens’ hockey department, who were dealing with two young goalies who both want to play.

“Management was sitting there, scratching their heads, figuring out what they were going to do, right?” he said. “I’m not sure that talking to me or Halak’s side would have helped them make a decision.

“The most difficult thing would have been bring both goaltenders back – for a lot of different reasons, none the least of which is money. You’d have to be a math wizard to figure how to do that.”

Johansson reminded that Price and Halak have always gotten along as club-first teammates who were caught in a tough spot of No. 1 and 1a, to paraphrase head coach Jacques Martin’s season-long mantra.

But, he said, “any goalie will tell  you they like to have the opportunity to play through any mini slumps. You’re not on your game for a bit and then guess what? It all comes together and you go on a tear.

“With Halak backing up Carey, and Carey backing up Halak, that opportunity is pretty narrow. A goalie needs a little elbow room to have some ups and downs, like every other player on the team.”

Johansson believes that Price handled the end of the season perfectly, unhappy that he wasn’t getting the results his work ethic deserved but “on board 100 per cent, no questions asked, no problem,” when Halak was handed the reins.

Now, the agent awaits a call from Gauthier, or perhaps a meeting next week at the draft in Los Angeles, to begin contract talks.

“We’ve never been in a rush,” Johansson said. “We’ve had to wait for them to get their house in order.

“No extra pressure on Pricer, right?” he added, laughing again. “My new deal with Carey is I’m never coming to Montreal. I can’t take it. But I could hear him smiling on the phone. Good for him.”



  1. pointu says:

    I thought you had to win three playoff rounds to be eastern conference champs?I seem to remember somebody almost costing the habs the Boston series then crapping the bed against Philly in the second round.They finished first in the conference but not champs.

  2. pointu says:

    Good thing were not screwed now.

  3. Laramy87 says:

    Eller was drafted last year… There are not too many players who get drafted and step right onto the team. I think its way to early to call Eller a flop

  4. habs 17 says:

    hi I dont think people are upset about the trade of Halak ,but what they got in return, eller has being a flop so far. schultz is not the big fighter that everybody thinks he is ,seen him play. and hes not that!

  5. Bugs says:



    Keepin it real, I be chillin as

    L.Bugs Potter, esq. Brotha to the Man with the Plan, Product-runnin Lead Houndogg with the Voodoo Flannel Posse, and Pimp Extraordinaire of Habsbros Mama Jones Snow Cones, muthafugga:

  6. terrygain says:

    If you were analytical you would understand that I bold your comments to distinguish them from my own.  Of course if you were analytical you would prefer  Halak to Price.  Does it embarrass you to see your silly comments bolded?

    Martin did not play 4 lines. As I pointed out (and you noticed only subsequently)  he double shifted  Cammy. That’s 3 and 2/3 lines plus Cammy. A true 4th line would have played with some pride as a unit.

    How did playing Cammy on 2 lines work out ?  It exhausted Cammy and he was less effective on the 2nd line and useless on the 4th line. You erroneously  equate hockey intelligence with time spent at the rink.

  7. Chorske says:

    So without Halak we basically should be dead last in the league right?
    This is pretty much what your saying.

    Total Straw Man fallacy. Some of us think we could have gotten a better deal for Halak. Some of us would have preferred to trade Price. Neither position means we think that the Habs should be “dead last in the league”.

    Straw. Man.

  8. SeriousFan09 says:

    You’re a really classy guy you know that?

    Markov is the true MVP, has been since the lockout and Halak’s greatness one year doesn’t equal what Markov has done in the last half-decade and will do next year as he gives Subban the benefit of his experience.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  9. ari says:

    on the positive side,we will watch blue’s games more .




  10. Chorske says:

    I certainly don’t want him to fail. On the contrary: I am praying fervently for everyone concerned that he succeeds mightily. Gauthier has staked his job on it.

  11. ManApart says:

    You’re pathetic. Happy about the team losing it’s MVP. The man who showed this city things it hadn’t seen in almost 20 years. You don’t care about the team winning, you just care about trying to build up a sense of self that is in the toilet. Sad.

  12. Omit says:

    Well, let’s see who the fool is and who knows his hockey because you show a tremendous amount of ignorance about the Habs.

    You say that Dryden was an average goalie because of the great D in front of him.  Well, if you checked the Habs’ success before and after he sat out that one year because Pollock wouldn’t agree to his salary demands, you’d see quite a difference. Pollock did and that’s why he came to terms with Dryden.

    Now go look in the mirror.  Now that’s a fool!

  13. RJB says:

    Whats with the hate guys and girls? were all Habs fans here, lets support our team and hope for the best!! GO HABS GO!!

  14. Tis Himself says:

    Everyone needs good goaltending, even a better balanced team than the Habs. Just ask the Flyers. Give them a decent kicker and they would have won the Cup.

  15. terrygain says:

    Nobody want’s him to fail. Some of us want what’s best for the team. The Pricebots here like Nickle and Barrie are beside themselves with joy as we  get rid of the goalie who carried us to unexpected heights and in return we get uncertain prospects. Our opinions on how  Price will perform are based on his history rather than wishful thinking. 

  16. Bob Barker says:

    Pleks will probably end up leaving via free agency as big money will be thrown at him. Lars Eller could compete for that spot next season. The Habs might have the cap room now to pursue a scoring winger. Nathan Horton is available. He’s good for 25+ goals per year and he makes 4 million. RH-shot and only 25 years old. 


  17. Fabio D says:

    Agreed. Gainey and Gauthier strike me as the type of men that would go to a car dealership with a price in mind, low ball the salesman, be told “no”, and then give in and take whatever they can to get the car. In this case they gave up a Cadillac to get a couple of Matrixes.

    There was an old episode of Married with Children that illustrates the example and sums up how I feel about the trades/signings Gainey and Gauthier have made last and this summer thus far.

    Only I’m not laughing as hard as I did to Al Bundy’s predicament.

  18. Fabio D says:

    Do you have a list of these supposed available goalies? With the record that Halak put up last year and in the play-offs?
    Now find one in that league that does not have a no trade clause that would come to Montreal that IS NOT on the down side of his career and asking for multi millions?

    Would it kill the Habs to make Halak the moey goalie qualify Price and give Halak a little more work to prove he is the 63+ game type of goalie?

  19. terrygain says:

    I obviously know more about hockey than someone  who prefers Price to Halak. If Price had been our number one goalie this year we wouldn’t have made the playoffs. What makes you think he’s going to suddenly  be better next year?

    Next April champ, or earlier, you buy me dinner at Rolands. In the meantime knock off the trash talk.

  20. Max_a_million says:


    Do you want a team that needs a lucky hot goaltender to win a series, or a team that can win on merit.  Adding cheap good big young prospects who score and set up scoring gets us closer to being for real every year instead of a one hit wonder.

  21. Harditya_CareyPrice says:

    Bang on!

  22. Harditya_CareyPrice says:

    “Check out YOUR goalie’s record.”


    I thought you were a Habs fan?! Last time I checked, Price was still a Hab.

    Support your team.

  23. terrygain says:

    I’ve stuck with the Habs through Wickenheiser over Savard, Chelios for Savard, Desjardins and LeClair for Recchi. Roy to Colorado and  the Kostitsyn and Martin  and Martin and O’Byrne/Bergeron  follies.

    The question is how you will  react when soft goal Carey implodes and we miss the playoffs next year.  I suspect that your double posting on this thread  is foreshadowing.

  24. terrygain says:

    He played behind the best team of defencemen in history: Robinson, Savard and Lapointe. Fool. 

  25. TomNickle says:

    How about this.  Terrance’s ability to twist reality into a Peter Pan World only sets him up for a bigger crash down to Earth when things don’t go his way.  Ignoring facts even when they slap him in his face.  Well, Halak got traded Terrance.  

    Oh.  Do you put things I’ve said in bold because you don’t think I’ll remember?  Or is it just an attempt at giving what you have to say some sort of misguided validation?

    It really isn’t like you’re analytical, you not knowing when the 4th line touches the ice when you claim to be watching is a pretty good indication of that.

  26. K-hab25 says:

    Halak is over 2 years older than Price, how about we revisit who’s the “better” goaltender when Price is 25, like Halak is. I can’t believe how you think Price is washed up at 22. Most players haven’t even made it to the NHL by then, yet Price in your mind is a failure that will never get any better. Time will tell and I’m sure you’ll be there cheering against your supposed favorite team, because after all, terry being right is all that matters, not the team.

  27. TomNickle says:

    I think that Eller is very close to NHL ready if not ready now.

    I believe that Schultz is a project with excellent pedigree who will need another 2 years to be an NHL regular but by all accounts, he will be one.  The only question is whether it will be in a checking role or a physical top 6 forward role.

    Keep in mind that during the 57 point first season that Eller enjoyed on a relatively poor team on North American ice for the first time, he battle mono.  I remember his draft and teams being scared by him being from Denmark and that he was considered to have top 3 skill because of his ability to find people in great areas of the ice at the right time.

    I’m not saying it’s a homerun, but it allows the organization to do a lot of other things too.

  28. terrygain says:

    Shove off Nickle. I was here first. I will remain a Hab fan, despite the stupidity of management and some of my fellow fans.  

  29. Propwash says:

    Oh, btw, to the people that want Price to fail to prove a point, ***k right off. The Habs are a TEAM, not just two goaltenders.


    Goalies in Montreal have two roles, netminder and scapegoat. 

  30. TomNickle says:

    I’m glad that you can see my elation.  It actually has nothing to do with who was traded.  It has a lot to do with what we acquired and even more to do with you bandwagon jumpers making a mess of your Depends.

  31. TomNickle says:

    I’m glad that you can see my elation.  It actually has nothing to do with who was traded.  It has a lot to do with what we acquired and even more to do with you bandwagon jumpers making a mess of your Depends.

  32. terrygain says:

    The Price camp is realistic. 

    Time out while I clean my screen!

    Time will tell but Price’s ability to move the puck is the x-factor

    x factor  my ass. Concentrate, play the angles  and stop the puck.  Something Jaro does much better than Carey. 

  33. TomNickle says:

    Oh, and one more thing.  Management doing the exact opposite of what you would do only reassures me more that they’re moving in the right direction.

    You know, keeping Martin and Price.

    Two huge steps for the franchise that you disapprove of that will ultimately prove to be integral to our team’s success in the future.

  34. TomNickle says:

    Andrei Kostitsyn is next Terrance.  I’m thinking that will be enough to push you from insanity to catatonic.

  35. TomNickle says:

    Enjoy Missouri

  36. Omit says:

    Gee, something to look forward to, and coming from a guy who thinks he knows hockey but calls Ken Dryden an average goalie.

  37. terrygain says:

    So the majority of posters here are trolls? Get a grip.  No one’s squirming fool, but you will be before the end of next season.  And your comment  wasn’t worth a single post let alone a  double. 

  38. TomNickle says:

    And have you managed to keep yourself chemically balanced among the chemically imbalanced today Bugs?

  39. TomNickle says:

    In all honesty Terry, it has nothing to do with a preference.  It has much more to do with what’s best for the organization going forward.  And keeping a goaltender at an expensive cost who isn’t likely to duplicate the success we enjoyed this season over a goaltender who isn’t anywhere close to his full potential at a cheaper cost isn’t a good business or hockey decision.

    I’m sure you disagree but there’s a big difference between the so called Halak and Price camps.  The Price camp is realistic.  You children seem to be of the opinion that Halak is the next Roy.  Time will tell but Price’s ability to move the puck is the x-factor, that and the fact that he responded much better to sitting on the bench than Halak did.

  40. Bugs says:

    Madness. I don’t want a knee-shakin choker teachin the Priceberg ANYTHING.

    Biron for me.

    Keepin it real, I be chillin as

    L.Bugs Potter, esq. Brotha to the Man with the Plan, Product-runnin Lead Houndogg with the Voodoo Flannel Posse, and Pimp Extraordinaire of Habsbros Mama Jones Snow Cones, muthafugga:

  41. terrygain says:

    The Habs gave us a lot of thrills this year. It will be very sad to see the heart torn out of this team next year with soft goals added to bad coaching moves. 

  42. TomNickle says:

    Haha.  He’s been traded, GET OVER IT.

    This is fantastic.  Just to watch you trolls squirm is absolutely gorgeous.

    Dance for me troll, Dance!

  43. TomNickle says:

    Haha.  He’s been traded, GET OVER IT.

    This is fantastic.  Just to watch you trolls squirm is absolutely gorgeous.

    Dance for me troll, Dance!

  44. terrygain says:

    I had no preference before the start of this year. Those of you who didn’t prefer Jaro at the end of this year are impervious to evidence and annoyingly  brain dead.

  45. Caper says:

    OH oh. Lawyer? Hmm. the only thing I recall about my divorce lawyer was his ability to remember how to bill me too much.

  46. terrygain says:

    We are pissed but not going anywhere. I’ll be here all of next year to remind you that I told you so. 

  47. K-hab25 says:

    I’ll give you the experience point, but size wise Mcllrath is already bigger. I really was impressed with both in all honesty, they landed big shots on each other, I just thought Shultz was a little more impressive. How great would it be to have both in the lineup 2/3 years from now?

  48. twocents says:

    I’d take Theo at 1.2 mill.

    If anyone has insight into being over-hyped in this town it’s him. He could help ground Price and provide an appropriate level of push without really being a long term threat. Seems like a good fit to me.

  49. K-hab25 says:

    It didn’t help when Huet was traded. All the Huet loving Price haters just jumped on the Halak train and then tried to pretend they were there all along. Whomever they bring in next year will be there new favorite hab. Oh and be prepared to here the scores for every STL game next year.

  50. Caper says:

    CAn I hang out with you two?

  51. Caper says:


  52. citizenSanto says:

    you don’t get around much, do you?


    Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are.
    — Augustine of Hippo

  53. TripleX says:

    Even I?  Don’t even pretend to understand the scope of my intelligence.  

    So if Halak signs for five million a year in St. Louis the Habs automatically get five million off of our cap space?  BRILLIANT!  OMG dude you should be our new Finance Minister we would be out of debt in no time.  Maybe you can go to Greece and get rid of that multi billion dollar debt crisis.

    Thanks for making it all so clear.  What a dummy I am.  I falsely assumed we saved nothing since we took back TWO contracts and we still have to sign a backup goalie and the same 13 million in cap minus those contracts remain.  BRILLIANT!


    “Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement.”

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