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. terrygain says:

    Yes I’m serious and like most lawyers I have an excellent memory. This was the best goaltending I’ve seen in my 63 years. Yes, it was even better than Roy in 93. As good as that was.

  2. spos080808 says:

    Stop making sense. The Habs haters are out in full force and are just spitting nonsense. Not one person on right now has made one logical argument against what the Habs did…It is just “Gainey etc are idiots”. “Halak was great in the playoffs”. “Price sucks”…Etc Etc Etc…Do not bother arguing with these fools. I am done with them as well. But very good point!!

  3. SeriousFan09 says:

    Because he was? He took bad penalties and when he got shoved around the crease, he shoved back and more than once, helped the other team score because of those scuffles.

    You dismiss that someone can’t be right because of an opinion he had about a 3rd-pair defencemen, you’re not coming aross as a rational debater yourself.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  4. TomNickle says:

    I was in a conference today and I got the TSN alert on my cell that the trade had gone down.  I actually burst into laughter thinking about how dramatic this site would be if it didn’t crash due to all the crazies coming out.

    Props to the tech fellas for keeping er up and running.

    PS Joey, are you wearing a helmet right now, or at least feel like you should be?

  5. nightmare_49 says:

    080808 – I think he likes a cage on his helmit, he hates visors.

  6. spos080808 says:

    Really? Bc one half of a season makes him God’s gift to goaltending? Interesting…Is he solid? He sure is. BUt he has NEVER played a full season as a #1, 43 games! 43 games! You know what that number means? It is the most games he has played in a regular season. Let him play 65+ then play in the playoffs before making him a franchise goalie big guy.

  7. TomNickle says:

    HEY CHUCK.  That’s a great gosh damn avatar.  Awesome work buddy.

    If nothing else this trade should weed out some of the bandwagon jumpers who fell in love with Halak and were rooting for the team to lose with Price in net.

  8. joeybarrie says:

    Last few HOURS??????????  Ive been a Habs fan for 33 years. I have felt like I am in an insane asylum since I was 5 and became smarter than half these posters…

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  9. terrygain says:

    There’s no point arguing with anyone so out of it that he describes Bouillon as a hothead.

  10. habaholic68NJ says:

    Thanks for replying to tripleX before I had a chance to.  It never occurred to me that I needed to spoon-feed the details of my post as most posters around here get it.

  11. joeybarrie says:

    Thanks for making my point… HMMM Isnt Halak’s stats similar to Price’s in 2007-08 when Price led us to be the Eastern Conference Champions????

    What makes you think Halak will be as good? What makes you think Price wont be better???

    Or do you have that simple mind where you think everything next season will be exactly how it is this season???

    Man I hate to see how GREAT our team could be with actual friken SUPPORT from our fans… Cause honestly at the rate we bash our own, we really look pretty stupid.

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  12. TomNickle says:

    Hey Joey, how’s it going.  I’m guessing that right now you feel like you’ve been trapped in an insane asylum for the last few hours.

    That anything close to accurate?

  13. spos080808 says:

    Really? Look at all the UFA goalies. Look at all the goalies on the trading block…Look at the very minimal amount of teams that need goalies for next season…Look at Halak being arbitration eligible…Look at the dates coming up for RFA contracts and offer sheets etc…Thank you.

  14. jimmy shaker says:

    R U prepared to handle the price haters this year?  Seeing as your the president of his fan club… might turn out to be a 24/7 job. 

    I had to give up my presidency of the Jaro fan club now that he’s gone… all I have left is the MAB fan club that is kind of prorogued right now!

    I hope carey’s back/shoulders/mental game can withstand the pressure that was just placed on him as of 1600 hours today!


  15. Caper says:

    Terry. I’ve been around a long time as well. You can’t be serious brother?

  16. TomNickle says:

    Oh Terrance my boy.  HAHA.  That goalie, you know, the one you just called Joey’s goalie, is YOUR GOALIE too.

    That is, he is if you’re a fan of the Habs and not just some fly by night Pierre Mcguire wannabee.


  17. terrygain says:

    See the posts above yours and get a clue.

  18. spos080808 says:

    Still being an idiot I see…Only a handful of teams need goalies going into next season…WIth multiple goalie UFA’s as well as goalies on the trading block, the Habs could have been screwed if those teams went with those multiple options available…Keep trying though. All night long buddy all night long.

  19. Caper says:

    Yipper-great guy with an awesome attitude. he will be good for Price.

  20. deuce6 says:

    He didn’t wait because there is a window before the draft that RFAs have to be qualified in order to retain negotiating rights..Halak was going to be dealt anyway and it looked as though he was going to use his arbitration rights to get a deal that HE wanted…PG’s hands were tied..

    ————- Leaf fans shitting on the habs is like a crippled guy saying someone walks funny…

  21. spos080808 says:

    A big part of it has to do with the fact that there are many UFA goalies out there as well as numerous goalies who are on the trading block. Also not many teams need goalies. You can count on one hand those that were in need. They did not have much time to make a deal. If they waited and those teams instead signed UFA’s or made other trades then the Habs were screwed.

  22. Willy the bum says:

    5 minutes later…

    I tried to be glad about the Halak trade, and hope for the best in Halak and Price, and wish the Habs luck on their next season.

    And now I heard the great Larry Robinson being the assistant coach to the Devils because the Habs haven’t made a deal with him…


  23. joeybarrie says:

    Your right, hopefully he would like me more than any other, and want to hang out…

    Since HE IS ON THE ICE, he knows more than to listen to people in here. There in lies the difference between us, and people who actually know what they are talking about.

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  24. terrygain says:

    If I’m Cammy I’m totally pissed that management just traded our best player. But I keep my mouth shut.

  25. terrygain says:

    So without Halak we basically should be dead last in the league right? This is pretty much what your saying. Halak singlehandedly put this team on his back and got us in the playoffs and into the Conference Finals.

    Pretty well. Check out your goalie’s record. What makes you think he’s going to be better next year?  Are they moving the team  to Trois Rivieres?

  26. joeybarrie says:

    Jeff Schultz is an RFA on July 1st.

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  27. SeriousFan09 says:

    To be fair, Schultz has two years on Mcllrath, extra time to grow, fill out and get experience from many more fights. 20-year old versus 18-year old after all.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  28. TomNickle says:

    Terrance.  Your wishing for the organization to fail under Price is quite telling about how much of a “FAN” you are.  You aren’t a fortune teller, and you aren’t knowledgeable when it comes to hockey.  Your ignorance when it comes to the direction of this team is only further indication that you are as I said, a fly by night fan who comes and goes with success.

    I won’t shove off Terrance.  I’ll continue to support the TEAM and not just one guy on it.  

  29. Chuck says:

    How do you think that Cammy would feel after reading a lot of these posts? He led the playoffs in goal scoring, but some folks would have you believe that Halak was the ONLY reason for their playoff success.

    Time to spread the love!


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

  30. nightmare_49 says:

        Dear PG

        What was the rush? Explain why moi PG.

        Why couldn’t you have waited to the Entry Draft (what harm would it do) and maybe a better deal may have been available. You did the same thing when you let our 2nd round pick go for Dom Moore,weeks before the deadline. What is the F***in rush. With patience it may be possible to get better veggies in a deal. I don’t understand your thinking.

  31. K-hab25 says:

    No, but I just watched Shultz beat up the 6’5 guy Boone was wanting us draft. That kid is tough.

  32. SeriousFan09 says:

    Weak argument to prove a point.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  33. spos080808 says:

    Poster Chris Nilan “Ok genius If the market for goalies is firm why did they not get more for him”…

    Is this clown serious? This is why you cannot argue with idiots…

    Does he not realize that because there are multiple solid goalies on the UFA market and even on the trading block, that means goalies are not in demand in trades because there are multiple options out there…If Halak was one of maybe 2 or 3 solid goalie options out there, teams would have overpaid to make sure they would get one of those 2 of 3 options…

    I mean wow just wow.

  34. sh00n says:

    Well, it seems like your amnesia is catching up with your ignorance, gramps.

  35. terrygain says:

    A semi intelligent GM would have signed Price before trading Halak.

  36. Chuck says:

    C’mon, even you must be able to figure this one out.

    The cap space we save is on what Halak would be making NEXT SEASON, not this past season.


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

  37. terrygain says:

    I was a Hab fan before you were born, sonny.

  38. joeybarrie says:

    OK, lets make sure that all you commenters out there calling doomsday on the team, cause we just traded away god, remembers your comments when the season starts again.

    So without Halak we basically should be dead last in the league right? This is pretty much what your saying. Halak singlehandedly put this team on his back and got us in the playoffs and into the Conference Finals.

    What will you say when we do well next season???

    God forbid St. louis doesnt make the playoffs. What will you say about Halak then???  Shouldnt he be able to bring them to the Cup SINGLEHANDEDLY and in a year where they dont lose a single game???

    You really helped his agent along…

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  39. Willy the bum says:

    My luck goes to Halak for turning the next chapter on his career, where it starts with the Blues next season.

    Then and again, I reminded of his days when he first started with the Habs and I knew he would be the one who leads to better chances in playoff competitions. His seasons – which he was the back-up to Huet and Price – has been the stuff that we couldn’t imagine knowing: saving the Habs’ hides in reaching a playoff spot.

    And now, I was deeply surprised and shocked to hear this news today, and at first I am furious. Calmed a few hours later, I try to think positive and find a more optimistic approach to this huge news. The only good thing today is at least I got a day off from work today. The Habs are the Habs, and hope the Halak trade won’t affect their attitudes and work ethics. Only now is that Price is the number one goaltender, the team must know something should be work out, and give full support for each other, especially Price.

    My greatest luck to the Habs next season, with most of you same players play with more confidence and pride to wear the CH. And to Pierre Gauthier… I may hate him for this trade…

    …but he got balls.

  40. deuce6 says:

    Marty Biron will be a Hab on July 1st..

    ————- Leaf fans shitting on the habs is like a crippled guy saying someone walks funny…

  41. terrygain says:

    After this season anyone who wasn’t  pro Halak is an idiot.

  42. joeybarrie says:

    Is this supposed to be some sort of proof of something???

    I gotta say that MAYBE the guy who scored the most goals in the playoffs might just have had something to do with the best performance of any Canadiens team since 1993. In fact I think the 13 goals he scored goes back longer than 1993…

    How about the defense that made sure Ovechkin had his lowest shots on net of any season or playoff series???

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  43. RetroMikey says:

    I guess I’ll keep my Carey Price Bobblehead and McFarlane figurine still around and not throw them out……not yet.

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

  44. spos080808 says:

    Um you do know there is a salary cap right? And the market for goalies is soft? What!!!!???? Go look at the goalies who are UFA’s right now big guy…God you really are dumb!

  45. sh00n says:

    Get real.

    Obviously, we found someone who wasn’t a fan of the team in 93. Halak playing better than Roy?


  46. sh00n says:

    Gotta love the ignorant haters!

    Go join the St Louis boards if you’re only a fan of one player; we don’t need moronic statements like that here.

  47. SeriousFan09 says:

    Could’ve, should’ve, would’ve, guaranteed to win a Cup with a better team and coach? You can say that with any NHL Player!

    How did I change my opinion, did I ever infer that Halak was better than Roy and this is the worst mistake the team has ever made? No, I’m sticking to what I’ve said all the day, the world hasn’t ended, I’m not a huge of this trade but I also acknowledge this is the goalie market and this is what PG could do in it and that Halak’s salary was probably too tough for the team to swallow.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  48. spos080808 says:

    Michael Ryder makes $4 million. What can Boston get for someone who makes so much. Obviously it should be something big since hes making big money right??…That is how foolish your argument is.

  49. terrygain says:

    Goalies are a dime a dozen in the NHL.

    Dumbest comment ever.

  50. Eliisa says:

    Haha, a slap in a face with a velvet covered hand. Thank-you, I needed that. You know me, I am ALWAYS a Habs fan first and foremost… it just wasn’t that long ago I was filled with ecstasy, wearing my Halak t-shirt jumping around my living room after epic wins over both Washington and Pittsburgh. The memories of those good ol’ days are still fresh in my mind.

    Although, I think there might be a saying somewhere about time healing all wounds or something of the like. I will get over the departure of our (scratch that – the Blues) netminder eventually. I am looking forward to seeing what Eller and Schultz can bring to our team and I am also certainly interested in who will be our backup. There isn’t a shortage of selections this season to fill the role.

  51. boris420 says:

    Is it a big deal if price smokes? I mean didn’t all of our greats used to smoke?

  52. habaholic68NJ says:

    I would go with Sanford as our backup.  This conserves cap $ and I think he is as good a backup as anyone on the fre market.  This we can see how Desjardin does as a starter for the Dogs.

  53. spos080808 says:

    Yet again you bring nothing worth noting to the table. Not one argument against the trade, not one…Still waiting…I am sure you can just copy and paste someone though since you are obviously incapable of a rational thought.

  54. terrygain says:

    Halak played better than Roy in 93 and if we had had a better team and coach he would have won the Cup. We traded him for 2 prospects. Nuts. I see you have completely changed your opinion over the course of the day.

  55. spos080808 says:

    Really Gill and Gorges had nothing to do with that? Cam scoring at will had nothing to do with that? Great coaching had nothing to do with that? Interesting…And who brought all those other pieces to Montreal? Was it Gainey? Oh it was. Interesting….

    And you want to hand Halak 4 mil per for multiple years based on one solid post season run? Really?I guess you would have given Raycroft, Blaine Lacher, Jim Carey $5 mil per season after their rookie seasons too huh.

  56. matmacat says:

    Interesting fact. Ian Schultz’s brother, Jeff, was first in +/- in the reg. season last year. +50!

  57. spos080808 says:

    I am just spitting out FACTS unlike you. You have said NOTHING worth noting. At least many of us are using facts and reasonable opinions. You are just being a complete joke! But keep it up Timo.

  58. TripleX says:

    You are not the first to mention this opening up of cap space? I am mystified?  Halak makes 850,000 a year and Price 2.2 Million and will get a raise.  The Habs need to sign a veteran backup for Price.

    Where is this huge cap space that was freed by trading Halak?  How much do the two players coming back to Montreal make?


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

  59. terrygain says:

    Back up? Price will be our back up. Who is going to be our starter?

  60. says:

    LOL and the ECF mean nothing I suppose.

    Goalies are a dime a dozen in the NHL.

    They couldn’t afford to keep Halak, so he had to go.  Why is that so hard for some to understand.

    Hockey 101

    You just failed!


    They Call Me Shane

  61. SeriousFan09 says:

    Since it has been discussed at least by two different posters and while it’s insanity, I have to address it, it has been suggested this is a worse move than the Roy trade.

    Patrick Roy’s record upon leaving Montreal: 2 Conn Smythe trophies with the 1986 and 1993 Canadiens, was 289-175-66 regular
    season, 70-42 in post-season with 3 Cup Finals and 2 Cup wins on his
    record when he left. Three Vezinas, 3 Jennings Trophies, First-Team All-Star 3 times, 2nd-Team All-Star twice, 6 All-Star Game appearances, Calder Cup win in 1985 as well.

    You want to run Halak’s record against that and appear rational?


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  62. says:

    Now that Halak is gone (thank god), what happens if some GM offers Carey 4-5 million lol!

    Draft picks here we come.


    They Call Me Shane

  63. spos080808 says:

    I know what is Gainey etc doing…They only won the East regular season a few seasons ago and only went to the ECF this season…They have no idea what they are doing. Jeez get rid of these idiots in management. What are they doing to this franchise…Enough of winning the East regular season title and going to the ECF in recent seasons. Damn them to hell.

  64. spos080808 says:

    You are just an idiot. I never said I was pro Price or pro Halak…You are just on a mission right now bashing the Habs…I have proved you and other people like you wrong all night long. The only thing you people say is “Price sucks” “Look at Halak in the playoffs”…That is it…Great arguments…How about you look at everything from past history, to recent history, to contract status, to what each will make, age, future projections etc etc…You are just a typical Timo plain and simple!!! You talk out of your ass without ANY facts or resaonable opinions.

  65. habaholic68NJ says:

    Come on  Eliisa.  Going soft on us?  Remember our discussions?  You knew in your heart that Price was the guy we were going with long-term and that Halak was the guy that made he season exciting.  Now he has opened up some cap space, gotten us a top 6 prospect with size, and a tough grinder with size,  Size does matter, a bit.  Wipe off the tears.  You are a Habs fan first.

  66. TheIndian says:

    I don’t understand what is the need to bash Halak and compare Price and Halak.  WE all know they are two good goalies.  Halak did amazing for the team and took them far in the playoffs and it was awesome being part of that experience but let’s not forget we were number one in conference not that long ago and Price took us there.  A team needs many elements to succeed but yes you do need someone to step up and this year in playoffs it was Halak, Gill, Georges, Cammillari.  The year we finished first it was line of Kovalev, Plecs and Andrei that was flying and Price didn’t do that alone.  We as a team need to get bigger and not just bigger but better as well.  Looking at Hamilton, we have some good players but they are all small with exception of Pacioretty (who was injured anyways). We do have have players like Engqvist who might be good but even then, we are thin when it comes to talent and size and this Lars kid has done well in his first year in AHL and he will only get better.  We had to choose between two goalies and the management chose Price.  Suck it up and live with it now.

  67. Chuck says:

    Whoever is on the bench on any given night is the backup.


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

  68. spos080808 says:

    Timo is that you????

  69. warriorhockey says:

    i like Johan Hedberg

  70. ProHabs says:

    I’m thinking Ron Tugnutt.

  71. Mikey_39 says:

    Now that Price is the undisputed number one, there are two things that need to be done.

    1)Sign him cheap and long term. I would have rather kept Halak, the guy held a special place in my heart, but the habs made a decision to go with Price and they have to stick with it.

    2)Pick a backup goaltender that isn’t necessarily the best available goalie, but the best available mentor for Price.  Someone with great work ethics, team-player, and that can make sure to keep Price’s ego and attitude in line

  72. yathehabsrule says:

    Ellis is my pick too. He’d probably be willing sign a short-term deal to sit back and take the reigns if Price falters.



    Ya! The Habs Rule! now on Twitter!

  73. Eliisa says:

    The obituary was very nicely done. It actually feels to me like he has died. This is not the news I was expecting to read at noon on H I/O today. It’s a sad, sad day guys. I am only slightly embarrassed to confess a few tears might’ve glimmered in my eyes upon hearing the news.

  74. adam76 says:

    error in the article – Price was the backup, not Halak.



  75. TheIndian says:

    I like Ellis too.  He has had good numbers and was out of job not because he played bad but due to awesome play of Pekka Renne…he is 29 but I dont think he will come cheap and if Gauthier already said Price will start as number 1..I would doubt that Ellis would want to sign with us and as for this Toskala crap, I dont even think he will be in NHL next season.  Anaheim clearly mentioned that Toskala wanted to be number one and thats why they didnt sign him so he can say goodbye to NHL.  I would see a guy like Biron or even Mason (I think he was decent in St Louis last year).  You would probably want to sign a goalie who can take over in case Price still needs time to develop…overall I am not disappointed with this trade.  I loved Halak but team comes first and this Lars guy seems to be good.  I have always loved teams like German, Switzerland…small european teams know value of working hard and I am hoping this guy brings that team spirit and hard working attitude…now time to get rid of K brothers

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