Halak is Habs’ Masterton nominee

Goaltender Jaroslav Halak is the Canadiens’ nominee for the Masterton Trophy, annually awarded to the NHL player judged to best exemplify the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication.

Full details on the nomination here.

And here’s a list of Masterton winners through the years, which includes four Canadiens: inaugural recipient Claude Provost, followed by Henri Richard, Serge Savard and Saku Koivu.


  1. ManApart says:

    I don’t think anyone is pretending starting Halak would have changed any results. That team had given up and mailed it in, minus a few players, since the all-star break. I’m personally, don’t overly buy into the fact that Price was rushed originally, I mean he had won the CAlder. I just think BG kept pushing him, when it became obvious he needed to take a step back. Only when BG left, just this year, did Halak finally get his long deserved chance.

  2. bluefleetwood says:

    This is SO true.

  3. HabsFanInVictoria says:

    I like Price too… but its definitely not Price.  He is so far out of the running for this.  If anybody, Obyrne is the runner up.  Either way, Halak won’t win.  Somebody out there more deserving.

  4. yathehabsrule says:

    Clearly they both worked hard to get where they were and be drafted, Andrew. Hickey’s point is that Halak was a ninth round pick and Price went first round. Clearly a first round selection will get preferential treatment by any NHL franchise.

    Many draft choices might lose their confidence, being drafted so far down, and never make it in the NHL. Some (ie: Halak) don’t give up eventually can get there and in some cases get in the Hall of Fame.

    Comparing where they grew up might be a bit questionable too. I can’t imagine growing up in Slovakia (still Czechoslovakia when he was a kid) could have been that great either for Halak or his family. Don’t forget too that Price’s father was a former draft pick, so that gave Carey something of an inside track as well.


    Ya! The Habs Rule! now on Twitter!

  5. Kristopher7 says:

    What if irrational people knew what parodies were?

  6. Bob Barker says:

    I’m happy Halak has been so great this year and he had to work his way up because he was a late round pick, but to insinuate that Price did not have to work hard just because he was a first round pick is BS. Almost every hockey expert, including Scotty Bowman agrees that the performance Price put on in the Calder cup in his first pro experience was remarkable and one of the reasons there was so much hype surrounding him. When a kid steps in to the AHL and dominates immediately, it’s understandable to want to see what he can do at the next level. 

    Eberle has already been dominating the AHL in the few games he’s played and it’s very likely you’ll see him in the NHL next season. 


  7. ooder says:

    pre-season interview…

    he spoke about Price and how he went to visit him in Calgary and stuff. and then mentioned the “other goalie”.. i thought it was very disrespectful and unprofessional 


    “I like what I’m seeing right now,” assessed Markov. “We’re not perfect, but we’re trying to be.”

  8. andrewberkshire says:

    Very stupid of him to say that, then again, he’s not good with names. I’m pretty sure he said the wrong first name for someone in Florida who he’d coached earlier this season. Maybe he didn’t know Halak’s name yet? Haha I’m not going to be defending Martin.

  9. Mr.Hazard says:

    Duly noted: I’ll add that one. Although, I think it’s the one most likely to happen (Boston would only need to finish at .500), therefore considered somewhat secondary to the Rangers/Flyers development.

    “love cannot drown truth, Nefertiti”

  10. Eliisa says:

    I think it was before the season even began. I remember it too because I thought it was ridiculous he didn’t know Halak’s name.

  11. Clay4bc says:

    I remember the interview clearly, and Martin did just that. Very early in the season, I think.


    Don’t argue with an idiot; people watching may not be able to tell the difference.

  12. SeriousFan09 says:

    Masterton has generally gone two ways, a trophy for someone who makes a remarkable recovery from illness/injury to return to the game or sometimes as a note of achievement for a player who while being a generally excellent player over the years, has never captured an individual achivement award.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  13. andrewberkshire says:

    When did Martin call him the “other goalie”?

  14. andrewberkshire says:

    The problem is, that in every article Hickey has ever written about either goalie, Halak is spoken about as some great underdog hero who’s become the saviour of the Canadiens, whereas Price is the bastard, favoured golden boy who was given everything without ever earning it. It’s complete crap. Was Halak better than Price last year down the stretch? Not really, if he was, it wasn’t by much. He was massively better than Price in February, and that’s what everyone remembers.

    And as for Price not earning anything, it’s a constant theme on this site, but Price had accomplished as much as Halak, in fact more than Halak had going into the 07-08 season. He was also better than Halak for a large part of the 08-09 season, and had playoff experience that Halak didn’t have.

    The idea that starting Halak in the series against Boston would have gotten us even a single win, with the crap effort that joke of a team put forth in all 4 games, and the total of 5 goals scored, is the biggest bit of revisionist history on HIO.

  15. Mattyleg says:

    What, is it suddenly The Trophy For Being Old?

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  16. andrewberkshire says:

    What if Habs fans weren’t classless idiots?

  17. andrewberkshire says:

    Yet this summation completely ignores the fact that in order to be a 1st round pick Price had to work pretty damn hard himself. How many First Nations goalies are there in the NHL? How many players in the NHL were basically raised on a reserve? Good for Halak that he’s a hard worker, but to insinuate that Price isn’t (which Hickey does in nearly every column he writes) is pure BS. He wasn’t born a golden boy, rushed to the NHL because of pure talent. He got drafted 5th overall because he worked his ass off to be that good.

  18. ooder says:

    funny that the guy who was known as “the other goalie” (very affectionately dubbed by JM), is now our number one guy and is being nominated for a Msteron’s trophy


    “I like what I’m seeing right now,” assessed Markov. “We’re not perfect, but we’re trying to be.”

  19. habs001 says:

    boston has to pick up 3 points also

  20. avatar_58 says:

    Sort of makes one feel a little better

  21. Mr.Hazard says:

    Guys what do you think of THIS CHART I just made? Very simple, and from a glass-half-empty perspective. But at least it lays it out, illustrating clearly the number of opportunities the Habs have to AVOID not making the playoffs, between now and Sunday.

    Are any corrections needed? Thanks!

    “love cannot drown truth, Nefertiti”

  22. habs03 says:

    I still can’t believe St.Louis give us a decent propect who was picked in the 2nd rounder. Dags had 2 goals and 2 ast in 44 games, what as St.Louis thinking..

  23. yathehabsrule says:

    Neither was really spectacular down the stretch to be honest, but Price had lost the final three games of the season in ’08-09, and four of the last five.

    I think what Pat was trying to say was that this year, the better goalie come season’s end will get the start in the playoffs without question . That or he doesn’t think the Habs are getting in, which is still possible and Pat would be right either way.


    Ya! The Habs Rule! now on Twitter!

  24. Xtrahabsfan says:

    Halaks the best player on the Habs by far and at 8 hundred thousand dollars what a deal….congrats Jaro your only gonna get better!

  25. yathehabsrule says:

    Yes I did Andrew. Pat is absolutely right in the ways that the two goalies found the NHL.

    Halak was not a first round pick and worked his way up, taking advantage of his first chance with
    Montreal. He carried the team when Huet was injured and Abeschier couldn’t handle the gig. I still feel Halak should have been in that game against
    Toronto three years ago, rather than Huet, but that’s another story.

    Price was fast tracked, primarily by Gainey, after being a first round pick. Price’s play in the WJC, hand full of regular season AHL games and Calder Cup play prompted Bob to pressure Carbo to keep Halak in Hamilton at the start of the following season. That was a total B.S. decision in my book. Halak had earned his chance and got passed over.

    You have to remember that Jacques Martin always cited work ethic on both goalies when the season got off to a not-so-great start. Halak finally woke up (via some “encouragement” from his agent) this season and realized he had to fight for the starting job, and has done so. Unfortunately, Price has a couple years to go, a maybe a change of scenery, before he realizes he has to do that too and be a number one.



    Ya! The Habs Rule! now on Twitter!

  26. I_SAY_FIGHT says:

    Congrats Jaro.
    Don’t let it get to your head.

  27. ManApart says:

    I don’t think he meant Price didn’t work hard. I think Hickey was kind of insinuating that Price was fast tracked to the NHL, before he should have been and was given things before he really proved he deserved it. Nothing about his work ethic, which ironicly, wasn’t very good in the past. He sites, last year’s stretch, where Halak played better than Price and Price was still handed the starting Playoff role. I don’t see that as attacking Price, more questioning BG’s decisions than anything. I mean Price was fast tracked to the NHL and He did get the playoff start after Halak had played better down the stretch, it’s not like Hickey is making up stories.

  28. avatar_58 says:

    You know…ignoring the parody element it gives me chills to think all it can take is a fluke occurance and a lucky shot to give you hope.


    What if…….Begeron hadn’t scored that goal in OT in game 7 of the 2010 Buffalo series? Indeed…..

  29. Matt_in_TO says:

    “Halak had to work his work through the ranks, unlike his teammate Carey
    Price, whose career was fast-tracked after the Canadiens selected in the
    first round in 2005.”

    “Last season, Halak was the better goaltender down the stretch but
    Price started every playoff game.

    That won’t happen this year.”


    I understand that Pat was just trying to put what Jaro has been through and accomplished in perspective but I believe he could have maybe worded it a little differently.  I know I’m not the only one here that feels this way.


    – Guy Boucher for head coach

  30. noelsroyce says:


    Mind the pun.

    This actually made me smile and laugh. Thank you!

  31. Matt_in_TO says:

    That’s pretty good.  I forgot it was Ballard that whacked him over the head.



    – Guy Boucher for head coach

  32. HFX-HabFan says:

    In his sixth game in a St. Louis Blues’ uniform, Matt D’Agostini picks up his first point wearing the blue music note, an assist, in a crazy 6-5 loss to the ‘Hawks.

  33. SeriousFan09 says:

    Selanne’s already won it, doubtful.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  34. Matt_in_TO says:

    coming from you……


    – Guy Boucher for head coach

  35. SeriousFan09 says:

    When it comes to goaltending, Montreal fans and some of the sportswriters are like 5 year olds with a shiny toy, it’s the best thing ever for a while and then they want something new and shiny.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  36. andrewberkshire says:

    Congratulations to Halak, the road less travelled to the NHL was definitely worthy for him. He deserves all the credit for becoming the goalie he is today. However I have a feeling Selanne or Recchi will win this season.

  37. SeriousFan09 says:

    Possibly the best History Will be Made Parody yet! Ballard Vs Vokoun!


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  38. andrewberkshire says:

    Disagree, it didn’t need context. The article should have been about Halak, not Price. And the insinuation that because Price didn’t play in the ECHL or very much in the AHL that he hasn’t worked hard to get into the NHL is pure Hickey BS.

  39. andrewberkshire says:

    Did you read the linked article Kevin? The last half is almost entirely about Price, insinuating that he didn’t have to work hard to get to the NHL, and he harped on the constant whine-a-thon that Halak is somehow mistreated.

  40. noelsroyce says:

    well ya, that would be nice! This is the first time I’ve watched 98% of the games in the season. I’ve usually been too busy with post-secondary or other tv shows to commit. It’d be nice if it didn’t come to an end so soon. I’ll definitely be missing the Habs once they are knocked out.

  41. ooder says:

    hickey just put Halak’s situation into context.. i don’t see this article as an attack


    “I like what I’m seeing right now,” assessed Markov. “We’re not perfect, but we’re trying to be.”

  42. noelsroyce says:

    “Halak had to work his work (WAY, Hickey) through the ranks, unlike his teammate Carey
    Price, whose career was fast-tracked after the Canadiens selected in the
    first round in 2005. Halak said he always remained positive.”


    “Last season, Halak was the better goaltender down the stretch but
    Price started every playoff game. That won’t happen this year.”

    Seems to me like Hickey has a bias. Why must you compare the two? Why not just state why Halak deserves it, using his own achievements, and leave Carey Price alone? Carey may have had an easy start but he’s having a hard time maintaining HIS way through the ranks right now. We all know he’s amazing and yet he’s being held responsible for losses when it’s clearly everyone else on the team that is letting EACH goalie down. Now whenever Halak ‘loses’, we say it was the team’s fault and he should start the next game. Whenever the same happens to Carey, it’s ‘Carey’s fault. Halak should start the next game.” Seems to me like the one most deserving IS Carey Price. Having to deal with all of this pressure to be perfect behind a team that can’t score has to be frustrating!


  43. Say Ash says:

    Not necessarily the Habs’ nominaton in that case – it’s not about best goalie at all.

  44. Nick_Habs1 says:

    Price and Halak wins there type of things all the time. But you know what….WHO CARES?!?

    Win a series….win a cup…then come talk to me.

    That’s all that counts if your in the NHL.

  45. yathehabsrule says:

    Cool Maurice Richard tribute vid and a link to Jimmy Fallon’s superfans poll, amongst other bits and pieces.


    Ya! The Habs Rule! now on Twitter!

  46. bigbighabsfan says:

    An attack? Really? Looks like Price was mentioned for context. Day to day life must be really upsetting for you if you call that an attack.

  47. yathehabsrule says:

    Because he deserves it.


    Ya! The Habs Rule! now on Twitter!

  48. Go Habs Go Theme Song Guy says:

    Congrats to Halak! 

    If Price had been the better goalie, this article would have been about him, and most posters, including myself would have been congratulating him. 

    Let’s let the bitchiness stop. What a colossal waste of time and emotion. 

    Go Habs Go!


  49. I_SAY_FIGHT says:
  50. yathehabsrule says:

    I’m a Price fan Matt, but I’m not seeing where Pat attacked Carey. He called is as it is/was.



    Ya! The Habs Rule! now on Twitter!

  51. yathehabsrule says:

    That line you quoted from Hickey is actually how the NHL describes the trophy, so don’t be bashing Pat.

    In terms of which of the goalies deserves the nom, I’d go with Halak, but personally I think O’Byrne was more deserving of it over both of them.

    Eithe way, a few other nominations from other teams (Rechhi, Gustavsson) are more likely to win it anyways.



    Ya! The Habs Rule! now on Twitter!

  52. J. Ambrose says:

    Would you prefer if the article had stated that Jaro was forced to sit idly by while “the team’s other goaltender who shall remain nameless” got the majority of the starts including the playoffs? 

  53. Matt_in_TO says:

    Why do I get the feeling that the Swede with the exploding heart is going to win it.


    – Guy Boucher for head coach

  54. Matt_in_TO says:

    Not that the Price / Halak debate needs more fuel added to the fire, here comes Hickey pouring gasoline over it.  Congrats to Jaro on the nomination but the article could have be been written without the attack on Carey.



    – Guy Boucher for head coach

  55. J. Ambrose says:

    Well deserved. He’s been Sisyphus for the Habs, almost getting the boulder to the top of the mountain time and time again before having it tumble back down when management decided to give Carey the reigns. This time, it seems, he has beaten the odds, and is about to ascend the peak. Well, at least, a ledge on the way to the top: the playoffs. May he shine there also, and then walk away with the Masterton trophy also.

  56. G-Man says:



  57. dpthehabsfan says:

    To me, the Masterson has been meant to be awarded to a player who faced adversity off the rink while still excelling on the rink. And usually, that’s the way it’s decided.

    But when you read the criteria again: “to exemplify the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication.”

    Well then it does apply to Halak… he works very hard, never blames another, always credits his teammates and never gives up.

    And the fact that the Masterson is nominated by the management of each team says a lot. The Habs’ organization is expressing their respect for the man and player Halak has become.

  58. SeriousFan09 says:

    True enough, but Seguin was pretty quiet during the playoff series. Wasn’t that the Spitfires were the loaded team (which they were) but Seguin didn’t do all that much in the 4-game sweep.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  59. nickster13 says:

    Hey even Crosby couldnt win a memorial cup, even marcel dionne didnt win a stanley cup. Hockey is a team game, so id still take Seguin on my team even if Hall wins the memorial cup

  60. Watsatheo says:

    Should have been O’Byrne, unless something happened Halak we don’t know about. I mean he lost his mother to cancer.

  61. noelsroyce says:

    Now I TRULY believe that the only writer I enjoy reading on HIO is Dave Stubbs.

    When Pat Hickey writes:

    “the player to best exemplify the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and

    How can you say that Price isn’t that person? Granted I’m a Price fan BUT I’m also rooting for the goalie who is playing better or for that matter, in nets when the team wins. Carey exemplifies all of those mentioned qualities and has a harder time doing so with the pressure that is being placed on him this year to be error-free.

    It looks like if Jaro is traded, Price will be booed or chased out of town anyway.


  62. SeriousFan09 says:

    Wow, I haven’t seen a shot total like this since I played a round of NHL 09 and needed 70 shots to beat Kippur in a Stanley Cup Final game. Seguin may be Central Scouting’s Top choice, but Hall’s going to the next round of the OHL playoffs after blowing out the Whalers 4-0 with his Windsor Spitfires. Goalie deserves an award for keeping that team alive to OT.



    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  63. HabsFan90 says:

    No reason to mention Price in that article. Nice digs.

  64. Iceberg84 says:

    Exciting couple of days to be a flyers or rangers fan. It’s like they have their own mini playoff series now before the actual playoffs begin which ought to make their fans happy.

  65. habsgirl74 says:

    why couldn’t you write the article about halak without dragging Price into it, you media people act just as bad as the majority of people on here who don’t know anything

  66. habs001 says:

    when we are leading in the third the other team starts to pinch and this is when the physical size difference really is noticeable…we get physically overpowered in our zone and are life and death to get the puck out

  67. RiverviewCanadien says:

    Congratulations Jaroslav! You of all people deserve it.

  68. Matt_in_TO says:



    – Guy Boucher for head coach

  69. jimmy shaker says:

    What was wrong with Ludwig or Nilan or better yet Skrudland?


  70. Kristopher7 says:

    So in the spirit of the NHL 2010 playoff campaign, I took a shot at a Carey Price version.


  71. matmacat says:

    Pretty hard on Price in that article, Pat. I know it’s the truth, but you make him sound like the villain. In any case, I’m real glad for Halak. I’ve been rooting for him since he took over for Huet a few years back.

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