Huet seems in line for big Habs raise

Impending unrestricted free agent Cristobal Huet has played himself into the driver’s seat, the Canadiens undisputed No. 1 goaltender on whose shoulders the team’s fortunes largely ride. Now the question is: will GM Bob Gainey reward Huet for his stellar work with a rich new contract?

71 Comments

  1. Bill H says:

    mar-lin, I don’t think Huet has had a heavy workload because of injuries and competition with Price (this year) and Abby (last year). But I believe he is starting to lose the reputation of not being able to handle a heavy load. Since Price went away, Huet has played solid hockey. The goalies in my comparison chart are taken from those with most wins. I threw in Dipietro at the end because he signed long term for relatively good money not too long ago.

    Obviously, goaltender stats are to a degree team stats anyway. Even Sv% is a reflection of how well the defense clears rebounds and gives the goalie a clear view of the shot. But this gives us an idea of who is out there and what they are making.

    Another useful stat would be the year that a goalie signed and also record over a number of years. Brodeur has been solid for years now. His salary is going to reflect that and Huet can’t compete on that level. And a contract signed 3 years ago will be for less than a contract signed last year because salaries are going up along with the cap. I am glad I am not BG, because it is an unbelievably complex situation.

  2. RiverviewCanadien says:

    Huet had been out of the nets for awhile back then, he also had surgery, don’t judge Huet by that game, the team in front of him that night was also to blame, alot of rookie mistakes

  3. Bill H says:

    I agree mar-lin that Huet is not a workhorse on the same level as Brodeur. And I also agree that he is still a step below the elite status of the goalies being discussed here. I too think he is a good fit for the Habs now. But depending on his demands at season’s end, I think he will probably be a better fit somewhere else. I’d rather trade him for draft picks and prospects now than lose him later. Anyway, we will see how it ends up.

  4. CHsam says:

    That’s definately the question. How long will Huet’s contract be.

  5. ebk says:

    lets no get carried away idle, Huet was never the runner up for the Hart trophy in the NHL. Can I have the years he was in the All-Star game as well.
    I have him at one.

    He’s a very good goalie, no need to puff him up with fecal facts

  6. mar-lin says:

    great stats man thx, it’s unfortunate we couldn’t also look at games played per season. That’s been on the minus side for him since he signed with us and i would imagine they would remind him of that too.In my opinion we need him…unless they want to sink or swim next year with price/halak.

  7. Bill H says:

    I don’t think your comment about the “Price obsessed” is fair because I don’t think those who believe Price is the solution are any more obsessed than those who think Huet is the solution. That issue aside, you feel that Huet and the Canadiens are a good fit at $18M – $20M. So that would be a 4 year deal at $4.5M – $5.0M a year. Those numbers may be more realistic than mine. At those numbers I would trade him now for a pick and a prospective big centreman, with the realization that we might go one less round in the playoffs this year because of it.

  8. earl says:

    I really don’t know what you’re reading here. To say “there seems to be a fairly common theme amongst most fans here, which is a lack of confidence in Huet” you would have had to read about 2 selective posts, including your own.

    the last sentence of your post says it all about your familiarity with the situation.

  9. juvehab says:

    I like Huet dont get me wrong but the last gave of the season against the leafs he was awful. And I personally dont think we can passed the 1st round with him in net.

  10. earl says:

    Huet and the Canadiens are an excellent fit for next year. Habs are improving into the upper echelon of the league, the last thing they can afford to do is take a step back in goal while looking to contend.

    Regardless of what the crystal balls of the Price obsessed are reading Huet is needed and will be signed to the deal necessary to get the deal done.

    Probably a $18M – $20M package, and fans should definitely be alright with that.

  11. idle says:

    I am getting real sick of this ‘what has Huet ever won for us’ attitude. Has anyone been watching Montreal over the last 4 seasons. Not exactly a power house eh? huh? If the team can’t make the playoffs until the last game of the season to squeak into 8’th place by 1 point I doubt it’s time to start scheduling the parade.

    For those of you who are willing to look at the team objectively you will probably agree that many times during the first half of last season and most times during the season before we would not have even had a sniff of the playoffs without Huets consistent play. It doesn’t make him the best goalie in the league and it doesn’t mean that we have no chance to upgrade at the position, but it does eliminate Huet from all of this blame he seems to be receiving for the Habs not winning a stanley Cup. Exactly what did you expect him to do, get a shut out in half of his games and maybe score a couple of goals too.

    It is so typical of us Habs fans, no matter how well the team is playing or how solid a player is all we can do is whine about why we don’t have more. Only 1 team in the league can have the best goalie. 22 teams in the league get to have a goalie who is not in the top 10 in the league. Lets be happy that we are not one of them.

    Montreal is currently 4’th place in the league and all some of us can do is whine about our goalie not being good enough. If you can’t be happy with the team now when all it is doing is winning then you will never be happy with them until the final game of the Stanely Cup when Montreal wins it. And if that is the only time you can be happy then you are not a fan.

  12. idle says:

    Gets no respect around the league?? He was runner up for Heart trophy his first year with the habs, has played in 2 All Star games in 4 years and ask the players if he gets respect. The only people who disrespect him are ignorant fans who only want more more more…

  13. Xtrahabsfan says:

    Get a memory!

  14. idle says:

    **posted in the wrong spot**

  15. Bill H says:

    Let’s do some comparisons with other “elite” goaltenders to get a feel for the market. League ranking is in brackets.
    ———-Team—Age—–Wins——–GAA———–Sv%————Cap Hit
    Huet——-Mtl—32—-18(19th)—2.34(11th)—.923(6th)———$2.87M
    Nabokov—-SJS—31—-28(1st)—-2.18(5th)—-.911(20th)——–$5.37M
    Kiprusof—CGY—31—-26(2nd)—-2.78(29th)—.900(35th)——–$3.33M
    Brodeur—-NJD—35—-26(2nd)—-2.20(6th)—-.917(9th)———$5.2M
    Gerber—–OTT—33—-23(4th)—-2.65(23rd)—.913(17th)——–$3.7M
    Luongo—–VAN—28—-22(6th)—-2.16(4th)—-.924(5th)———$6.7M
    Osgoode—-DET—35—-21(7th)—-1.88(1st)—-.926(2nd)———$0.85M
    Dipietro—NYI—26—-19(14)—–2.61(21st)—.910(22nd)——–$4.5M

    Okay, have a look. Let’s throw out the high (Luongo) and the low (Osgoode) as aberations. How much is Huet worth on the open market? How much can the Canadiens afford to pay him, given their own payroll commitments, pending contract negotiations, and their own goaltending situation? I think most people here would like to sign Huet. But realistically, are the Canadiens a good fit for Huet next year? I predict that Huet will want and get $4.5 for 3 years minimum. And he might go for as much as $5M over 3 years.

  16. habfan53 says:

    I have been saying since October that we should have signed him to a 3 year contract with a 1year option. And at that point we might have got away with a 3.75 to 4 million a year. It would have been 2 years as the #1 this year with Halak and next year with Price. The third year Price assuming a bigger role and theoption year as being the number 2.

    This is going to be his last big contract he’ll be 35 or 36 when it’s over.

    The problem is that Montreal has been TOO succesful they were picked 13th,14th at best 8th in the conference now the sit 2nd best but 4th in the conference. IF we trade Huet NOW we’ll be out after a first round loss. IF we KEEP Huet I think we can get to the conference final

    Management had a serious lack of knowledge regarding the young players in Hamilton why else bring in Smolinski, Kotstopoulos and Brisebois when Lapierre, Chipchura (should be in Montreal) and Georges were ready AND GAINEY annointed Price as the next coming, when he kept him with Montreal when camp broke. Don’t get me wrong Price played really well at the beginning. BUT HE WAS NOT READY. Now we are back to the scenario of the first Paragragh but it is going to cost more money .

  17. idle says:

    How much wind has he let out of the team?? We have at least 1 point in 14 of his last 16 starts. What do you people WANT!

  18. skoehn says:

    This Team needs Huet and He deserves big dollors for what he has done for the team and been through he totally took on the role as a mentor to Price knowing full well that price is the future #1 He was patient as they tried to give carey playing time. I know alot of fans think that Price/halak combo is a better because there young/ but not when it comes to goaltending think about it 2 young rookie NHL goalies both wanting to be number 1 (you can be sure halak isn’t going to sit quietly as he to knows that Price is hopefully going o be a franchise goalie) So you have them battling and no Veteran goalie to mentor it just spells disaster… Price played so muh better when Huet was sitting on the bench backing him up and didn’t have his greatest of games while huet was injured… I am a huge Huet fan but he isn’t going to stay for little money and a seat on the bench he deserves better then that.. I would love to see Huet sign for a few years and have halak backing him while price matures I think it’s wrong to push this kid to fast to soon especially with such a young team infront… Having patience is hard when you see the talent that carey has but just think how much better he will be with more experience and age.

  19. Vancouver Hab Fan says:

    There seems to be a fairly common theme among most fans here, which is a lack of confidence in Huet; and I admit I am one of these fans. He has excellent stats, makes some great saves BUT he is missing something to be elite. He has lost big games where the team needed him to step up, he is very bad handling the puck and he lets in goals that take the wind out of the team which is to me the biggest problem. For all the good he does, I’m still not sold on him. Come playoffs I would prefer to see Price start over Huet and maybe Halak also.

  20. earl says:

    Go away and think about what you just wrote.

  21. ccs says:

    Give Halak a shot to show what he can do. I have a feeling that Huet will get burned out soon.

  22. Shawn S says:

    I wish Halak could have started a few games in January. I know it was only 20 or so games last season, but he proved he was a capable starter in the nhl. Thank god for two of these back to backs, hoping for two strong outings from him that show we cannot part with halak just to make room for Price.

  23. Bill H says:

    My original position was deal Huet at the deadline because he wants to be an elite goaltender. For those who do not understand, that is code for elite salary with an elite workload. I don’t think that is a good fit with the Habs, who have 2 other capable goalies.

    So if BG can sign Huet to 2 years to mentor Price at a sub-elite salary, then that would be perfect. But the article linked above suggests otherwise. And that has salary cap implication down the road. We will see how BG handles the situation, but I think we will lose Huet, either at the end of the season, or at the trade deadline.

    Let’s talk turkey here. Huet’s salary cap hit is $2.75M a year now. This year he is showing us he can handle a heavy workload and he is not as injury prone as some claimed. He is getting the job done for us, to the point that we are succeeding way beyond what most predicted. So what is he worth? What can he get? $4M? $4.5M? Over 2 years? Over 3 years? Over 4 years? How high are you willing to go? Remember, we have Halak, who did great last year. And we are grooming Price to take on more next year and probably to take over the #1 spot the year after, at the very latest.

    Before you decide what Huet is worth, think about what we will have to pay the following UFAs and RFAs to resign them at the end of this season and next: K1, Lapierre, O’Byrne, Gorges, Streit, Halak, Komi, Chipchura, Latendresse, Pleks, Higgins, Koivu, Kovalev? There are others, but their status is more questionable. Some of these players will be due for big raises. How many players can we sign at $4M – $5M? We now have a total of $47.5M in salary cap, and I guess there is a bit of space in case we want to deal someone. Goalies take up $4.28M presently. How high do you want to go with goalies, and how will that impact our ability to sign the other key players?

    To avoid that, I think we need to deal him now. Halak was great last year. He might not be quite where Huet is in terms of performance (or maybe he is. How do we know?). But I don’t think Huet is going to get us past Detroit in the final, and depending on other factors, he probably won’t get us past the conference final. So BG can choose to handle the situation like he did with Rivet, or he can choose to deal with it as he did with Souray. Which worked out better for the Habs?

    I don’t claim to have a crystal ball. I think the whole situation is incredibly complex. None of us are in a position to see everything that is shaping the outcome. I wish Huet the best whether he is dealt, stays or walks at season’s end as he has been a star for us. And I hope BG makes the right decision, whatever that may be.

  24. mar-lin says:

    I agree for the most part Bill, unfortunately i don’t see eye to eye with you in regards to games played per season. I think if he played 70-75 games of the sched. in consecutive years then i’d say he’s shaken the bad rap. He’ll play around what 60 games this year? Before this he’s never played more than 42 for a whole season. Someone else mentioned something about his focus and his ability to steal a win from time to time. To me they are good but not elite, brodeur,luongo,kipper(before this year),hasek( in his younger days). These are the “elite” as far as i’m concerned, so when i compare huet to them i put him second tier. After saying all this I will still say that I love this guy and I think he’s a perfect fit here. We need a veteran to bring along the young guns who better than him. Bill this may seem obscure but do you remember when we first singed him? Didn’t he say he only wanted to play a few years in the nhl then he would return to france satisfied with what he’d done?

    cheers

    gohabsgo

  25. wild flower says:

    By the same token Luongo completely lost focus and “choked” on the last goal of Vancouver’s playoffs last year against the Ducks. He gets so much respect that the media basically made no mention of it?

  26. wild flower says:

    I might be completely wrong because I’m not privy to any real information, but from my observations – taken from media sources over the course of the entire season, it seems to me that Higgins lacks maturity. He says a lot of things that are either inappropriate or unnecessary. Why is he commenting on Huets contract? Why did he say that he might score 40 goals this year? Judging by on ice performance and media savvy maybe Komisarek should be the player talked about as the future captain.

  27. Xtrahabsfan says:

    What do you mean BIG RAISE?What about a rebate for all those crap games he had,I smell a fish!

  28. habsgod says:

    your a tool!!and an idioit!why would you make a boneheaded comment like that

  29. New says:

    I’d keep Halek and trade Huet. People forget that it was Halek who took them through fire last year to the lip of the playoffs, only to have Huet dress for the clinching game. Huet lost that game.

    The Habs are playing awesome right now. So nobody is going anywhere, unless it’s Halek to the doctors to get the splinters removed.

    Notice though the Habs are shooting better? Could it be the practice goalie is harder to beat?

  30. smiler2729 says:

    I like Huet, he seems to be actually getting better in the sense that he’s relaxed much like he was when he first appeared on the scene after Theodore decided to stink the joint out (was that already almost three years ago?)

    I’m willing to see if this version of Huet has the guts to stick it into a tough playoff and longer. I do wish they trade Jaroslav Halak for something though, he deserves better than sitting on the end of a bench.

  31. TC says:

    As I said before if Ilya Bryzgalov is getting a three deal that averages $4.25 million per season what does Huet get ???

    T.C.
    tc.denault@habsworld.net

  32. ebk says:

    your words, He was runner up for Heart

    That clearly implies 2nd, not that it matters

    Huet is a very good goalie, all I was getting at is there are enough things to say about him that are true and provable. He doesn’t need to be puffed up.
    He is a genuine #1 goalie in this league.

    I’m done with this, have a great day idle,

  33. New says:

    You have a really great point. There are usually only one or two great goalies at a time in the league and Huet isn’t one of them.

    Huet is getting the ice, and has all season. The team is playing great together. That makes Huet part of the team, not THE team. If Huet walks at season’s end the team will do just as well, or just as badly, with a steady replacement.

    Huet is good, but he isn’t consistently good, he is often good. Otherwise he’d be one of the top two. And Huet has never won the big game, or series.

    So is there a market for Huet? I don’t think so. Now if the Habs get into the playoffs, have a great run, and Huet stands on his head, then yes he can write his own ticket. Probably back in LA.

    But if you want to talk potential, then he has less potential than Halek or Price right now. Halek filled in when the team was floundering last year, and played great. Price played excellent in the Worlds and Calder run last year. They have demonstrated potential in pressure situations.

    Me, I like Huet. I just don’t like hype.

  34. idle says:

    Where did I say second?

    As for proof I tried to search the net but could only come up with the winners. I only remember my dad, a lifelong Leaf fan, teasing me about it relentlessly because he said he did not play enough games to be on the ballot.

    If it makes you feel better and in order to get past this then lets just assume it never happened and move on. I don’t use stats to make my arguments anyways, I was simply responding to someone claiming that Huet get no respect in the league. How about that for fecal facts? It seems like the place that Huet gets no respect is on here sometimes.

    For that matter what is the difference between fecal facts and people posting their opinions on here like the were facts. Unless you are in the league then how do you know what the players think of Huet? or whether Carbo favours Latts or Gainey is friends with Breezer.

    Things that get said repeatedly on here by some posters and are generally accepted by others have no facts to back them up either. So if my response to an argument that lacks facts lacks facts then I can live with it.

    Cheers

  35. New says:

    Or it might be How long with which team.
    Which teams will need, or do need, Huet in nets at 4.5 per season?
    Is there a market for Huet? Including Montreal.
    At 3 I think there is. At 4.5? I don’t know.

  36. skoehn says:

    Perhaps but goals aside price lost most of those games while huet was out.. its the WIN that counts

  37. ebk says:

    I like Huet

    You do not need to make things up to bolster your case, He was not 3rd in voting for the Hart.

  38. ebk says:

    I still think you are pull facts out of your butt and around here we refer to them as fecal facts.

    First said he was 2nd, now you’ve changed it to third. Please prove it to me. Give me the year.

  39. TC says:

    I would be shocked if Gainey doesn’t resign Huet to a new deal. I couldn’t imagine Gainey starting next year with two, young, unproven goaltenders. It’s much more realistic to see him wanting to go with the veteran/youngster combination. Price will eventually supplant Huet as the starter. The question is, how long will it take?

    http://www.habsworld.net/article.php?id=1603&PHPSESSID=9b73c7c95dc36b1c4b86a6444bfdab8f

    T.C.
    tc.denault@habsworld.net

  40. ccs says:

    I think overall no matter what happens with our goaltending situation it will be a faverable outcome. We have so much depth in this position that most other teams could only dream of having.

  41. Vancouver Hab Fan says:

    Of the first 16 posts, which is what I read before I posted, 12 were of the opinion that Halak should be getting some time now and Huet is a short term answer. That made my statement accurate; though the balance has changed with more pro-Huet posts there are still a number of fans who see him as short term.

    Maybe Huet can play as well as he did last year in game 82 against Toronto and that will provide a great playoff run. I guess that shows your familiarity with the situation! What has Huet ever won? I like Huet but to me he lets down when it counts, I would love for him to prove me wrong.

    Unless the team decides Price isn’t the future there is no way that Huet is playing out a new 3 year contract here; I can’t even seem him playing out a 2 year contract unless they give up on Price.

  42. HJ says:

    as long as Huet is our #1 goalie, this team will go NOWHERE in the playoffs. he’s a CHOKER in big games. ie. last playoff game vs Carolina, last game of the season vs leafs, and so on. you’ll see. that’s why he gets no respect around the league, and he never plays more than 50 hames/season.
    I think we should all hope Price comes around soon, or that Halak gets some ice time soon. And I also forgot that Huet is horrible at handling the puck!

  43. Habs-Kat says:

    Give Huet what he deserves – but avoid the dreaded “No-Trade Clause” at all costs. Thats the key, in my opinion.

  44. idle says:

    Ok lets talk fake facts then. He is a disaster at handling the puck. He can’t play multiple good games in a row. His team has no confidence in him. He gets no respect around the league. He can’t win a big game because he can’t handle the pressure and always lets in soft goals at bad times.

    So who is getting carried away?

    In his first year with the Habs he finished 3’rd in voting for the Heart trophy, most probably because he did not play enough games. He had 7 shutouts in just 36 games. You are right that he has only played in one All Star game in 2007, I was mistaken because I was assuming he did in 2006 but that would not make sense as he only played the second half of the season.

    Anyways, I am not trying to go overboard on him, if you check my posts I don’t really say he is a star goalie (I did suggest he was one of the top 10 goalies in the league) I just don’t get the unhappiness with him. I don’t get that the team can be in second place in the conference, 4’th place in the league and be competitive almost every game and we still are unhappy with our goalie and want someone else.

  45. sag says:

    Doesn’t anyone remember the confidence falling out of this team when Price began to faulter and Huet was hurt? Or when both goalies were playing poorly at the same time. I hope Huet sticks around for a season or two more. He will always be tradable if we need to create cap space or Halak/Price become impossible to keep down. If there is any year that ANY team could make it out of the east it is this one. We are buyers, not sellers! Cant wait for the playoffs to start!

  46. idle says:

    Actually he was. There was a disagreement at the time whether his name should be on the ballet or not because of how many games he played. It was talked about in the media often. In the end his name was included on the final ballet, which only has 3 names on it, so you figure it out

    Once again I will point out that my defense of Huet does not make me a huge fan of his and does not mean I am trying to tell everyone he is such a great goalie. I am however try to tell everyone he is not the kind of goalie his reputation on this forums suggests.

  47. idle says:

    What’s it going to take for Huet to get some respect around here from some of you ‘the grass is always greener with Price’ people.

    If anyone on the Habs roster can come up and play better in net then Huet is then I am all for that as it can only help the team. But until that happens and even if that happens that does not take anything away from how well Huet is playing.

  48. wild flower says:

    This guy is ridiculous. I like Price, but it remains to be seen whether or not he will ever even play regularly in the NHL. The last few weeks in Hamilton have not been inspiring. Halak might be the best Hab goalie over the next five years – who knows. Huet was ranked one the three best “players” in the entire league over the last month. That is elite and anyone talking about trading him is not dealing in reality.

  49. Vancouver Hab Fan says:

    Huet is where he is and Price where he is because Carbonneau prefers to play veterans over young players; even when he shouldn’t with the likes of Brisebois (earlier this season) and Smolinski. Price had a couple of bad games so he is in the minors, Huet gives the puck right to the other team to shoot in his own net and he keeps starting.

    At least Huet can play but I don’t think he is the answer in net.

  50. Moey says:

    “Huet is where he is and Price where he is because Carbonneau prefers to play veterans over young players”.

    In a word, hogwash. Price was clearly losing his confidence game by game, where do you think we would be in the standings now if Price had played the last 15 games?

  51. Vancouver Hab Fan says:

    About 3 wins better.

    I acknowledge Carey went through a dip (I think the team did also) but in the beginning of the year when Huet was getting the bulk of the starts (prior to his injury) he had some pretty soft games and Carbo stuck with him so yes he prefers veterans over young players. Over the course of the year if Price began the season as the starter, I would believe the team would be about where they are and maybe better but who knows all we can do is guess.

  52. Moey says:

    IMO, Price was in a freefall that was only going to get worse if he stayed, BG made the right move by putting him back in Hamilton. Why would you risk burning him out and completely destroying his confidence when you already have a starting goalie.

    Huet is not a spare part veteran, i.e. Breezer & Smolinkski, he was then and still is the number one goaltender. Price was brought up as a backup and it was a chance to evaluate & moniter his progress at the NHL level.

    Price was never going to be the starting goalie this season, unless he had stood on his head for every game, then maybe.

  53. earl says:

    No brainer. Sign him.
    He’s a good fit. One of the best most consistent goalies in the league, his teammates love him, demeanor fits in well with media, fans, and players alike, city fits well with his lifestyle and background.

    He’ll be signed before April.

  54. Mr.Hazard says:

    Isn’t there a market for him? I don’t think it would make the call easier…

    Ex nihilo nihil fit

  55. New says:

    I just wish there was a market for him.
    Then it would be an easy call.

  56. RGM says:

    Price is actually $850K per year, the entry-level maximum.

  57. TC says:

    With his bonuses it’s 2.2 million per year. $850K is his minimum.

    When teams calculate how much room they have under the cap to add players, any potential bonuses that a player can earn must be included in the player’s cap count. As the season progresses, if a player becomes ineligible for a bonus it will come off the player’s cap count and that amount will become available to the team – but only for that season.

    T.C.
    tc.denault@habsworld.net

  58. Sulemaan says:

    Thanks Steve. I might be able to swallow a 3 year deal but anything longer might be too much. Besides Price, I’d also want to hold on to Halak as well.

  59. TC says:

    In order to keep Huet, it will probably require a three year contract at the very least. The recent signing of Ilya Bryzgalov in Phoenix is a good indication of what Huet might command on the open market. For those who missed it Bryzgalov signed a three year contract averaging $4.25 million per year.

    It will be interesting to see what Gainey does. With Price being signed at 2.2 million per year, do you want to invest this much on your goaltending?Keep in mind that Komisarek becomes an unrestricted free agent at the end of next year, and that much of the Habs younger players are going to want pay raises based on their performance somewhere down the line (Plekanec, Kostitsyn, etc).

    The positive part of signing Huet is I believe that he is the perfect guy to help Price in his development and would accept passing the reigns to him. If Gainey does resign him to even a two year contract expect him to overpay him because of the lack of a long term deal. If Gainey does sign him to a three-four year deal he will probably be looking at Huet taking a hometown discount because of the long length of the contract.

    Gainey does have one advantage; Huet likes playing in Montreal. However, if he lets him on the open market, look for teams like Chicago (especially if they unload Khabibulin) and Los Angeles to offer him fat contracts.

    T.C. Denault
    tc.denault@habsworld.net

  60. Wayne says:

    This post by TC is closest to my opinion the contract in terms of $$’s and length. Realistically, Gainey should ask Huet and his negotiating party to tentatively hold off until they see how far Huet can get the Habs into the playoff rounds and base any dollar commitment on that alone. It’s risky and if the answer is NO, Huet will likely want a longterm (4+ years with big bucks) or test the market or PROBABLY force a trade. Based on the Habs history for deals in MTL, this scenario is plausible.
    Apart from that bluster – MY (and i stress, MY) strong opinion is 2 year short term but generous “Scotch” 4 mil per annum. If in that time period he brings a cup or even a final to MTL, i say bust the bank at that time, but not now.
    Having said that, I DO think he’s a great mentor for Price who, incidently, has given me reason to doubt his highly touted longterm stock (for now).

  61. earl says:

    Incredible how fans believe that contract negotiation is about what *they* want. Gainey will enter into a contract that benefits the team, a 3 or 4 year deal most likely.

    If at some later date Huet is made surplus by Price, he’ll be accommodated in a trade. As long as he continues to perform well his contract creates no burden for Montreal.

  62. johnnyhab says:

    Sign him! How could it hurt?

  63. earl says:

    “the knees and reflexes are not as strong and quick compared t a 20 year old”
    —————————
    it would appear they are, that’s why Huet is where he is and Price is where he is. Stronger, better, quicker, Huet at any age is one of the best in the league. Besides age is highly irrelevant in the goaltender spot if health is strong.
    —————————

    “We will win the Cup only with Carey Price in the nets”
    —————————

    Signature says it all. If people spent more time realizing that Montreal has one of the best goaltenders in the league they would spend less time prematurely annointing Carey Price king of the universe.

  64. RetroMikey says:

    Okay, here’s what I thought the plan was in the beginning of the season. Carey Price would be playing in Hamilton and play the majority of the games. Around this time, Bob Gainey would bring him up and slowly get him to play more and more which would make Cristobal trade bait with his stellar performance up to now to some team for a skilled offensive centreman we need.
    I honestly thought Carey was going to start around this time with MOntreal and the plan backfired. Don’t get me wrong, Cristobal Huet is our No. 1 goalie but we have to draw the line and say the future is now for our kids to play. At the age of 32, Huet is not getting any younger and the knees and reflexes are not as strong and quick compared t a 20 year old.
    I’d sign Cristobal but not for the big bucks. I believe Huet will be looking to go to greener pastures after the season so we must look at a trade if we can get something for him to help our team in the future. Yes, we wil make the playoffs but I honestly think we won’t get past the second round but you never know.
    I would not be surprised if Carey gets called back sooner than we all were planning. Perhaps a trade may be brewing.

    “We will win the Cup only with Carey Price in the nets”

  65. JF says:

    Gainey should sign him for a couple of years if Huet is willing. But if he proves to himself and everyone else that he is an elite goaltender, he may prefer to sign a longer contract somewhere else. I hope not because he’s a great fit on our team; but he knows that if he signs here, it will be to play a gradually diminishing role, depending on Price’s progress. Whereas he could perhaps play somewhere else as the unquestioned number 1 for several years.

    On the other hand, things don’t always work out. Goalies are signed to be the starter but sometimes don’t live up to expectations. Look at Martin Gerber last year; signed as number 1, he ended up backing up Emery for most of the season. If Huet signs with another organization, he’ll have to prove himself there.

  66. earl says:

    Elite status has already been attained by Huet. time to work a contract out with the guy and continue the climb to championship levels.

  67. 24 Cups says:

    Sulemaan – As always, you make perfect sense. Two years would be ideal but we might be forced to offer a three deal which would delay the crowning of Prince Price. Nobody wins a Cup without stellar goaltending.

    The Original 24 Cups

  68. earl says:

    what 50/50 risk?

    Gainey signed Kovalev
    Signed Koivu
    Signed Markov
    Signed Huet 2 years ago.

    Souray got too cute, played around, had a medical history, and Gainey let him walk. Then a few hours later signed a more than adequate contingency plan. Looks like it worked out.

    Huet is getting multi-year (3 to 4 years ) at minimum $4.5M per. That’s what he’s worth. That’s what he’ll get.
    Locked up before April.

    There is no timetable for Price being number one, it’s not in a foreseeable future . The need to sign Huet is real regardless of what the crystal ballers believe they see in Price.

    Halak becomes relevant if Price can’t become good enough to be the backup in Montreal next year.

  69. Sulemaan says:

    I only hope that if we don’t resign Huet now, we have some hope that he will resign in the off-season. Markov resigned with us despite being a potential UFA. Souray on the other hand did not. So it’s a 50/50 risk.

    We really don’t have much choice here because Huet is playing well so we can’t really deal him. Halak hasn’t played at all and Price is regaining his confidence in Hamilton. We don’t have anyone right now (key word being right now) that can step into a #1 goaltender spot in lieu of Huet.

    Personally, I’d like to see Huet signed to a couple of seasons so there is no rush to thrust Price into the #1 position and we can gradually groom the goaltender of the future. We do NOT need a Fleury situation like in Pittsburgh.

  70. slamtherimtim says:

    Tough call

  71. Sulemaan says:

    50/50 risk in that he signed Markov and couldn’t sign Souray.

    You are right about Kovalev as he was re-signed as a UFA. So perhaps 66/33 risk of signing and not signing. Koivu and Huet were not UFA’s when Gainey resigned them before.

    I think a team takes significant risk in letting a player become a UFA as we then jeopardize losing them for nothing.

    I do agree that the need to resign Huet is critical as I noted above that no one is ready to step into that role this year right now.


Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.